During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to adopt a fully digital work environment due to strict lockdowns and government mandated safety precautions. As a result, these companies were forced into Digital Transformations to better meet the needs of their newly distributed workforces and ensure company processes continued to function during an unprecedented time.
Post-COVID, many companies have shifted to a hybrid-work environment, allowing employees to split their weeks between the corporate office and their home offices – leaning more heavily on digital communication and virtual engagements to remain productive. With the hybrid work model still relatively new, most digital work environments require retooling and streamlining for the company to ensure their workforce remains productive and efficient – emphasizing the need for Business Process Automation.
What is Business Process Automation?
At its core, Business Process Automation (BPA) is the implementation and utilization of software to automate manual tasks. Manual tasks prime for automation include setting recurring meetings, creating tasks in team management software, sending information to team members, and workflow regulation. Instead of an individual regularly performing these tasks, they are automated by a program to save time and effort – lessening the administrative burden through the usage of technology.
A simple example of BPA is the creation of bots to automatically perform a workflow when a specific trigger is activated, or conditions met. For instance, executives can use Microsoft Power Automate to have a bot automatically set up a notes page for all attendees 15 minutes before a meeting. This way, individuals are prepared to take notes without having to perform a manual action, ensuring full focus on the current discussion.
In application development, you can implement workflows to replace repetitive tasks with automation -- which moves jobs from one stage to another. An example of this is a pipeline concept, where once a program is written and ‘checked in’ to a source code repository, it is automatically built by Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) and deployed to a QA environment for testing. On successful completion of testing, it can then be rolled out to customers. In addition, the workflow that decides what to do at each stage can be modified depending on the individual project.
The Importance of Business Process Automation
BPA is critical for getting the most (and the best) out of a company’s staff and resources. Post-COVID, BPA is viewed not only as a necessity for the remote-to-hybrid work environment, but also as a critical tool for the growth and development of modern businesses seeking to differentiate themselves in the digital age. BPA provides companies with a myriad of benefits, including:
Workflow Optimization —One of the most important and immediate benefits of BPA -- workflow optimization allows executives to simplify, automate, and streamline manual tasks to remove most of the human element. Doing so accelerates project timelines, allowing companies to add more projects to the fray and cut time to deployment.
With the introduction of an accelerated and efficient workflow also comes a heavy increase in productivity. Now that employees can work free from administrative responsibility, they can spend more time performing quality work, rather than wasting it on manual input and tasks. Additionally, automated workflows can be further assessed, and new improvements made to ensure continued efficiency while benefiting quality of life for the workforce.
Growth— Smart Growth is synonymous with BPA. Smart Growth involves the use of metrics to continually assess tasks and events at each stage of a workflow, allowing project managers to better allocate resources and talent to streamline projects. This makes for a clearer understanding of a workflow's strengths and weaknesses, providing the opportunity to further improve its capabilities.
Additionally, by removing redundancy within a workflow and leveraging existing resources to support newer functions, ROI skyrockets as resources can now be reallocated to concurrently assist other ongoing projects, teams and departments.
Accountability —Now that the direct workflow has specific checkpoints that are implemented into the automation process, it becomes clear who is responsible for each stage of a project. What this does is keep team members accountable for the tasks that they’ve been assigned as well as on pace to complete their tasks. It makes sure that Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) are satisfied, and that quality work is performed at each stage, anything less being easily identified by looking at the chain of work throughout a project cycle.
Resolvit Builds Automated Solutions
At Resolvit, we’ve helped some of the world’s largest companies build, integrate, and execute automated solutions to move them forward. We provide end-to-end development, management and QA teams that work collaboratively with clients to understand their critical business objectives, evaluate their protocols, and engineer tailored software solutions to match their needs – all while placing the necessary in-house talent to ensure your project’s success. Looking to add automation to your business plan? Contact us today to plan your project and add efficiency to your company's foundation.