What are Workflow Automation and Its different versions?
There are many time-consuming, repetitive operations in digital workflows that don’t necessarily require much mental effort. Employee focus can be increased by automating these workflows. The COVID-19 pandemic drove more businesses to automate workflows, changing their personnel and financial situation.
Thanks to user-focused technologies, planning a complex series of tasks is much easier. The majority of the time, tasks are set up using a drag-and-drop interface, which enables many different task kinds to be connected and organized to mimic the actual task workflow. This is also referred to as “workflow automation.”
A process may need the completion of forms, the provision of approvals, the assignment of work, the activation of another system, the retrieval of data, sending of emails and alerts, among other duties. These pre-built jobs are generally included in workflow automation software and can be organized sequentially or concurrently depending on the usual sequence in which tasks are performed.
Robotic process automation (RPA), which aims to relieve employees of monotonous tasks, achieves this by enabling bots to carry out these duties the same way a human would. Market value for robotic process automation (RPA), which was $1.4 billion in 2019, is anticipated to increase by 40% annually between 2020 and 2027. Machine learning (ML), a subset of artificial intelligence, is one of the better versions of automation (AI). Large volumes of data are ingested by this automation to learn how to improve automation, ideally without human involvement.
Here are the stats of what the Business Executives have to say about this.
- 90% of businesses have realized that their automation investments will boost their workforce capacity over the next three years.
- Companies that have already begun using or scaling automation reported a 12% gain in workforce capacity due to their efforts.
- Due to the increased deployment of automation during COVID-19, 35% of survey respondents claim they require more people with expertise in automation, AI, and robotics.
- According to 67% of polled executives, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated automation and artificial intelligence.
Benefits and Impact of Automation in IT Change Management
Do we need workflow automation? Yes, and here are some justifications:
- Reduces time spent on a process cycle
- Automates authorization and documentation processes
- Optimizes task management
- Less probability of errors due to human mistakes
- Manage multiple channels and service providers
- Review campaign analytics and performance at any time
- Enable-IT Change Management
The goal of change management, also referred to as change enablement, is to make changes to core systems and services while minimizing disruptions to IT services. Businesses have several essential and conflicting requests on their IT staff. They first require consistent, dependable services guaranteeing the organization’s productivity and capacity to live up to end-user expectations. Second, the IT team must conduct routine service updates to help the company adjust to continuously changing security, financial, and operational demands. The team implements the change, noting processes and outcomes as they go. Deploy automation to support your processes and guidelines. Based on your business rules, workflow automation can route and assign requests to the following authorized employee, making it easier for everyone.
Workflow automation as per different business verticals
Sales and Marketing
Automating time-consuming prospect management tasks allows the sales team to concentrate on pitching rather than entering data. In addition to automatically moving leads through the funnel depending on their behaviors, an automated sales workflow can add prospects to the sales funnel and modify deal stages as deals proceed.
Sales jobs that are automated include:
- Assigning a lead to a particular step of the pipeline as per their activity.
- Removing the non-responsive leads from the pipeline.
- Welcoming new clients/prospects by sending them introduction emails.
Workflow management is another service offered by customer relationship management (CRM) software. It automates coordination, form filling, and customer communication. When a customer completes a particular action, like signing a document or entering information, a CRM can automate notifications for the approval phase and update internal dashboard data.
By 2023, global spending on sales and marketing automation solutions is anticipated to surpass $25 billion, representing a 14% annual growth rate from 2017.
Finance process automation software can speed up your business trip requests, reimbursement requests, and budget approval requests by enabling you to create forms, establish workflows, and track processes.
Financial tasks that are automated include:
- Expense approval process
- Controlling contract and vendor management
- Approving budgets under a set of established criteria
Automation enables higher accuracy in forecasting and revenue collection, improves payment consistency, and reduces compliance needs.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial services and technology sectors have embraced automation the most, with 88% and 76% of executives reporting an increase in deployment, respectively.
Operations form an essential part of any business, and they can also be automated to lessen the need for manual data entry.
Operations jobs that are automated include:
- Detecting and Deleting duplicates
- Providing new team members access rights
- Generating reports automatically after each quarter
- Task creation in third-party apps
Workflow automation assists in managing network users across departments for in-house network operations, including the sales, finance, legal, and administrative teams.
In customer service, workflow automation is tremendously helpful in handling issues, cases, and frequently asked questions, in addition to initiating surveys by sending a series of emails or establishing tasks.
Customer service tasks that are automated include:
- Generating a new ticket when a new customer contacts you via email or social media
- Introducing new clients with a series of valuable emails
- Sending surveys and adding respondents to various email campaigns based on their responses
- Depending on the tone of the letter or email, prioritizing tickets after a settlement is reached, resolving tickets, and archiving them
HR automation software can quickly integrate all of your new hires’ data into your payroll, expense, and insurance systems instead of you having to manually enter employee information in addition to some other HR tasks.
In human resources, automated tasks include:
- Employee orientation
- Employee departure
- Employer requests
- Leave control
What to look for in Workflow Software?
Irrespective of the circumstance, you need workflow automation software that is quick, adaptable, and suitable for your requirements.
Here is a quick list of the features that workflow automation software must have:
User Friendly: Automation aims to simplify processes; hence the product should be simple. Look for drag-and-drop, no-code solutions, and a user-friendly user interface.
Cloud functionality: In general, cloud-based process automation technologies are simpler to run and manage than their on-premise counterparts. Additionally, they provide simple accessibility, security, and data scalability.
Integration of different systems: Most cloud-based software is compatible with other cloud applications. Check to see if your workflow automation software is compatible with APIs.
Analytics and reports: Without a review, a process cannot be improved. The best workflow automation software packages have built-in reporting capabilities, so you can check for delays, keep track of tasks, and make adjustments.
Mobile friendly: In today’s world, workflow automation software must function on any platform and device. Make sure the tool is mobile-friendly, from notifications to approvals.
Pricing: Workflow automation software installation is costly, so it should serve its purpose.
A workflow automation process starts with a specific goal and concludes with a process assessment. To determine the repetitive tasks that need automation. Set clear goals with your team’s expectations for automation. Train the team by highlighting the advantages and asking for their input. Create a workflow by clearly documenting it and giving required access. Identify and measure KPIs and return on investments, comparing them with past processes and their impact on your business. Workflow Software needs to be user-friendly, making it simple and straightforward for anyone to create and automate their workflows.