Business process automation (BPA) or just business automation usually refers to using technology to automate specific business processes or diverse business workflows. Nowadays, business automation processes are an essential part of the efficiency and the longevity of businesses in nearly all industries.
As companies become more extensive and their everyday tasks and processes become more complex, while other lower-level repetitious tasks arise. Consequently, businesses are, now more than ever, at a need to streamline and simplify such processes and focus on higher-level tasks, rather than on the more inferior and time-consuming ones, hence business process automation.
This is why over 70% of companies have either fully or partially already automated their business processes, and by 2021 the business process automation market is expected to reach US$12.7 billion globally, respectively.
Chances are, due to its appeal, you’ve already automated or at least thought about automating certain parts or all of your business processes. And even though change can be overwhelming, being informed allows you to be a step ahead in the ultra-competitive business race of efficiency and productivity.
That’s why we’ve compiled this short guide on what’s business process automation and how to do it right. And to do it right, first, you have to understand what BPA is and how the process works completely.
The fundamentals of BPA
Business process automation’s primary goal is to improve businesses’ efficiency and stabilize business operations in the long term. With the utilization of various technology-based tools, typically software applications, specific processes within each company can be automated so that a lower amount of resources are committed to making these processes happen manually.
According to this comprehensive Prolifics research, BPA was the fastest-growing software category in the final quarter of 2019. It’s only going to continue growing as it’s more heavily put into practice across companies from many different industries.
There are three fundamental principles that BPA is built upon:
- Orchestration is the way a BPA system is laid out and will permit companies to create various concurrent systems that will help handle their computing architecture.
- Integration is when different business functions are all streamlined into one system. These various elements can operate together for further enhanced productivity and effectiveness when it comes to business goals in the future.
- Automated execution is perhaps the entire point of these automation systems when human interaction is minimized to the greatest extent possible. Automatic execution uses lesser resources and reduces the number of repetitious tasks that employees will otherwise have to complete manually.
Even if BPA systems seem quite complicated on their own, their sole purpose is to considerably simplify how a business runs. They can allow you to orchestrate a plan, integrate all of your business processes, and automatically execute critical tasks.
How to automate your business processes?
Now that you know what BPA is, how it functions, and its fundamentals, you are ready to leverage it within your organization and enhance your business’s productivity and effectiveness. We will expose a few incredibly practical ways to utilize BPA and boost your internal and external business process automation.
Internal business process automation
For starters, you can have your IT department enforce a custom-tailored solution to automate your internal business processes by linking all your users and tasks using if-then logic or push notifications.
Determine all your essential business process workflows using your most trusted employees. Afterward, map out your business processes using MS Excel or special software designed to achieve this. Business process mapping is especially beneficial for automating cross-department processes.
Review your internal business processes and identify repeatable jobs. By doing this, you can eradicate double-down tasks done by more than one employee at the company. Simultaneously, you will be able to assign the task to a particular individual or team. Doing this will improve the productivity within your company and cut precious time spent on redundant tasks.
Incorporate your business systems with your knowledge base to help technicians find information easier for customer service reasons. Besides, this automation procedure will undoubtedly help employees from other company divisions have a knowledge database of all processes, tasks, and models of the company.
External business process automation
One of the easiest and most effective ways to accomplish business process automation is by employing a business process management software to create an architecture for all your processes to be mapped out digitally. The two most famous types of business process management software you can employ include legacy software and cloud-based software.
Depending on the scale of your business needs and activities, you can decide which BPM software is better suited to your needs. If you run a small-sized enterprise, we recommend using cloud-based software because you can take the benefits that come from BPA without doing any work yourself.
Suppose you run a more prominent company or a corporation. In that case, your business is better suited for outsourcing BPA through legacy software and employing an IT department of trained professionals to program the business processes for you.
The other way to automate business processes externally is through artificial intelligence (AI). If you have the resources, you can utilize AI and machine learning to automate your organization’s business processes. AI requires enormous amounts of data to train the learning models that can help your employees improve decision-making by automating low-level humble decisions, enabling your workforce to view your process at a higher level of abstraction. AI and machine learning are especially useful for areas like sales, marketing, and customer relations.
To enjoy the complete set of business process automation benefits, you have to go about it methodically and thoughtfully. First and foremost, audit your business to find areas of inefficiency that can benefit from automation. To ensure that you automate your business processes in the most effective way, start small with particular procedures, monitor your results, and adjust your systems based on the feedback you receive. We fully encourage you to go ahead and try implementing BPA; it will be worth your while!