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How Automation Is Removing Workplace Roadblocks

November 06, 2020 Information Management
Chris Ellis
By Chris Ellis

Automation is fast becoming a staple of the modern workplace. With 42% of the US labor force now working from home, tedious manual and paper-based processes clearly aren't conducive to a virtual business setting.

Today’s enterprises must be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice and fulfill the needs of their customers amidst unforeseen challenges. As a result, organizations can no longer afford the setbacks of process bottlenecks — making automation paramount to business resiliency.

Remove Bottlenecks With Automation 

Streamlining broken processes with automation can seem like a major undertaking. But in reality, many automation solutions can unlock immediate benefits to understaffed IT teams, time-pressed on-the-ground workers and enterprises struggling to innovate — all with just a few clicks.

1. No- and Low-Code Platforms Alleviates Demands for New Tech Talent

The rise of no- and low-code automation tools — solutions that enable anyone with little to no software skills to create applications that drive workflow processes — has laid the foundation for virtually any employee to transform their business operations.

The current economic recession has tightened budgets and enacted hiring freezes, making it difficult for organizations to hire expensive developers to create tech solutions needed for their business or outsource the work. However, businesses still need app solutions to make operations more efficient, which makes no- and low-code platforms so valuable.

With just a few hours of training, non-IT employees can become citizen developers and create applications or software solutions for their organization. In fact, one one survey found that companies that leveraged low-code development boosted their digital innovation by 66%. 

Related Article: The Risks and Rewards of the Citizen Developer Approach

2. Repetitive Processes Can Be Offloaded to Save Time

Organizations that rely on legacy systems are at an even sharper disadvantage to businesses with turnkey, automated processes in today’s business climate. Manual processes full of rote tasks add up in cost over time and keep customers waiting, leading to dissatisfaction and a poor experience. These factors now carry extra weight for organizations, as customers with limited budgets expect a higher standard out of the companies they invest in. 

An easy way companies can offload tedious tasks is through robotic process automation (RPA). RPA is programming code that enables digital bots to mimic many of the mundane functions of business processes previously carried out by humans, preventing workers from focusing on more high-value tasks. RPA can save businesses time and money by handling repetitive processes, including customer account maintenance, lending and loan processing, IT system maintenance and employee data management.

The time saved from automating manual processes helps businesses fulfill requests in a prompt manner, speeds up business outcomes and improves overall productivity. And no- and low-code platforms empower non-IT users to implement RPA directly into their own workflows.

Related Article: Where Businesses Are Automating Office Processes

3. Automation Encourages Swift Adaptability to Changing Demands

The possibility of unpredictability is foremost to many businesses in today’s economy. When crises strike, organizations must pivot to where the market needs them, a challenge that can be difficult to conquer with manual processes.

The pandemic has pushed many organizations to pivot in the face of changing needs. For example, many video conferencing providers experienced a staggering increase in purchase orders as most industries and public sectors went remote in their operations. To meet this shift in demand, video conferencing companies needed to scale up their order processing — an operation ripe for automation.

In this scenario, a non-IT employee can leverage a no- or low-code platform to automate their organization’s manual order tracking and management system. The platform can connect an order intake software such as Zendesk with a CRM like Salesforce to automate the interaction between the two systems and create a unified workflow. Tools like eSignatures and document automation can also be added to the workflow to automate contract processing and purchase orders.

Enterprises have a unique opportunity to achieve rapid digital transformation through automation. With citizen development, optimized processes and increased versatility, organizations can improve the way people work and be there for customers no matter what happens. 

About the Author

Chris Ellis, technical director at Nintex, gained invaluable experience in SharePoint, Office 365 and the Nintex Platform as a pre-sales solution specialist within the partner network. Hailing from Aberdeen in Scotland, his work with the Nintex Platform exposed him to the full lifecycle from analysis and requirement gathering to delivery, support and training, contributing across a spectrum of projects in various industries and in some interesting places.

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