There’s no denying that automation is a critical component for organizational growth and a foundation for successful digital transformation. Unfortunately, just a few companies have taken strategic steps toward fully automating their processes.
Business process automation (BPA) has become mainstream, with increased acceptance in the marketplace and adoption rates that are continually increasing. Process optimization, labor cost reductions, data integrity, a quick return on investment, and enhanced employee morale are just a few of the numerous reasons for this rise.
Despite its transformative potential, cost savings, efficient ways of working, and competitive advantage, Business Process Automation can serve up a slew of challenges for the unprepared. Each one can quickly short-circuit individual automation projects as well as larger objectives if not managed carefully.
Foreseeing challenges before introducing automation and identifying solutions can save businesses billions of dollars in losses. Here are three key challenges of business process automation that must be considered before its implemented.
A bad process can’t be fixed by automation
BPA can help a business achieve a number of goals, including lowering costs, increased efficiencies, and enabling employees to focus on higher-value tasks. However, it can’t fix a broken process. Bad processes necessitate a completely different type of action.
Companies should focus their automation efforts on mature processes with well-defined rules and ready-to-use data inputs — procedures that don’t necessitate a lot of collaboration across multiple teams and departments – in order to produce meaningful benefits in a short amount of time.
Prior to implementing BPA, business leaders must map out their processes to have a clear picture of each phase and identify any potential hurdles.
The uptake of technology is not slowing down. Automating a few business processes is most likely the first step in that direction. Unfortunately, IT teams are overworked as a result of a large number of roles being assigned to them at the same time. They are responsible for ensuring cybersecurity and connectivity, reconciling new and legacy technologies, managing many data quality initiatives, and connecting thousands of disparate systems and devices across the company. Yes, automation can be a lifesaver for IT professionals who are overworked, but only if it is correctly implemented. Otherwise, if implemented incorrectly, BPA will just cause more challenges, not to mention the additional workload that will be added to the KRA of the IT teams.
The skills gap
Not every employee in a company is familiar with the technical nitty-gritties. This puts pressure on businesses that have implemented automation in some form or another. Automation helps businesses reduce their workload, however, it is not capable of completely replacing human intelligence. Businesses and employees who are resilient have evolved in tandem with technology advancements. However, not everyone is equipped to comprehend tech jargon. BPA requires skilled employees and that is a difficult thing to come by. The first step toward business automation is recognizing the gap and determining how to successfully close it.
Choosing to hire new experts may appear to be a rational decision. However, this will just increase the recruitment expenditure. Instead, companies must make do with their existing workforce. The latter offers the advantage of being able to see how existing technologies and new automation approaches complement each other. They are already familiar with the business operations and have access to existing technologies. All that is required of businesses is a few hours of upskilling. With just a few hours of training, the existing team can readily adopt the new software, analytical tools and automation. As a result, the competencies of existing teams will be enhanced and their professional development will be enriched.