Automation is one of the biggest boons technology has bestowed upon the world. The fact that repetitive and clerical tasks no longer need human intervention is a massive productivity booster for businesses.
By applying RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and its implementation to various tasks and processes around the workplace, companies are realizing tangible benefits and accelerating their paths to growth and scale.
In fact, McKinsey conducted a study in 2020 which reported that about 66% of businesses were already implementing process automation at their workplace. In another report by Markets and Markets, the value of automation-enabling software and tools is expected to grow to $19.6 billion by 2026.
The numbers say it all. An increased number of businesses across the globe are realizing the significance of automating their offices, which is causing a surge in the software market.
Putting things in better perspective, the demand for custom software is high, but the number of software professionals available is low. The market shows interesting trends in companies custom-building their own solutions.
Against this backdrop, let us understand the ecosystem and nuances of office automation systems and the advantages they have for a business.
Office automation is the collective orchestration of workplace tasks, processes, workflows, and data managed by associated computers and software without needing any intervention by humans.
In simpler words, office automation is letting intelligent software and computers manage certain operations at the workplace.
Companies usually utilize office automation for three distinct categories of operations:
A business must deal with countless documents, forms, applications, etc., on a daily basis. Office automation systems manage the gathered information very well, regardless of the format it exists in (like spreadsheets, PDFs, or Word documents).
One of the most useful functions of an office automation application is orchestrating an efficient exchange of data between various departments and teams seamlessly. Sharing information is made easier when it is automated with the right algorithms and rules.
This is the age of Big Data. Each business is collecting millions of bytes of data every day.
As such, there needs to be an automated system in place that can organize and manage this data effectively. Office automation is increasingly being used by businesses to automate the collection and management of data – whether internal or external.
An office automation system is a software or tool that helps businesses automate certain aspects of their tasks, processes, workflows, or entire operations at the workplace.
These systems have the potential to completely eliminate the requirement of a human being to monitor a task. With automation, companies are thus able to deploy their human resources more meaningfully for tasks that require critical thinking.
Businesses increasingly deploy office automation systems to handle their repetitive, clerical, mindless tasks (like entering information from a physical document into a digital file) with high accuracy instead of expending human energy on these jobs.
This way, companies are able to better utilize their workforce for mission-critical, strategic tasks, which helps them manage human resources better.
Office automation systems, aside from helping businesses automate a large portion of their repetitive tasks, give companies countless other reasons to implement one:
Office automation systems make it extremely simple for organizations to manage their data and information.
Your organization can achieve stellar levels of operational efficiencies by programming an office automation system to orchestrate workflows.
Adding ticker systems, notifications, and task reminders, delegating tasks to appropriate personnel, information sharing and real-time data updates, etc. are a few of the processes and workflows that office automation systems can handle.
Regardless of the scale of a company, office automation can be leveraged for streamlining internal workflows.
The biggest handicap that office automation systems can solve is the hindrances in the flow of information that many companies experience.
Delays caused due to data or information that remains hung up with one department can be reduced significantly.
For example, in the event that the authorized employee is away from their desk, a procurement requisition could be delayed if the approvals are not automated.
Companies prefer automating certain specific processes (like data entry) at their companies in order to achieve higher operational efficiencies.
For example, instead of delegating a dedicated sales team to manually enter consumer data into a CRM, an automation module can be plugged in to pull the data from sales calls and other marketing channels and automatically update the CRM.
This allows for better efficiencies and quicker turnaround times.
With the emergence of no-code platforms like Hubler, it has become extremely easy for companies to create their own office automation solutions.
Companies can now design their own custom automation solutions that respond to highly specific needs. These solutions eliminate the need for a compromise with a shelf-ready solution that only tackles half the job.
Office automation brings multifaceted benefits to a business – this is why companies today prefer automating as much of their workflows as possible.
McKinsey's research found that office automation can take care of almost 45% of the activities that companies hire humans for.
In other words, office automation helps companies save salary expenses by a significant amount. Let’s look at a few more benefits that office automation has for businesses:
Automation takes away a significant workload from human resources.
Automating repetitive tasks like data entry, reconciliation, or screening and checking helps businesses better regulate their task delegation. Furthermore, automation also helps execute the same functions with lesser effort than is required by humans.
Manual work is fraught with errors. No amount of careful execution or attention can eliminate the likelihood of errors in anything that is done manually.
On the other hand, computers manage automation. It is governed by rules written in code based on mathematical logic. There is no scope for error.
Computers are inherently faster than humans at performing any task.
Provided that the rules specified for a process are clearly defined, automation is capable of completing a larger number of tasks in a shorter timeframe compared to humans.
They can help reduce the turnaround times for processes.
Office automation systems deliver clear visibility of the efficiency and performance of various processes and tasks by generating insights from the process data.
They help businesses identify the areas where there is a scope for improvement. They also help generate trend reports to see the advancement of a company’s operations over time.
With the use of office automation systems, businesses get access to insights and processed data that helps with decision-making.
This is helpful, especially in the finance, accounting, and sales departments, where decision-making needs to be backed by sound data instead of gut instinct.
Depending on the department and task that an automation system is required for, there are 14 distinct categories of office automation tools:
Office automation is an industry in itself today. There are several solutions for automating various workplace processes. No-code platforms like Hubler have made it possible to create your own automation solution as well, right from scratch.
Considering the numerous benefits of office automation and automation tools, reducing the engagement of manpower in mundane tasks and activities translates into countless returns for a company.