To stay ahead of the curve and thrive in this rapidly changing business landscape, your organization must embrace technology and lean into digital transformation.
New technology and the widespread adoption of digital solutions have revolutionized how businesses operate, connect with customers, and optimize their processes. It has become increasingly clear that leveraging technology is no longer a choice, but rather a necessity for sustained success.
One of the key technological advances businesses should adopt is enterprise automation. At its most basic level, enterprise automation entails using software to automate manual or repetitive business processes. However, in today’s high-tech environment, enterprise automation has come to mean something that operates on a much grander scale.
What Is Enterprise Automation?
Enterprise automation aims to improve efficiency, accuracy, productivity, and cost-effectiveness by reducing human intervention and automating routine tasks. It can be applied to a wide range of processes across different departments and functions within an organization, including finance, human resources, customer service, supply chain management, and more.
Increasingly, enterprise automation also implies using AI or machine learning to automate business processes. There are numerous processes and workflows that AI can handle more effectively and efficiently than humans, and leveraging these types of automation can help eliminate manual, repetitive tasks, and optimize business operations.
4 Types of Enterprise Automation
Four types and levels of enterprise automation can benefit your organization in varying ways. Consider which type aligns with your overarching business goals for the best outcomes.
Basic automation refers to implementing simple, straightforward, automated processes within an organization. It’s often used to address data management needs and typically involves using basic tools and technologies to streamline repetitive and manual tasks. Basic automation is the building block of larger automated systems.
Basic automation often includes using standard software applications or features that provide automation capabilities. It’s low- or no-code and is usually created or modified by individual users to suit their preferences or specific needs. For example, one of the most common basic automation processes is the humble spreadsheet formula.
Business Process Automation (BPA)
Business process automation (BPA) involves utilizing software tools to automate and streamline complex processes across different teams within an organization. These automated solutions are crucial in ensuring seamless collaboration and coordination among team members, particularly in documentation, task management, and communication systems.
BPA can create better data quality, improve worker efficiency, and save time across the tasks shared by various departments. This can help keep your teams on the same page and help your fledgling business through early-stage problems and growing pains.
Integration automation removes manual steps in exchanging and synchronizing data and workflows between different systems or applications within an organization. It involves leveraging technology and tools to seamlessly connect and integrate different systems, eliminating the need for data entry and reducing errors. Integration automation enhances data accuracy and security, as well as improves overall efficiency and productivity.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA uses software bots to perform repetitive, rules-based digital tasks the same way a human would, but more accurately and efficiently. These bots mimic human actions and interact with applications and systems to perform tasks such as data entry and extraction, form filling, and report generation. RPA enables organizations to optimize efficiency, reduce errors, and free up human resources for more strategic and complex activities and is the first step towards more intelligent automation.
Benefits of Using Enterprise Automation
Here are some of the key benefits of enterprise automation.
- Increased accuracy, efficiency, and productivity: Enterprise automation eliminates errors and reduces the time required to complete tasks. Employees can focus on value-added tasks, boosting overall efficiency and productivity.
- Streamlined workflow: Enterprise automation creates a seamless pipeline of tasks and information across different departments. It improves coordination, reduces bottlenecks, and enables faster decision-making. Ultimately, it enhances the overall workflow and prepares your business for AI-enhanced productivity.
- Improved collaboration: Enterprise automation tools facilitate better cooperation by providing a centralized platform for communication, document sharing, and real-time updates.
- Resource optimization: Automation optimizes resource allocation by eliminating redundant or unnecessary tasks and reallocating human resources to more strategic and high-value activities.
- Cost reduction: Enterprise automation helps reduce costs by minimizing manual labor and reducing errors. It can help organizations significantly save time, effort, and resources, reducing costs and improving profitability.
Enterprise Process Automation Examples
Curious about how enterprise process automation can help your organization? Here are just a few use cases:
Enterprise automation can facilitate intelligent lead generation and management. Automated tasks can help manage your sales pipeline and keep your customers happy with automated responses like chatbots to deal with basic problems quickly. Your sales staff will be able to spend more time on the more complicated tasks.
Supply Chain Automation
Like many other industries, manufacturing has seen its share of supply chain issues. Automation makes managing inventory easier through accurate stock-level tracking and streamlined order fulfillment. RPA can help with demand forecasting and better predict future customer demand. Logistics and distribution automation simplifies tasks like route planning, shipment tracking, and warehouse management, leading to faster order fulfillment, reduced errors, and improved supply chain visibility.
Enterprise automation benefits IT operations by simplifying and streamlining key processes. Incident management and ticketing automation systems ensure that problems are tracked and resolved, while server provisioning and configuration automation eliminate manual setup for faster deployment. Network monitoring and security automation enhance cybersecurity by continuously monitoring network activities, detecting threats, and automating responses.
For finance departments, automation can streamline operations and improve the accuracy of your financial reporting. Automation makes operations run faster, allowing for real-time data consolidation, analysis, and the generation of comprehensive reports. Invoice processing becomes more efficient, resulting in faster turnaround times and fewer errors. Accounts payable automation ensures timely payment processing and promotes accuracy in vendor management.
Automation can improve patient and practitioner experiences in healthcare settings. Healthcare data is protected and regulated, and integration platforms and automation can improve how healthcare practitioners handle this data. Automated patient appointment scheduling and reminders ensure efficient scheduling and can reduce no-shows. Electronic health record (EHR) streamlines data entry and retrieval, which lets practitioners update and access accurate patient information quickly and securely. Medical billing and claims processing automation simplifies the billing process, reduces errors, and accelerates reimbursement, leading to improved revenue cycle management.
How to Implement Enterprise Process Automation in Your Company
Enterprise process automation requires careful planning, collaboration, and the right tools. Follow these steps to introduce automation into your organization effectively:
- Assess and prioritize processes that you want to be automated. Begin by identifying the processes that would benefit most from automation. Consider factors such as complexity, frequency, and potential impact on efficiency. An intelligent organization prioritizes processes based on their importance to its goals and overall effectiveness.
- Calculate the cost and ROI while setting clear goals for the automations. Evaluate the costs of implementing automation, including software licensing, infrastructure requirements, and any necessary training. You also need a realistic idea of what you want your automation to do. Don’t be vague. Set specific goals, such as reducing process time or increasing accuracy. This will make it easier to measure the success of your implementation.
- Identify the right automation tools by considering factors like scalability, compatibility with existing systems, ease of use, and vendor support. Look for tools that offer a range of automation capabilities, such as workflow design, data integration, and task automation, to meet your organization’s needs.
- Collaborate with everybody involved in the tasks being automated. This includes your department heads, IT teams, and end-users. Collaboration and communication will ensure a smooth transition.
- Once everybody is on board, it’s time to design and build the automation workflows. Work closely with your team to map out the steps, decision points, and data flow involved in each process. Leverage your selected automation tools to create efficient and effective workflows that align with your business requirements.
- Finally, integrate automations with integration platform as a service (iPaaS). This provides a centralized platform for connecting and managing your automated processes and workflows, ensuring seamless data exchange and communication between different applications and systems. It simplifies the integration process and allows scalability and flexibility as your automation initiatives expand.
Enterprise automation makes your organization more competitive. Adopting it can be a smooth, streamlined process. With Boomi, companies can seamlessly connect applications, systems, and data sources to streamline complex workflows and enable efficient automation. From data integration to process orchestration, Boomi offers a unified platform to accelerate digital transformation.
With Boomi, you can embrace an AI-first strategy essential for success in today’s competitive landscape. This approach empowers your organization to harness the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize operations, drive innovation, and achieve business goals.
Discover the benefits of an AI-first approach today with Boomi’s robust automation solutions.