Automation often plays a critical role in the success of modern businesses. However, automating a large corporation with access to the financial resources necessary to restructure the organization is a very different matter from developing automated workflows for a small firm.
Indeed, scale and lack of financial resources are among the leading reasons why small companies lag in terms of workflow automation. That’s why, in order to be successful, smaller operations need to become more familiar with the available options, because workflow automation is entirely possible, no matter what the size of your business might be.
Embrace the Cloud
One of the best tools for small businesses who seek workflow automation solutions in the cloud because cloud technologies are designed to be scalable. That makes them both affordable and adaptable; that is, able to serve businesses with just a few employees as well as those with hundreds.
In addition, since a growing number of businesses rely on cloud-based programs to support other core functions of their operation, such as customer relationship management and creative collaboration, embracing cloud-based workflow automation is a simple next step.
In addition to cost, another common barrier to workflow automation in small businesses would be the fact that many platforms rely on code-heavy tools to establish automation pathways, and many small firms don’t have staff with the skills to make use of this. Luckily, there are alternatives.
Low- or no-code workflow automation software uses simple visual interfaces accessible to any user, regardless of coding comprehension, to outline the necessary task pathways. Using such tools to automate repetitive tasks, which often make up the bulk of monthly and weekly activities, saves time and money while allowing staff to focus their talents on more important tasks.
The Drive to Do More
Although small businesses have been behind for a number of years in terms of automation, one major advantage of last year’s pandemic is that more of these firms have felt the pressure to upgrade their technology. Thus, we’ve seen substantial growth in task automation, along with the realization that, in order to be successful, they will need more IT support.
Despite the distress it may have caused, the pandemic has been a clarifying force for small businesses, and in that way, it may actually drive long-term success and innovation.
The AI Angle
Finally, in order to understand workflow automation fully, it’s critical for us to consider the role that expanded and improved AI plays in such tools. In order to maximize machine-led processes, the reality is that machines need to get smarter.
Such intelligence is at the heart of process or workflow automation, but so are low-code interfaces that allow a more diverse set of workers to lead these processes. Intelligent process automation is also likely to play a role in tasks like onboarding, logistics, and software development as time goes on.
That means high-tech platforms will increasingly need to emphasize user-friendly interfaces, especially when they try to serve small business audiences.
Workflow automation is vital for small companies that want to ensure their employees’ skills are truly being put to use, and who are tired of wasting precious time communicating basic processes across the organization. The fortunate news is that accessible automation’s time has come.
Any business can make these platforms work without going bankrupt on advanced technology or overwhelming staff with incomprehensible tools. It’s time to go low/no-code and keep things moving steadily forward.