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Why Is Business Automation Essential? Unveiling 5 Reasons

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What does integration and automation entail?

Simply put, it is a way of connecting different apps and services within your organization, as well as with third parties. It also encompasses how effectively you can connect your apps and services to suppliers, customers, and partners.

Let’s dive into the several reasons why organizations should seriously consider building and implementing an integration and automation strategy for their business.

  • Business viability

The first of these is to optimize operational efficiency. While it may not be apparent when starting in business as to why one needs an integration strategy, this becomes abundantly clear as the business progresses. Without it, businesses run into delayed turnaround of processing information, and high rates of data-related errors. Both deleteriously affect customer satisfaction.

Additionally, as the business grows, a lack of integration leads to a situation where different departments see different data from one another. This lack of data parity creates a silo effect within the business.

An even more pernicious and far-reaching problem that then arises is that it leads to poor decision making at an organizational level.

  • Reducing expenditure

Another reason to look at consciously crafting an integration and automation strategy, is due to the alternative. Without one, businesses default to either manually capturing data, which is slow and inaccurate, or custom scripts, which brings fragmentation.

Another option that some organizations rely on is to turn to citizen integration tools. Unfortunately, these tools tend to offer a linear approach, which makes them inflexible and expensive at scale. Additionally, because their business model is pay as you go, the more you grow and more integration you need, the costlier it becomes.

  • Freeing up personnel

One of the misconceptions about automation is that it replaces people. Rather, often, an effective automation strategy frees staff up from mundane work to concentrate on other higher-value tasks.

  • Accessibility to top-tier technology

Chilcott notes that traditionally, automation and integration tools were used exclusively by enterprises, due to being highly expensive and complicated to run. This left integration and automation in the hands of organizations that could afford expensive solutions and had large IT teams to manage them.

However, that has changed, with solutions like Flowgear, he explains, that are cloud based and designed to be affordable and intuitively accessible to SMBs as well.

  • Competitive advantage

Chilcott explains that ultimately, organizations that use integration to automate enjoy a level of efficiency that translates into competitive advantage. This reason alone is a major driver for the adoption of integration and automation platforms. This is particularly true when businesses realize the breadth of what a correctly implemented platform can do for them strategically, particularly as their customers require better and faster service from them.

Tips to get started:

To get started with integration and automation, he recommends deciding whether to go a self-service route, outsourcing route, or the middle ground between those two, co-build.

Chilcott doesn’t recommend trying to run an integration and automation platform on one’s own if your IT department is stretched thin with its current tasks. Outsourcing can be a better option, although he notes that many customers who are just getting to grips with integration also prefer to go the co-build route and be shepherded through the complexities of integrating and automating their business processes.

Whichever option they choose, he encourages organizations to take the time to build a catalogue of all the apps and services that are in use, identify which departments use them and note what their functions are. Only then would the business lay out what, ideally, it would want to integrate, and what it is trying to achieve.

While integration and automation are certainly a complex endeavor, Chilcott stressed that it is no longer beyond the grasp of cost conscious or skills-strapped SMEs. “With platforms like Flowgear, they too, can benefit from the greater efficiencies that larger enterprises have long enjoyed,” he concludes.

Daniel Chilcott, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Flowgear
Daniel Chilcott, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Flowgear

By Daniel Chilcott, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Flowgear

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