Enterprise Automation for People, Process, and Technology: The Tech Part
When we experienced the first birth pangs of the pandemic, when we thought it might only last a few weeks, when we ran to buy toilet paper and wore gloves, not yet realizing that masks were the real key, when we weren’t sure who to turn to for guidance, Mitratech knew that “business continuity” would be crucial to making it through a volatile time.
We addressed the changes in the business sphere by showing our customers how they could pivot to paperless, because no one could get back in the office, anyway. We offered free COVID workflows to help companies take in new information, and we pivoted these workflows quickly as new information came our way.
And really, we guided our customers to thinking about what continuity means in a time of change. We knew that the move to the hybrid workforce was going to effect the way people think about work. So while we were invested in keeping calm and carrying on, we also knew that the pandemic marked a turning point. We knew that the new normal would not be the same as the before-normal.
We knew that within the panic, fear, and sadness, there was a business opportunity to cut back on what hadn’t been working for years and to really embrace the future of work.
Stabilize your situation
We suggested that folks start by stabilizing the situation at work: figuring out what needed to happen on a daily or even hourly basis to stay safe and keep it going. But then, we suggested that once the crisis was stabilized, that they begin to adapt. We wanted to make” business as usual” more air-tight, more secure, more agile, so that when the next crisis hits, our teams are ready for it.
The fact is, we are beginning to adjust to this new normal, but we have to stay vigilant. The world has changed. As a result of the pandemic, companies are rapidly changing the way they conduct business by leveraging technology and innovation. Only one in ten companies expect all employees to return to their pre-pandemic work arrangements; a hybrid workforce is a certainty for most, who will rely on technology to ensure efficiency and collaboration.
While we start to merge the present “business as usual” with an understanding of what the future holds, enterprise workflow automation becomes a no-brainer. Business leaders are in the position of being asked to do much more with less while trying to keep teams of remote or geographically separated employees engaged.
Those employees now have an expectation that modern technology is available to eliminate manual, repetitive work. The equation is pretty simple: more remote workers who are more dependent on virtual communication than ever want to eliminate their manual, repetitive work.
Employers who want to give their employees what they need see enterprise workflow automation as a way to kill three birds with one stone: increase efficiency, connect geographically remote employees with technology, and drive down costs by using one tool across the enterprise.
On average, 41% of employees outside of IT – or business technologists – customize or build data or technology solutions. Gartner predicts that half of all new low-code clients will come from business buyers that are outside the IT organization by year-end 2025.
Some best practices for enterprise automation transformation
So what do business leaders need to keep in mind?
- Making sure that whenever there is a manual process that can be automated, that it gets automated.
- Making sure that whenever an employee has an idea for improving a process, that he or she is empowered to improve it.
- Making sure that even a platform owned by IT can be dispersed across different departments, and that those departments feel empowered by them.
When looking for an enterprise workflow platform that will work for every department, from HR to Legal, from Procurement to Sales, it’s important to validate the following:
- Ease of use: Make sure you are looking at platforms that are built for self-service. Can a user design and publish workflows for any process without any code, IT or developer involvement?
- Cross functional adaptability: Your tool should be the center hub that brings together processes across multiple functions and departments. Have you found one SaaS process automation tool to rule them all?
- Flexibility and scalability: Your processes change quickly, so your technology needs to as well. Does your process empower users to take on agile methodology? Does it enable iterative design and implementation?
- Comprehensive integrations: If your enterprise platform can’t integrate seamlessly with anything that has an API, swipe left. You are working across the enterprise: you need to be able to configure custom integrations or integrate smoothly with major software applications, including a robust set of advanced REST API and eSign integrations.
- Reporting and analytics: If your enterprise workflow platform is not reporting on the processes it claims to make more efficient, it is going to end up being even more work. You need a tool that provides easy access to reports in a variety of formats, providing one-click visibility and transparency across your whole organization.
The benefits of enterprise workflow automation
Once your enterprise workflow automation platform is set up, watch the benefits roll in.
- Immediate ROI: The right platform will provide immediate access to the entire set of tools needed for intuitive, drag-and-drop workflow automation and process transformation.
- Lower Total Cost of Investment: Reduce your TCI thanks to no infrastructure requirements, predictable pricing, and the ability to embed risk and compliance best practices within processes.
- Centralization and collaboration: Gain global access to centralized documents, workflow statuses, and analytics with real-time collaboration. The winning platform should have permissions so that no one sees anything other than what they need to see, but everything that they should.
- Engaged employees: A tool that encourages citizen developers to take the reins is one that will drive employee engagement and keep your teams feeling empowered. There are two goals here: to show employees that they can help improve processes, and to use those improved processes to free up their time for higher value work.
- Airtight compliance: With a workflow tool that works across the enterprise, your teams track and monitor every transaction across all workflow, with a single source of truth and audit trails.
- Adaptive mindsets: When the next crisis hits (and the one thing we know is that another crisis always hits), your workflow automation platform should give you confidence that you will be able to take in new information and easily pivot. Workflow automation is cool in the face of crisis: those who wield it know that a simple drag and drop is all that stands between them and an improved process that meets future needs.