Over the years, business automation has influenced almost every industry, from ATMs to assembly lines and even healthcare systems. But artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning take automation to a new level. This so-called “intelligent automation” is changing the way humans and machines interact so that businesses can increase efficiency, generate revenue, and thrive in challenging markets.

Research shows the great benefits of automation. IBM’s Center for Business Value estimates that AI-powered automation will create billions of dollars in business value in 2022 alone.

This article examines the changing state of business automation, why it’s important now and what to consider when using automation in your organization.

What is business automation?

Business automation is the term for the use of technology tools to perform repetitive tasks, freeing up employees for high-value tasks.

Years ago, automation required large computers and a team of experts to maintain them. Today, cloud-based automation platforms bring efficiency within reach of businesses of all sizes.

Basic Automation: Basic automation takes simple, straightforward and automatic tasks. Using minimal code and no code, core automation tools automate repetitive tasks, helping to eliminate errors and speed up business operations.

Automated Processes: Automated processes manage business processes for consistency and transparency. Often with dedicated software, process automation can increase productivity and efficiency, while providing valuable business insights.

Advanced Automation: Advanced automation brings humans and machines together to integrate multiple systems in the organization. In supporting more complex processes, advanced automation relies on unstructured data and machine learning, natural language processing and analytics. It promotes knowledge management and decision support for special projects.

Intelligent Automation: AI-driven, intelligent automation means that machines can “learn” and make decisions based on situations they encounter and analyze. For example, in customer service, AI-powered virtual assistants can reduce costs and improve interactions between customers and human employees.


Why is it important?

Whether you’re running a small or large business, automation is a great way to streamline operations and boost business growth. Automation tools are designed to replace human and machine work so you can put that human resource to work elsewhere in the business.

To realize the full potential of automation, companies must use proven automation software and best practices in all work processes, from rapidly creating digital customer experiences to simplifying internal processes. However, not all solutions have the necessary technical capabilities to automate end-to-end operations. This can lead to multiple solutions, high costs, and a lack of scalability.