Business process automation is becoming more common and accessible for many fields and industries, using technology to streamline workflows. There are many strategies to implement process automation and nearly endless potential for its uses.
But even though new, improved tools and solutions are constantly emerging, many organizations are reluctant to embrace the change. Determining whether automation can help your business comes down to the fundamental question: why automate?
What Is Business Automation?
Essentially, business process automation refers to any time a system that can automatically complete a task is set up to replace the work an employee would previously have performed. While this can refer to physical processes, like robots used in automotive manufacturing, there are actually far more instances where automation can make a difference for digital functions. For example, specially designed computer programs are able to take over time-consuming duties such as data entry and integration, reporting, and payment processing.
Rather than replacing human workers, automation is a powerful tool that allows employees to apply their time and talents for maximum effect. In most organizations, automated business processes take the weight of tedious, inefficient processes off of employees, allowing them to spend their time on more important tasks. This can increase productivity overall and save costs, allowing employers and employees alike to focus their energy on the essential aspects of their jobs. Moreover, it increases worker satisfaction, as they are able to minimize dull, repetitive duties and engage more with creative tasks that require human attention.
Why Should You Automate Your Business Processes?
In all industries, efficiency is the key to long-term success. So it’s no wonder that companies that lag behind and stick with inefficient legacy systems are struggling more and more to keep up. Fortunately, automation is industry-agnostic, meaning that its usefulness is not limited to a particular type of business. Almost all organizations can utilize some form of automation to help keep their operations running smoothly.
Especially in data-heavy industries, process automation can make a world of difference. In insurance, for example, automation can simplify and expedite claims processing, automate policy management, and ensure regulatory compliance. There are concrete financial gains to be had as well. In business, time is money, so each process that runs smoother and faster equates to saved labor costs. Likewise, automated processes eliminate the possibility of human error, meaning that companies never have to spend time and money addressing careless mistakes.
Automation Trends in 2022
New automation tools are constantly developing. A number of trends emerged throughout 2022, showcasing just how wide the appeal of automation can be.
Overall, automation has been a major trend in recent years, as more companies than ever before recognize the benefits and adopt tools to streamline their business processes. A recent study found that 70% of companies were piloting some form of automation technology, a significant increase between 2021 and 2022. While there is still a lot of room for increased automation, leaders in almost every industry integrated some form of automation into their daily operations.
As companies adopt more automation strategies, many have found that they can benefit from more than one technology platform. While some businesses have relatively straightforward needs, and can therefore find success with a single system, many, especially in more data-heavy fields, have moved to a multi-platform automation strategy. The one potential drawback here is the need to ensure that each system integrates properly for a seamless, cooperative workflow.
Emerging Automation Trends for 2023
There is always something new on the horizon. Rapid advancements in technology as well as evolving business needs mean that solutions are constantly shifting and evolving. Let’s take a look at some of the most promising trends that will shape 2023’s automation landscape.
Robotic Process Automation
One of the most interesting trends to look out for in the near future is robotic process automation (RPA). Unlike conventional systems, RPA technology takes automation to the next level, with programmed robots that learn and perform repetitive tasks, such as filling out forms and processing paperwork without the need for prompting. RPA technology integrates with pre-existing automation systems, such as data processing tools, allowing companies to introduce RPA into their processes with minimal disruption.
As automation grows more sophisticated, especially with RPA, the need for maintaining multiple business applications actually decreases. Because RPA systems don’t require constant activation or directions, a single program can manage multiple automation bots, further freeing up workers’ time. A recent report estimated that 25% of new employee-facing application development will be displaced by the codeless development of discrete tasks by 2024.
Getting Started in Automation with Populus
Ultimately, no matter what type of automated system you choose, eliminating busywork can change the operations landscape for any business. The ultimate answer to the question of “Why automate?” is that automation has the potential to cut costs, increase efficiency, and keep staff engaged by eliminating unnecessary busy work. Even if you can’t find the exact program your business requires, custom-designed tools can be created to serve your particular needs.
Leaders in the insurance industry have already begun adopting process automation solutions, putting them several steps ahead of those who have been slow to implement change. Many organizations are hampered by their reliance on outdated legacy systems and manual processes. But streamlining and optimizing business processes allows companies to maintain a competitive edge regardless of the overall state of the market.
If you’re interested in implementing automation for your business, Populus can help.
Populus Technology provides bespoke IT solutions for our partners, helping support their growth by updating and automating their business processes. We even create custom software solutions for unique workflows where one-size-fits-all tools just won’t do. We also offer services to manage IT partnerships and direct our clients to the best third-party vendors in the industry, so they always get the best results for their tech investments.
If you need help transforming your own internal processes, Populus has the solutions you need. Just contact our team today to learn more!