Planning for Success with Automation
As a manager, you’re considering replacing an existing system with an automated workflow platform. Perhaps you’ve found that too much of your time is spent allocating and managing resources for day-to-day tasks, and you aren’t able to spend as much time as you’d prefer focusing on larger business issues. Maybe a legacy system has begun generating error after error, and your operators and developers are too entrenched in maintenance of the existing system to focus on new work. Whatever the case – you’re ready for automation to make your life easier, and let you focus on the work you’d like to do.
Through years of experience working with dozens of companies, from small startups to international financial corporations, we’ve identified a few key benefits that consistently reveal themselves when you add a workflow automation platform to your business:
- Consolidate disparate systems and tasks. A good workflow tool is platform-agnostic and will run anywhere and integrate with any system you need. Whether you’re manipulating an enterprise database, transferring data to or from business intelligence systems, or (if the workflow tool offers MFT) offloading files from an FTP server, your workflow tool has you covered.
- Identify inefficiencies. Free of the deeply technical nature of programming and scripting, redundancies become obvious, manual data entry points can be eliminated, and concurrency can be added to allow your system resources to be used efficiently as possible.
- Think about tasks in a high-level way. Similarly, you will find that the workflow tool’s inherently visual nature makes high-level relationships between your tasks and platforms immediately apparent. Unnecessary complexities can be spotted and removed.
- Visualizing processes in logical order helps clarify business rules. Occasionally, dependencies become entrenched in systems when the business rules that defined those dependencies no longer apply. When workflows are visually laid out, business rules can be clarified, redesigned, and reshaped to meet modern needs.
- Guarantee that tasks are performed correctly. Your workflow tool will test for results as it runs through your tasks, checking results for both system errors and compliance with business rules. If a task gives a bad result, the system can let somebody know, make changes on its own, or otherwise perform whatever remediation steps you need.
- Automate error handling. When an error occurs, you need to know about it. Whether a backup task should run immediately, the failed process needs to be retried, or an operator should be alerted at once, the workflow tool can do what you need.
- Tasks are never forgotten or lost. Everything is tracked and automated by the system. Workflow rarely depend on human interaction – and when they do, automated reminders (configurable to a wide variety of user endpoints) ensure that workflows don’t get lost in the shuffle of a busy workday.
- Team members can find what they need, when they need it. You decide what information is revealed to your team members, guaranteeing that everybody has access to what they need, without being overwhelmed by superfluous data. Operators can check the status of a task, review its output, or interactively pause and resume it on demand.
- Auditable data in a central database. Historic information about task execution is stored in a central database and made available through a number of endpoints. Whether you prefer to query a database for information about your processes and their results, invoke an API, or view them through a web interface, the data is available and accessible through a wide variety of platforms.
- Automatic tracking of statistics. Over time, patterns in workflows reveal themselves. Use these statistics to empower your team to make changes to tasks that need improvement, or identify areas where unnecessary dependencies or data entry tasks are holding up critical action items.
As you can see, workflow automation is a valuable tool for any organization. Use this information to empower yourself in making the right choice for workflow automation for your team!