Imagine going through thousands of emails and sorting them out manually. It would take hours and probably even days to get the job done. Similarly, if the accounts team has to store every financial document and tally them at the end of every month, it would lead to exhaustion and depleted motivation.
Thanks to technological advancements, a lot has changed in the business world. Digital transformation and business process automation (BPA) have become the buzzwords in the current business landscape. Without a doubt, business process automation has made positive changes across different industries. Having said that, there are a few glaring drawbacks, which put forward the argument of whether automation in the workplace is worth the hype.
A McKinsey and Co report said that around 66% of businesses piloted the automation of business processes across at least one business function. In 2022, investments in digital transformation are likely to surpass $1.8 trillion, and by the end of 2025, that figure is projected to touch $2.8 trillion.
But the real question that continues to make the rounds is whether automation in the workplace is a good or bad thing. To understand this, we need to answer a few important questions. Let’s take a look at where automation should be deployed, and which business verticals can do without it.
Which business processes can be automated?
Before you hop on to the business process automation bandwagon, it is essential to understand the area of the business that needs automation. BPA can bring about many changes in day-to-day work. A significant chunk of daily work includes mundane and repetitive tasks. Hence, when you decide to automate such tasks, it can bring improvements.
Here are a few instances where machines can outperform humans.
HR services such as approving sick leaves, tallying attendance, and more consume a lot of time. When you automate these services, you can extract and process data much faster. Besides, you eliminate the possibility of human errors that occurred when large data sets were handled manually.
Here is another example. Insurance firms have to deal with thousands of documents each day. Without automation, the back office has to invest a considerable amount of time to verify underwriting and customer information. It goes without saying that without automation, it is a tedious task and requires a lot of concentration. Automating such monotonous and dull tasks can free up many employees. Besides, these employees can work on other important tasks.
By now, we have seen that automating dull, repetitive, time-consuming, and mundane tasks is more logical as they require excellent data handling abilities and concentration. If you are considering automating such tasks, automation in the workplace is likely to be a boon.
Business processes where automation may not work
Right from the beginning of this article, we are emphasizing that automating the wrong processes could incur heavy losses. Now that we know which business processes can be automated, let us find out which business processes can do without automation.
As a business owner, it is easy to sway along with the automation trends and automate every part of your business. However, this is exactly why businesses make losses; poor decision-making. When a business relies on automation entirely, even a small error could potentially disrupt all the other processes. It will become difficult to find out which business process is faulty. It is a good idea to deploy automation step-by-step, without making frantic and impulsive decisions.
There are a few aspects of a business wherein automation can take a bad step. For example, automating customer service phone calls may not be a good idea. As a customer, it can become a bit frustrating to answer random questions and hold sequences. In such cases, interaction with another human being is likely to be more fruitful. Hence, automating long phone trees may not create a smooth experience for customers.
Automating interviews with HR may not be a good idea either. This approach eliminates the human touch and could lead to the recruitment of the wrong candidates. Although the idea of automating all your business processes may be tempting, it may not turn out as expected.
State of business process automation in 2022
Automation in the workplace continues to gain popularity worldwide, driven by the need to provide better customer service and gain a competitive edge. Some of the key business areas where automation is gradually taking over include sales, marketing, customer service, finance, and more.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, businesses are continuously evaluating new ways to boost productivity and efficiency. Automation has emerged as a feasible and inexpensive option to attain these business objectives.
Today, automation is a critical part of the digital transformation strategy of many companies. This trend is expected to continue in the future as awareness and the benefits of automation become more obvious. In addition, since automation technology has become more accessible to businesses than before, more and more companies are on board with the idea.
If you are wondering which marketing automation tool is right for your business, we have you covered. Check out all the marketing automation tools on ToolsMetric, compare features and pricing, and take the right decision.
We have taken a look at the impact of automation on different processes. It should be noted that although automation offers significant benefits, deploying it across all business processes may not be a good idea. As a business leader, your decisions should be based on thorough research and analysis.
We at ToolsMetric are here to help you through your digital transformation. Continue reading similar articles on ToolsMetric to get in-depth insights.
 Georgiou. M (2022) “30+ Statistics That Prove Why Companies Need to Embrace Business Automation in 2022” Imaginovation Insider [online] Available from: https://imaginovation.net/blog/business-automation-statistics/ [accessed July 2022]
 Sava.A (2022) “Spending on digital transformation technologies and services worldwide from 2017 to 2025” Statista [online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/870924/worldwide-digital-transformation-market-size/ [accessed July 2022]