Why Automation Is the Way Forward for Businesses

The market is providing businesses with plenty of opportunities to grow. There are new markets to access and a growing number of potential customers in almost every industry. Businesses are leveraging these opportunities and expanding their operations as a response. Even small businesses can scale up exponentially in today’s economy.

Automation Software Technology Process System Business concept

Scaling up, however, can be difficult when you don’t have the resources to do so. With many businesses scaling up at the same time, finding great talent and other resources needed to sustain such a rapid growth is difficult. This is why more businesses turn to automation as one of the solutions, and there are some very good reasons why automation is the way forward.

Access to Technology and Talents

The fields of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics are on trend right now. More professionals are going back to school for the purpose of mastering these fields. The high demand for AI specialists, electrical and computer engineers, and data scientists is also pushing more reputable universities like Kettering University Online to keep their curriculums up to date.

An electrical and computer engineering master’s degree is also valuable because of the wealth of skills and knowledge it comes with. You can, for example, find an MS Engineering-ECE-Advanced Mobility program to learn more about advanced mobility and how AI and robotics can be used to improve autonomous vehicles at different scales and levels.

The technology behind automation is improving rapidly. More importantly, the same technology is becoming more accessible. Enterprise-grade solutions like IBM Watson and Google’s Vision AI are just an API call away, which means small and medium enterprises can now tap into automation as a way of scaling up in a more efficient way.

A More Efficient Way

That last part is another reason why automation is the way forward for businesses: there is an opportunity to reach a higher level of efficiency through careful use of automation. At the very basic level, automation can take care of mundane, everyday tasks as well as repetitive processes. This means key talents can focus on more advanced tasks and additional resources can be freed up.

Automation in business can be very basic. Instead of manually filing purchase orders, for instance, an automated system can handle the task easily. All customer orders are processed and analyzed to determine the right purchase orders (i.e. for raw materials) to issue. Thanks to machine learning, this process can be optimized further.

The key talents that were normally handling this task can then move on to more important challenges, such as boosting sales and drawing the attention of more potential customers. As a result, the business can grow and capitalize on market growth without having to expand structurally. Isn’t that the most efficient way to go?

Process Reduction

Another key benefit offered by automation is the reduction of processes within a business’s operations. Rather than pouring resources into automating 100 tasks, the very process of automating workflows and processes allows businesses to do a more thorough review of those processes. Streamlining becomes the next step to take at this point.

Process reduction isn’t just good for efficiency. In order for a business to scale up without suffering from the stress of more overhead costs and operational delays, it is important to move on to a more streamlined and concise series of processes. The process of implementing automation simply makes going through and optimizing every process well worth the efforts.

Redundant processes can be merged and made more efficient. Other processes that still require manual work can be redesigned or replaced completely. It all comes down to the needs of your business as well as the challenges you face on the market. One thing is certain though: there are always ways to improve business processes.

Data-Driven from A to Z

Automation relies heavily on streams of data, and that’s a good thing. Through the implementation of automation across the organization, you also gain the opportunity to fine-tune data streams and how you utilize them. You can, for example, automate tracking customers along the sales funnel using automation tools from Salesforce or ActiveCampaign.

Since there is no need to analyze data streams manually, you also gain the ability to tap into more streams and external sources of information. This gives you access to a wider view of the market, which in turn can be a huge competitive advantage. When you understand your market segment perfectly, you can tailor your operations to that segment just as perfectly.

Automation leads to more data-driven decisions being made on a regular basis. At one point, you can start letting AI make some decisions for you. The previous example of purchase order issuance shows how AI and the right data streams can also be used to automate mission-critical decisions in an organization.

Automation in the Cloud

The last, and perhaps the biggest, reason why automation is now used by more and more businesses is actually cloud computing. In the old days, you would have to invest in servers and supporting infrastructure to access this level of automation. Today, cloud-based business solutions already have automation tools built into the user interface.

ActiveCampaign, for example, can be integrated with a wealth of other tools, including your ecommerce website. It automatically tracks customers and learns more about them before sending content – emails, ads, etc. – that matches specific customers and where they are in the sales funnel. It doesn’t just optimize your marketing campaign; it transforms the customer experience too.

It is only a matter of time before automation becomes more integrated and more advanced – before it becomes more accessible and more robust as a solution to scalability challenges. That brings us full circle to the underlying technology and talents behind automation. As universities and their engineering programs train more AI and automation experts, more use cases will be visible on the market.

Here’s another bit of great news: you can start today. Automation tools and solutions are widely available and integrating them into your business processes is nowhere near as difficult as you think.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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