Can you afford not to automate your business processes?

There have been many changes over the years from the Wright brother's first flight to man landing on the moon.

There have been many changes over the years from the Wright brother’s first flight to man landing on the moon. As far as technology goes, it’s always improving, and improving at a startling rate! We are getting faster, going further and being more efficient, so why can’t our business processes advance the same way, become faster, more flexible, and more efficient? So, can you afford to automate your business processes, or should we be asking can you afford not to?


Business processes have come a long way since the introduction of mechanisation and steam power in 1784. 1870 was the start of mass production, assembly lines and electrical energy, then automation, computers, and electronics were introduced in 1969 – which doesn’t feel that long ago!

This brings us to today, the industrial revolution 4.0. Industry 4.0 brings cyber-physical systems, internet of things and network – sounds scary, but what does all this mean for organisations and business processes?

A business process could be anything from a paper-based system to spread-sheets, which many companies still use to this day, and manage to operate just fine. But, are they getting the most out of their business processes or are outdated methods costing time and money which could be better utilised?


Time, time is something that no one on earth can stop, slow down or get back. Time is probably the most valuable commodity we all have, yet regularly gets overlooked. When it comes to business processes,

  • 60% of occupations could save 30% of their time simply with the introduction of automation.
  • Some of the key tasks that can be automated to save valuable time include generating sales leads, approving paperwork and processing documents.
  • On average, professionals take 18 minutes to locate a document manually and 50% of their time searching for information.
  • CEOs spend almost 20% of their time on work that could be automated, such as analysing operational data and reviewing status reports.

If we consider time, what could we achieve by saving time by automating business processes?

Well, the key benefits include,

  • Increased efficiency and cost savings
  • Improved information quality and accessibility
  • Embrace best practice
  • Senior stakeholder visibility
  • Management information and reporting
  • Legislative compliance and process conformance
  • Automated communication
  • Leveraging value locked up in existing information
  • Can replace legacy or old tech solutions
  • Enables remote or field-based workers
  • Minimises human error and duplication
  • Supports planning and scheduling
  • Improves data security
  • Supports the customer experience strategy


Are the difficulties staff face having to multi-task costing your business in more ways than one, switching from task to task, their main task not getting 100% of their concentration? Multi-tasking is often seen as being productive, but is this the case? Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can be counterproductive and costs companies 40% of lost productivity simply due to constant task-switching.


Productivity and efficient business processes help staff to be more productive, and automated business processes take time-consuming tasks away from employees. Customers will benefit from a better experience, eliminating issues such as miscommunication, delays, or human error. At the end of the day, we are all human.

  • 73% of customer support professionals said that managing time and the workload was the biggest issue faced in their role, having an impact on the support customers receive, resulting in unsatisfactory customer experience.
  • With the marketing department bringing leads into the business, 80% of marketing automation users see increased leads, and 77% see increased conversions.
  • Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead by saving time and being more productive.


Cost, what everyone thinks about, money, money, money, how much will it cost, how much will it save, all in all, it is what makes the world go around. Making and saving money is how an organisation stays in business, and people stay in jobs. Market research firm IDC says,

  • Organisations lose 20% to 30% of revenue every year due to inefficient processes.


According to a McKinsey report,

  • 45% of current paid activities can be automated by today’s technology, an equivalent of $2 trillion in total annual wages alone.
  • Advertising automation can save organisations $130,000 a year in costs.
  • Bad data costs businesses $600 billion a year.
  • Poor quality data results in 20-35% of operating revenue costs.


A study by Unit 4 revealed that globally,

  • Office workers spend 69 days a year on administrative tasks costing companies $5 trillion a year.
  • 95% of businesses need to manage unstructured data and 40% need to do so regularly.
  • Most organisations are looking to expand their big data analytics investments.


Deloitte’s survey revealed that,

  • 53% of respondents have already started their Robotic Process Automation (RPA) journey, with an expected increase to 72% in the next two years.
  • Organisations that adopted big data automated processes reduced overall costs by 10% and increased overall profits by 8%, helping them to retain that competitive edge.


Which brings us to today’s major problem. The case of a world pandemic, yes that’s right a pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) where staff are encouraged or forced by law to stay indoors and work from home if able to do so. Organisations need to be flexible enough to embrace that kind of challenge, and change in just a few days’ notice, otherwise, it could bring a company to its knees.


Having up to date automated business processes that enable staff to access and work from any location; on or offline; with any device be it a desktop, laptop or even a handheld device enables a business to be flexible and adapted to what goes on in the world.


So, with the industrial revolution now its 4th stage and new worldwide challenges, businesses should be considering updating their processes to keep operating efficiently and to perform productively. Organisations that achieve this level of flexibility and adaptability will be the ones that survive and thrive in the future. So, can you afford to automate your business processes, or can you afford not to?


Key Information/statics quoted can be found using the following links:

McKinsey Digital

Entrepreneur Europe

Chronicles –

Forbes –

Deloitte –

BI-Survey –

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