Businesses today are more productive than they were ever before, largely thanks to technology. The pace of business has increased exponentially. We can see this in every industry around us. It used to take multiple days to complete bank processes that can happen instantly now. Collaboration was almost impossible between two different teams in different locations. Technology makes everything work faster and better. However, the marginal benefits of technology are getting lower when it comes to productivity.
See our recently published blog post “Bringing policy and procedure management into the digital age”
There isn’t a lot of room for improvement in our current technology, we seem to have hit a wall. The next step is artificial intelligence, which will have the potential to completely automate most of the work, but no one knows how long it will take us to successfully create AI that can work autonomously. For now, any business that wants to increase productivity needs to look at the benefits of workflow automation.
What Is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation is a process that increases the efficiency and productivity of manual work by automating as much of the manual process as possible. The focus on automation is to create processes which can be run autonomously by computers. In contrast, workflow automation is specifically for processes which require human input. Since it is impossible with today’s technology to completely automate business processes, the smart businesses of today are focusing on workflow automation.
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How Business Workflow Automation Works
It is hard to imagine how we can automate tasks such as auditing, compliance, and risk management. While large parts of these processes can be automated, they still require a lot of human input and interaction. An auditor must go out and investigate and talk to people to get the data needed. There is no machine equivalent of that – we cannot automate auditing because computers are not intelligent enough to investigate and report problems. They will be if artificial intelligence is developed but that time is far away.
However, there are many tasks and processes within auditing which can be automated. We cannot automate the investigation itself, but we can add document workflow documentation. The auditor will still have to do the auditing itself, but all the work related to collecting, storing, parsing, and sharing documents and information can be automated. We can also automate scheduling – enterprise workflow automation for auditing automatically notified stakeholders when an audit is due.
Get more details with our blog post “Policy and Procedure Workflow Management Simplified”
We just talked about two domains within auditing where workflow automation systems can work. These systems automate hundreds of sub-processes. The result is a workflow process that is exponentially faster. These workflow automation processes permeate every part of the business, increasing productivity and efficiency.
The Benefits of Workflow Automation Go Beyond Productivity
Productivity and efficiency grow with workflow automation but that’s not all – it has many other benefits as well. It makes a major impact on management. It is very easy for management to get a holistic view of all the work going on in the organization. Since so much of the work is automated, the information is also being automatically updated within the system and can be viewed by managers. Automation also plays a major role in improving compliance and risk management. The tracking and monitoring of risk and compliance is almost completely automated, leaving qualified compliance and risk managers with time to work on bigger projects.
Want to know more about the benefits of workflow automation check “Increase Operational Efficiency and Productivity with Better Business Policy Management”
There are many different approaches to workflow automation. Some businesses have automation systems developed according to their requirements. While this results in a major boost in efficiency it has two major flaws. One is that the cost associated with the development of such a customized enterprise workflow automation system is too high for small to medium businesses and is only viable for large enterprises. The second, and even bigger problem is that the customized solution will also need customized management. The business will either have to pay the developers of the system hefty fees for maintenance or create their own team which will focus only on maintaining and updating the system.
Workflow automation systems that operate on the cloud present a better, more convenient approach towards automation. The systems are fairly customizable – not as much as bespoke systems, obviously – and they are maintained by the service providers since they are on the cloud. If you want to see how workflow automation can increase the productivity and efficiency within your organization, Predict360 Policy and Procedure Management is what you are looking for. Get in touch with our team to get a trial and demonstration of what our solution can do for your business.
About the Company
360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.