Don’t Wait for Business Automation!
Every SMB decision maker is asking themselves the same question when it comes to business automation: When should I do it?
Without ending the blog with a one-word answer, we’re going to be taking a look today at some of the concerns SMBs have when deciding whether to automate their processes.
The simple truth of the matter is that automation is here to stay.
53% of companies have already started their journey with investment in RPA (robotic process automation), and this is anticipated to increase to 72% in the next two years
Businesses are already using automation technologies, like RPA, in record numbers.
As automation tech begins to take hold, organizations are looking to their competitors and wondering when they should consider implementing it themselves.
Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons SMBs are embracing automation and why you shouldn’t wait any longer to take advantage.
Why Aren’t Some SMBs Automating?
The obvious answer here is cost, and not just in terms of money.
Revamping your business processes can be a big undertaking.
In fact, one of the reasons decision makers are turned off by these types of projects is reading horror stories about other businesses’ failed attempts.
Forbes reported back in 2016 that 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. Despite this, organizations are investing more than ever in DX, with 80% of businesses now pursuing digital transformation of some kind
This is primarily because organizations that fail in achieving their goals are let down by poor strategy and leadership.
This leads to hesitancy and a general reluctance to engage in automation by leaders in organizations.
Hesitancy is particularly true among SMBs, especially if they already have an established set of processes that have been in place over months or years.
There is also a subset of businesses that are concerned automation will take away jobs from employees, but for most this won’t be the case at all.
Automation is primarily meant as a compliment to human workers, not to replace them.
Only about 6% of companies in Europe and the United States expect their workforce to shrink as a result of automation and artificial intelligence
Unfortunately, for most businesses, transformation is not a choice but a necessity—something that many SMBs are recognizing as automation solutions become more readily accessible.
This means that one way or another they need to find a way to successfully transform their work processes or risk being outmaneuvered by competitors.
This reluctance to automate processes can be far more costly than the solutions themselves, and a failure to recognize this need as part of an overall business strategy will cause much more panic down the road.
Why Would I Want Business Automation?
There are several reasons for an SMB to automate, even if they don’t appear immediately apparent.
79% of SMBs say that implementing automation solutions delivered time savings
Business automation means getting rid of those time-consuming, repetitive, manual tasks.
A staggering 90% of workers are burdened with these types of tasks on a daily basis.
Not only does this waste their time and your money, but it heaps on a multitude of other factors too, like reducing job satisfaction.
For everyday tasks that don’t require human intervention, paying someone to do that task can be incredibly costly to a growing SMB.
Utilizing business automation means you’re freeing up a substantial number of man-hours which can distributed as you please.
Employees who previously spent inordinate amounts of time inputting data can instead be used to focus on jobs that need a human touch.
Automating processes means digitizing them.
With digital transformation, businesses should be looking to engage with their processes in a way they’ve never done before.
In this case, by managing your data flows in a more predictable manner, you can gain insights into your processes and make business decisions that you’ve never had the opportunity to make before.
Human error is part of life, except for when it doesn’t have to be.
In many automatable processes conducted by humans, there are errors to be expected. These can be costly to a business of any size.
Robots, on the other hand, make virtually no mistakes and can perform tasks like data entry in a fraction of the time.
Moreover, they can work day and night, 365 days a year.
At Impact, we understand that introducing new solutions into a workplace can be a daunting and disruptive endeavor—we don’t shy away from that.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons we place a strong emphasis on ambition and pragmatism when we work with businesses to help them get to where they need to be.
When we spoke earlier about SMBs failing in their digital transformations, it almost always comes down to a select few causes:
- Overzealous leadership: Decision makers introducing too much, too fast and overwhelming their workforce with new processes and solutions without adequate preparation
- Disengaged leadership: Transformations that don’t come from the top or without the right leadership, meaning a workforce that isn’t engaged or isn’t involved
- Too much ambition: Ambition is essential, but too much can lead to disappointment. Businesses who sky-high goals for their digital plans are often in fact just setting themselves up for failure
Businesses who deploy change for the sake of change are destined to experience the kind of fatigue that contributes to employee disengagement and burnout.
For many, a simple email server migration could be the first big step for their journey. For others, a chatbot.
Business Automation: Your Business’s Future
You shouldn’t wait around for business automation—your competitors aren’t.
Nor should you delay it or put it off.
Instead, start seriously considering how it could be of use to you.
But as we just mentioned, be gradual and take care not to rush.
One of the reasons we work with our clients on a long-term basis is because we know—having gone (and still going) through digital transformation ourselves—that these things require time and dedication.
Don’t think of automation as a one-and-done deal. Be wary of service providers who make grand promises of digital strategies that complete in mere months.
Take a look at what robotic process automation implementation looks like for an SMB with our blog post.
Automation will take time, but the benefits of introducing into your business speak for themselves.
It’s the reason so many others are doing so: more efficient work processes; less repetitive work; cost reductions; and more data analysis for business decisions.
Automation helps companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry. Through leveraging the tools available, which increase staff productivity and decrease costs—companies can enjoy higher operating capacity while delivering superior customer experience.
Automation is just one aspect of digital transformation which is changing the way small businesses operate in today’s constantly evolving landscape. To learn more about how you can modernize your organization, reach out to our Managed IT team and speak to one of our experts today!