How much time and effort do you think your team members could save if your organisation automated processes?
Whilst it’s impossible to get a definitive figure, a look at the available stats gives you a rough idea of how time consuming repetitive tasks and manual admin can be.
For instance, a recent survey of 500 UK business leaders found that 25% spend an hour a day managing their inboxes. Another report revealed that staff spend almost a quarter of their time searching, consolidating, and analysing information. And another reported that 12% of employees’ workday is taken up by admin tasks.
If we take these numbers literally, it paints a bleak picture indeed, with most staff left with just over a third of their time to focus on meaningful work.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be this way. Busywork such as the above can be reduced significantly thanks to process automation software. A far cry from the outlandish artificial intelligence machines portrayed in Hollywood blockbusters, process automation tools work quietly – and powerfully – in the background, taking care of the low-value tasks that dominate so much of your team’s time.
Overstretched teams, such as your IT department, will especially appreciate the benefits that automation systems bring. By automating manual or repetitive tasks, such as data entry and email admin, your teams can dedicate their time to more proactive pursuits that will provide value and a sense of achievement.
To help get you started, here are 3 examples of processes you could automate today:
Automated process 1: IT helpdesk
Whether your IT teams handle technical support queries for staff, customers, or both, utilising process automation and workflow management systems will save everyone a lot of time and money.
On the other hand, if you’re still managing your customer support processes over email, this is troublesome for multiple reasons:
- It’s easy for urgent technical issues to get lost in inboxes, which could be costly if the problem relates to system downtime.
- It’s near impossible to prioritise support queries within an inbox, unless you spend large amounts of time labelling and sorting each one as it comes in.
- Escalating issues to other team members means sending more emails and creating an ever-expanding email chain, which is difficult to track.
Automated processes and workflows take care of these admin tasks, empowering your team to focus their time on investigative work and problem solving.
So rather than sending an email, staff or customers can simply submit a support ticket via a dedicated e-form on your intranet. They can add relevant information upfront via pre-populated options – such as level of urgency or expected deadline – making it easier for your IT resources to prioritise.
Built-in time tracking features tell your IT teams how many hours they’ve spent on each support ticket, and automatic notifications will ping an alert when a deadline is approaching, helping them meet internal SLAs.
Automated process 2: Security vulnerability report
Keeping systems updated and secure is vital to protecting your organisation’s data, so it’s important to reduce the time that staff spend on reactive work that could be automated.
That said, even with the best of intentions, security breaches can and do happen. So make it easier for teams to manage and report any data breaches or security vulnerabilities by creating automated processes that improve transparency and accountability.
For example, create an e-form that allows any member of staff to report a security breach as soon as they see it. Include fields such as date of incident and what data or system is compromised, so that your IT teams receive all the information they need upfront to help them investigate.
From here, the relevant team member can take ownership of the report and follow through until it’s been processed. If they need additional input, they can also escalate the report to senior team members in a couple of clicks. Best of all, each and every stage is automatically audited for complete accountability.
By making the security breach report process as simple and automated as possible, your teams can concentrate on finding a resolution quickly and efficiently.
Automated process 3: IT projects
Project management and process automation are a perfect pairing, because the technology liberates your IT project managers from the day-to-day admin that can assume so much of their time. And the less time your teams spend on low value tasks, the more time they can commit to delivering worthwhile projects.
Dedicated project management software works by handling the daily admin – such as chasing for updates or asking for progress reports – and presenting all this data upfront within centralised and interactive dashboards.
This means your IT teams only have to check one place to get all the information they need about current projects, including any tasks assigned to them and approaching deadlines, saving time from searching for the answers individually.