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HUB TechMinutes

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Should You Be Excited or Afraid of Automation?

Should You Be Excited or Afraid of Automation?

Your business has a lot of moving parts, and these parts need to be managed properly if you hope to maintain (or improve) operations. However, even the smallest parts of your organization could directly influence your business’ workflow. If these processes are getting in the way of your employees getting the most out of their workday, perhaps automation can provide a way to save time and resources.

A Hands-Off Solution
Certain processes can be completed automatically without any time investment--particularly those that are simple, or ones that are extraordinarily time-consuming. One example of this is a website’s dialogue box asking for assistance with finding information. What this accomplishes is having an automated system run by a computer that helps users find something on a website without needing to discuss the issue directly with a real human being.

Another example of this is Clippy, the Microsoft Office Assistant that can help users with various aspects of their Office applications. Clippy would help users when they attempt to format the document in specific ways. Of course, it also did this when its assistance wasn’t necessary, so depending on your attitude toward the little paper clip, it might be more annoying than anything else.

Thankfully, automation generally isn’t as insistent or obtrusive as Clippy. Your standard automation processes will happen behind the scenes, and they can potentially eliminate many tasks that would eat up a considerable amount of time and hold you back from making the most of your time in the workplace. Here are three ways that automation can help businesses just like yours:

  • Smaller tasks generally don’t need the user’s attention. This gives employees the ability to focus on bigger and more important responsibilities.
  • Scheduling or delegating tasks can also take up a lot of time, but automation can make this process easier.
  • Automation is handled by computers rather than humans, and as such, it is less prone to user error as a whole.

Concerns Regarding Automation
Automation in particular faces stiff challenges moving forward--particularly in regard to concerns that employees have about its use. There are various technical and human aspects of automation that could strike a nerve with many organizations out there.

  • Automation might make the job easier, but it still requires human oversight in order to function properly. Therefore, it’s critical to determine if the end result is worth the investment in automation technology. If it’s not, then perhaps it’s time to look at outsourcing as a viable alternative.
  • If you use multiple automated solutions, they have to play nice for them to provide any real benefit for your business. HUB can help you make this happen.
  • Your employees might feel like automation is taking their jobs, but this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s designed to help your employees more effectively do their jobs. Make sure you adequately explain this to them to minimize pushback.

To learn more about how automation can help your business, reach out to us at 204-772-8822.

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