In today’s fast-paced business world, technology is crucial for streamlining processes through automation. Do you recall when technology was simpler and understanding automation was more straightforward? As computers and IT emerged, automation became more complex and challenging to implement. Now, with the rise of advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), the rapid evolution of business automation can be perplexing. This leaves many of us wondering, “What is automation, exactly?”. Well, let’s clear this up. In this article, I’ll explain what business automation is today and its benefits. Further, this article will introduce you to the different types of automation to include the use of AI and emerging business automation trends.
“You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re getting automated.”Tom Preston-Werner
Definition Of What Is Automation For Businesses.
Automation is the use of technology to perform tasks with minimal human intervention. In particular, businesses need automation to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and manage repetitive tasks without taking up valuable time and resources. By automating processes, companies can focus on strategic decision-making and innovation while cutting operational costs.
For business automation, I like the following definition from the International Society Of Automation (ISA).
“the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”ISA
So automation is more than just technology. It is the “creation and application of technology …”. Also, information technology is a major enabler of automation. However, automation can leverage a wide range of technologies. This can include robotics, AI systems, telemetry and communications, electro-optics, process measurement and control, sensors, wireless applications, systems integration, test measurement, and much more.
Also, in most use cases automation is supporting businesses, automating business-oriented activities and processes. Specifically, automation is implemented “… to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”
Lastly, a by-product of automation is that it transforms the nature of work within the business. For instance, automation can assist humans in conducting their tasks, or augment human workers, or replace them. Over the years, automation has phased out many jobs such as telephone switch operators. At the same time businesses have replaced these jobs with new job types such as software programmers, cell phone sales persons, and so on. So I would expect this phenomenon to continue in the future where old jobs will be phased out and new jobs will emerge as a result of automation. Indeed, I absolutely believe this trend will continue with the widespread use of AI automation.
2. How Businesses Benefit From Automation.
There are numerous benefits that automation brings to businesses. Also, as automation leverages new technologies and methodologies, the more benefits there are for businesses. Below are the five major automation business benefits.
- Cost Reduction. By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can reduce labor costs and minimize errors. Hence, this leads to significant cost savings.
- Increased Productivity. Automation can help businesses streamline processes and increase efficiency. Thus, this allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks and ultimately boost productivity.
- High Availability. Automated systems can operate 24/7 without interruption. Consequently, this ensures that critical business functions are always available.
- Increased Reliability. Automation can reduce the risk of human error and ensure consistent results. Hence, this leads to increased reliability and quality of output.
- Optimized Performance. By analyzing data and making adjustments in real-time, automated systems can optimize performance and improve overall business outcomes.
For more examples and details on the benefits of automation, see Fortra’ 5 Benefits of Automation: The Advantages of Automation.
Business Automation AI Remake: To Empower Processes And Operate Autonomously.
We have traditionally utilized business automation to enhance productivity and eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks. However, with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), there are now instances where automation can handle analytical and even creative tasks that were previously carried out by humans.
Click here to explore the various types of business automation available today. This article provides you with real-life examples for automation categories to include process automation, personal assistant automation, augmented AI, and autonomous AI. All these types of automation are aimed at streamlining and enhancing business operations. Lastly, discover the latest trends in the automation landscape: hyperautomation and intelligent automation.
Greetings! As an independent supply chain tech expert with 30+ years of hands-on experience, I take great pleasure in providing actionable insights to logistics leaders. My background includes implementing 100s of innovative solutions using emerging technologies and a data-centric development approach. I have also provided business intelligence (BI) solutions for 1,000s of shippers. For more about me, click here.