There’s no denying that automation in business is here to stay: A 2020 Deloitte Survey found a 58 percent increase in intelligent automation initiatives underway compared with the previous year. But before diving in headfirst to automate every possible process you can find, it’s important to consider the setbacks that accompany automation.
Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of using automation in your workplace.
By automating manual processes, you may increase productivity. For instance, without automation, it may take four hours for your data entry clerk to manually sort out and perform quality assurance checks of your inventory log.
With automated processes, these entries and QA processes could be completed in a fraction of the time. Not only does the job get done faster, but workers can focus their energies on more complex, strategic initiatives.
According to the Corporate Finance Institute, the primary cause of data loss is human error. With automation, you can rest assured that tasks will be completed as inputted.
Automation also encourages the standardization of processes, making it easier to map out your business operations and communicate them to others. With standardization, it can be easier to identify errors and ultimately iterate upon and improve your workflows.
When errors arise in important processes, the consequences can be costly: Datto has surfaced that just an hour of downtime due to data loss can cost your business between $10,000 and $5 million.
With the right automation processes, you can cut down on those costs: Salesforce shows that 57% of IT leaders say that automation technology saves departments between 10% and 50% on costs previously associated with manual processing.
As a bonus, automation may have a hand in boosting team morale and improving work-life satisfaction! A Cornerstone study showed that a whopping 68% of employees have suffered from work overload when they have too much to handle on a daily basis. By automating processes, your team may be able to cut out unnecessary work, reducing stress and potentially improving performance in other areas.
Depending on what your workplace needs, implementing the tools and software needed for day-to-day automation processes can initially be very costly. According to Salesforce, 37% of organizations have raised implementation costs as a barrier to implementing automation.
For small businesses with smaller cash buffers, the high startup cost, the cost of implementing automation processes, as well as the time required to set up and learn about managing these processes, are reasons enough not to foray into automation. While it may save money in the long run, automation may be unrealistic if funds are depleted before returns can be seen.
Depending on the software or technical aptitude of those overseeing the automation, as well as how you implement automation, it may necessitate a specialized person to make the necessary changes, also contributing to increased costs. Once automations are implemented, depending on the software that you are using, it may be hard to change the parameters that are set.
To successfully integrate and implement automation at work, your team will need to acquire new and more advanced skills. McKinsey predicts that the demand for technological skills with respect to automation will rise in the next decade by 50 percent. In tandem, the need for soft skills that cannot be automated, such as relationship-building and effective communication will also continue to rise. While it will certainly help businesses in the long run, reskilling and upskilling require an investment of time, resources, and patience to close existing skill gaps.
With automation, workers may be able to benefit from more creative, high-skill jobs. But when choosing to automate, you should carefully consider what processes can be automated without potentially hindering your business.
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