Here’s How You Can Make The Most Of Task Automation For Your Business
Thanks to a dynamic and ultra-competitive business environment, mediocrity is no longer an option for businesses. Only the fittest survive and thrive in the corporate jungle.
Businesses understand that they need to up their game. To outclass the competition, they need their employees to put their best foot forward. Oftentimes, this means juggling between multiple tasks.
Companies expect their employees to give more than their 100 percent at work. But more job responsibilities mean more work pressure. As employees struggle to maintain work-life balance, the demand for intelligent solutions that can perform repetitive tasks done by humans is gaining momentum. Employee and customer-centric firms have thus started heeding to these trends by embracing task automation.
Task automation: An introduction
Put simply, task automation involves the use of various systems and technologies to minimize the amount of human intervention required to carry out work. Some examples of automation in the workplace include
- Software that pull out employee insights from deep pools of data
- Automated tools that can read through job applications at unbelievable speeds to look for keywords
- Tools that streamline face-to-face meetings
- Form autofill tools that automate repetitive and boring tasks such as filling online forms and resetting passwords
- Intelligent chatbots that work round the clock to provide assistance to customers
Previously, only large corporations had access to automation technology. This, however, is not the case any more. Today, automation technology is available to small and medium sized enterprises too. Before starting out with using an automation tool, every business, irrespective of its size, must come up with a strategy to leverage automation technology.
Automating tasks will help free up time for more mission-critical tasks, which is sure to boost employee productivity.
Making the most of automation
Organizations should not consider automation a magic wand that will make challenges and productivity roadblocks vanish into thin air overnight. Every business needs to invest in automation tools, and no tool or technology will help a team reach its goals if its members don’t know how to use it.
To make the most of task automation, an automation strategy that lays the groundwork for successful implementation is of critical essence. Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure your automation project is a roaring success.
Decide which tasks to automate
Not every task needs automation. Many firms take too much time to realize this. In their eagerness to hop on the automation bandwagon, they try to streamline nearly every process.
You need to avoid this pitfall at all costs. To ensure every penny allotted for automation is spent wisely, you must find places where automation can help you.
Before automating a task, ask yourself these two questions
- What is the problem that you’re trying to solve or a challenge that you’re trying to overcome
- What are the steps you have taken to address the problem Look for processes/tasks that
- do not need your attention to get done
- do not need personalization or finesse
- are repetitive and time consuming
Most importantly, before automating a process, take time to evaluate it.
Train your teams
You need to understand that automation solutions are just tools at the end of the day and are useless if the people using them do not have a clue about how they work. Whether you are planning to automate network health checks or want to reduce human intervention in the process of data backup recovery, you need to train your employees to get the most out of your security automation tools. Before and during adoption, conduct regular training sessions. You could also invite industry experts to educate and train your employees on the latest automation tools and trends.
To counter resistance to change, organize workshops before adopting a network monitoring software or any other automation tool. Show your employees how the technology you’re planning to adopt works and how it’ll make their lives easier.
In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced environment, change is the only constant. So the sooner your employees realize and accept this fact, the better.
Calculate the ROI of automation
It all boils down to money at the end of the day. If automating a task does not help you save costs in proportion to investment, you will lose big time.
Before the commencement on an automation project, you need to calculate the ROI by comparing the necessary resources to cost savings that automating the process will result in. You also need to determine the amount of time required to recoup the investment. Remember to prioritize automating processes with the highest ROI.
Think long term
When automating a process/task, you need to think long term. Look for flexible tools that do not just accommodate your needs today, but can also grow and adapt to future changes in your processes.
When change comes knocking on your door, replacing a rigid solution will be the only option you have. To save costs and steer clear of hassles, stay away from tools/solutions that you can’t control or have little control over.
Don’t forget to consider security risks
With opportunities comes challenges. In most cases, automating/digitizing a task/process increases its vulnerability to cyberattacks. To steer clear of security risks, you must consider built-in security tools before acquiring an automation solution. You also need to make sure that you have processes and tools (such as network patches) in place to address security risks that come with automating a task/process.
Allow your team to test and implement solutions
Create a team to test and implement automation solutions. Whenever you come across a tool that you think is best suited to meet your firm’s requirements, ask the team to assess it. A major benefit of a pilot project is that you get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the tool and the amount of resources it can help you save before implementation. Once the team gives a go ahead, you can start working on an implementation plan.
Use high quality control standards
You can’t just implement an network automation solution and forget it. It is not uncommon for automation solutions to have bugs. These bugs can trigger errors that might lead to ripple effects. To avoid these problems, make sure that monitoring your automation tools is an ongoing process. And that it’s subjected to a high degree of quality control.