What’s the first thing that hits your mind when you think of the term “Business Process Automation” (BPA)? Just freeze those adjectives and analyze if they are glorifying or vilifying it. If your notion is pro automation, you’re truly incredible! Yes, you read that right. By and large, business process automation is considered to be either complex or daunting.
Well, why’s that? Anything and everything on earth that you take into consideration, there’s always a common but inexplicable notion. It need not be necessarily yours and that is what is called a “myth”. Business process automation is no exception to that. There are innumerable myths revolving around it and most of them are demystified by the experts and analysts. Here’s a list of 10 common and busted myths about process automation:
Myth 1: It is profoundly expensive
This is the most common myth for any enterprise system including business process automation. Nevertheless, the reality is outright different from the myth.Typically, on-prem process automation solutions come with a high price tag since it involves complex setup and consulting. But, there have been some remarkable changes in the BPA industry such as the entry of cloud-based solutions, that in turn have made the cost of automation to substantially plummet.
Reality: Automation has evolved to a state, where cost is no longer a barrier to its adoption, as it slashes the costs incurred by your business to such an extent that it sets off the price you spend over the software.
Myth 2: It is too complex
If you feel business process automation would turn the hassle all the more complex, then that’s not what the truth is. Of late, the ultimate goal of any process automation solution providers is to make their solution as simple as possible. It’s because business process automation aims at making simple things simpler and complex things simple. However, it can inflict some amount of complexity, if the solution you choose, demands a lot of backend coding and programming.
Reality: On the flip side, choosing a human-centric, no code and easy-to-use solution makes your life easier and is not that complex at all. Hence, it entirely depends on the choice that you make.
Myth 3: It is essentially meant only for large companies
One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that business process automation goes well with large companies whereas for SMBs it’s just a nice-to-have. The more efficient the processes are, more accurate is the decision-making. Some of the tedious and time-consuming processes like expense approval, sales order processing, purchase order, maintaining accounts payable etc. can be simplified, organized and made seamless, without having to undergo any wrangle.
Reality: As a matter of fact, SMBs benefit equally from automation, as it acts as a cost-cutter by making the processes streamlined and more efficient.
Myth 4: It deprives people of their control over the process
Many people have a conviction that automation puts the processes on autopilot mode and humans can no longer intervene to alter the processes. However, this belief is to be cast away, as business process automation systems are flexible and enables you to automate the manual processes at your discretion. It also fosters continuous process improvement. Besides, automation also helps people invest their time in the tasks that are directly associated with the organizational goals.
Reality: It gives you more control over the processes and helps you ensure that the process stakeholders are precise at critical decision points.
Myth 5: It would not align with organization-specific requirements
“My business processes are unique and I’m sure none of the automation systems will cater to my needs”. This is another collective mindset that needs to be proven wrong.The right solution provider works closely with you, to understand the pain points and customizes the product that fits your business like a glove. Again, this ultimately depends on the choice of vendor that you make. If the vendor you choose sucks in customer support, that may become a pitfall.
Reality: Affordable, effective and tailor-made solutions can be designed in such a way that it aligns well with your organization-specific or process-specific requirements.
Myth 6: It is back-breaking to get acclimated to the new system
If you go for a solution that is effort-intensive and that which demands you to undergo mind-bending learning sessions, then it just paves way to a bumpy road, on which you need to consult the solution provider every now and then. Traditional systems force you to learn a lot of coding and also makes you highly reliant on the vendor for consulting. It entirely depends on the kind of automation solution that you opt for.
Reality: Cloud-based solutions are simple and intuitive enough to use it all by yourself. That way, it becomes a cakewalk to work with the automation system.
Myth 7: Maintenance is a herculean task
Like any other software, BPA software also requires maintenance. But, it becomes labor-intensive and requires a lot of time if you choose a big-ticket and traditional enterprise solution. In that case, you would also require a lot of help from the external consultants. To avert such hitches, all you have to do is choose a solution that does not demand you to reckon with the server problems, updates and odds and ends.
Reality: SaaS based solutions can help you dispense with maintenance, as it need not be handled at your end. Also, the maintenance charge does not become a hidden cost for such solutions.
Myth 8: It downsizes the workforce
This is a cliche stance about automation which is nothing but a sheer assumption. Employees perceive process automation to be a threat since they feel they would be laid off, as the system would do up all the manual tasks. On the flip side, business owners consider automation to be an alternative for their employees. But, the fact is that automation just simplifies the complex and redundant tasks, enabling the employees to devote their time to meaningful tasks.
Reality: Automation neither jeopardizes the jobs of the employees nor acts as an alternative for them.
Myth 9: It incurs a lot of time to set-up
Since business process automation is considered complex, it is seen to be a time-consuming process to set it up. However, this opinion can be brought round. In fact, the top-notch BPA solution is the one that can be automation-ready in less than a day. The wizard functionality should be designed in such a way that it gets the automated processes up and running quickly and effectively.
Reality: BPA software can be set up quickly and with minimal support from the vendor, if you choose the right kind of solution.
Myth 10: It is exclusively meant for complex processes
Business process automation empowers managers at all levels to make informed decisions quickly, without having to put things through extensive scrutiny. BPA provides stakeholders with better visibility across business processes, and helps them identify potential problems through trend analysis. It also helps companies enforce organizational policies, minimize risks, reduce internal process complexity and improve efficiency.
Reality: Even the simplest of processes, like document approval can be automated, as it minimizes manual errors and saves a lot of time.
So, look for the right kind of automation solution that acts as a cost-cutter and that which outweighs the investment you make to implement the system, by enabling you to get the most out of it, with no complexities.