Technology has become a powerful driver of business processes in recent years; when properly implemented, the right IT solutions can streamline communications, make life easier for project managers, eliminate the minutiae of combing through data sets, and turn your organisation into well-oiled machine.
The best news is that we may only be scratching the surface of potential automation options; artificial intelligence research continues in earnest, and the workplace is still largely populated by employees who cut their teeth in a world with mostly analogue technology. As young digital natives who have never known a world without the internet continue to enter the workforce, potential applications will continue to emerge.
This trend is at the heart of Dynamic’s identity; we want to be part of a global transformation into a digital society where people work smarter, not harder. So what’s involved in the automation process, and just how realistic is it?
Workflow automation is great – but there are real challenges standing in the way of implementation. The first and most notable is skepticism or opposition by employees. The source of this skepticism is twofold. Employees who do not enjoy or actively avoid working with technology may find workflow automation to be an inconvenience; others may fear that automation is a threat to their livelihood.
In fact, the opposite is true. A 2017 McKinsey Study revealed that less than five percent of positions are at any risk of replacement from workflow automation. Simply put, no machine can replace the high-level cognitive ability of a real employee. Instead, workflow automation seeks to liberate workers from dull, repetitive, grinding tasks so that they are more capable of using their intuition and decision-making skills.
If you’re thinking of automating some of your organisation’s workflows, consider carefully how you plan on going about it.
If you operate a smaller organisation, you may not have codified your workflows yet, learning to roll with the punches and optimizing your processes as new situations arise. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this model, but it could lead to inefficiency and human error as you continue to grow and integrate new employees or members. One of the first steps towards automating your workflows is to take a long, hard look at your current procedures and make a final, informed decision on how your organisation should be run; doing this properly may require the services of a management consultant, but it will set you up for prolonged success. After all, no Fortune 500 enterprise gets by treating every client on a case-by-case basis.
Establishing a correct workflow may take time and considerable communication; speaking with employees at every level and in every department of your organisation is essential, and a system must be nearly unanimously endorsed.
Successful workflow automation also requires buy in from your entire organisation. Once you decide to move forward with an automation model, make sure to spend time training and acclimating your employees to the change; doing so will help assuage genuine concerns and pain points.
As stated by the previously referenced McKinsey report, “The effects of automation might be slow at a macro level, within entire sectors or economies, for example, but they could be quite fast at a micro level.” The global economy is primed to experience unprecedented growth in the coming decades. Using the technology at our disposal to increase the productivity of and decrease the burden on every employee is the key to building a sustainable, rewarding, and conscientious business environment. That’s our mission — and we’d like to help you make it yours.