Humankind’s desire to make manual tasks more hands-off can be traced back to what may have been the first useful automations in history—scholar and engineer Al-Jazari’s ingenious mechanical wine servant, a hand-washing machine that offered up soap and towels, and a floating musical band full of bots.
While having your own personal wine and music robots might seem just about as good as it gets, automation has come a long, long way since those ancient times.
Today, technology enables us to take our businesses online and employ digital automation in the process.
What Workflow Content Automation Means and Why it Matters
Automation is the process by which once-manual tasks become hands-off by way of mechanical or digital solutions.
Workflow Content Automation (WCA) is a digital process that uses automation to connect your business tools and apps and streamline complex processes. This effectively reduces or removes the need for manual intervention during predictable, redundant tasks.
With the help of WCA, today’s workers have more time to perform thoughtful work that contributes to business strategy and objectives.
Don’t understand why it’s so important to rescue workers from paper pushing?
Well, today half (and counting) of the U.S. economy relies on knowledge work.
Knowledge work amounts to the nonroutine and cognitive tasks completed by people in professional, managerial, and technical jobs. And careers for knowledge workers have been growing at a rate of nearly 2 million new jobs every single year since the 80s.
It’s evident that if manual, repetitive tasks still have place in your organization, it won’t be long until your organization no longer has a place in the modern economy.
How Workflow Content Automation Works for Businesses
Workflow content automation abolishes expensive, piecemeal solutions to streamline every business process so your path to revenue is smooth.
WCA connects all vital applications so your business can become more fluid in its operations. When processes aren’t locked into one vendor or system, end-to-end workflows can be more flexible across applications.
And this isn’t speed for the sake of speed, either. WCA isn’t just converting a 10-step, paper-based program into a 10-step, digital program.
That’s old thinking. WCA is a new, transformative way of thinking.
As a native of the digital landscape, WCA is a consolidation of workflow automation and content generation using integrated apps, software, and other programs.
By creating efficiencies that reduce friction and increase completion when it comes to your most valuable workflows, WCA increases revenue, volume, cash flow, and more.
For example, say you need to scale several different departments for a big sales win. With the right automations in place, you won’t need to lift a finger to manage this change. As soon as your system flags the size of the sale it can automatically begin the process of onboarding dozens of new contractors, turning on several new servers to handle website traffic, and placing an order for more packaging.
When your success relies on the completion of certain processes such as sales proposals, work orders, permits, online orders, completed contracts, and more; setting up automation to complete them accurately and speedily is a worthwhile investment.
In some cases, digitizing our existing paper-based workflows is the best we can do at the time. However, adopting the WCA mindset is a commitment that new processes won’t just rely on the ways things have always been.
And when experts estimate that WCA will be a $6B market by the year 2023, we don’t think it’s going to be a passing business trend.
Benefits of Workflow Content Automation
Nearly every modern enterprise can reap the benefits of implementing workflow content automation to fuel their digital transformation in today’s knowledge-powered economy.
Automation Can Take Your Business Global
Automated notifications about deadlines, changes, delivery targets, and more keep workers productive and in sync. Your team doesn’t even have to be in the same room, department, or time zone anymore.
And there’s no need to worry that certain employees are taking advantage of their remote status to slack off. WCA can keep managers abreast of employee progress on assigned tasks and provide real-time reporting on key business objectives.
You’ll Finally Have the Means to Scale Up
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of WCA is how scalable it makes business systems.
For example, while a huge sale may seem like an awesome win for your bottom line, how much is it going to cost you to have your HR put their long list of support tasks on hold to do a rush job onboarding new contractors?
Employees and Customer Will Enjoy Faster Performance
You’re likely to see a big boost in the responsiveness of processes and departments in which workflow content automation is implemented.
Internally, this might mean getting new hires to productivity quickly and efficiently. Externally, customers should see faster response times to customer service requests, way easier workflows for make requests or orders, and even quicker turnaround on delivery.
Operator Error Will Be Gone From the Equation
Fatigue, distractions, overwhelm with paperwork—these factors can cause the even the best workers to make honest mistakes from time to time.
That’s not to mention all the errors that come from customers, users, new hires, and others who have to participate in redundant paperwork that practically sets people up for errors.
Automate your forms and workflows to include real-time data validation and smart fields to cut down on paperwork errors and the time it takes to catch and correct them.
Engagement Could Improve By Nearly 70 Percent
For many employees, nothing induces the urge to jump ship like completing mind-numbing, repetitive tasks all day long.
Two-thirds of U.S. workers consider themselves “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. You can choose to go on paying them to be mentally absent or you can actually utilize the talents your workers are itching to exercise.
Enable workflow content automation for repetitive, complex tasks means your high value workflows can achieve impressive completion rates while your human capital is free to pursue more challenging, productive work.
The number of people on your team isn’t necessarily always the bottleneck. Using the same example, can your onboarding processes realistically scale effectively enough to quickly put a large number of contractors to work with all the training they need?
The popular grocery delivery service Instacart wasn’t able to scale to their true potential until they introduced an automated contractor onboarding workflow.
Not only did it accelerate contract completion rates by 270 percent; it empowered them to get to revenue almost 300 percent faster than ever before.
Driving the Future of Business with Workflow Content Automation
Workflow content automation consolidates business the legacy process management (BPM) and customer communications management (CCM) markets. This integration of workflow capabilities and document generation creates processes that can be analyzed and tweaked in real-time to provide the best results.
Calling WCA solutions “… full toolkits to automate workflows and produce intelligent documents,” industry analyst firm Aragon Research outlines five digital business trends where WCA integration drives major transformation.
Integrating Various Applications
The interoperability of cloud computing spurred business to develop application program interfaces (APIs).
Workflow content automation systems allow customers and partner companies to install each other’s applications in their own environments using APIs instead of reinventing the wheel over and over again.
Today’s intermingling of APIs, add-ons, integrations, and extensions is a far cry from the walled-off proprietary software of the early aughts.
Embracing Mobile Business
Automation doesn’t mean anything if it can’t continue anytime, anywhere.
Technology has built upon cloud computing and APIs; bringing the two together to deliver WCA to every mobile smart device on any network.
In the age of digital transformation, business doesn’t stop at your door. Next-gen WCA solutions are designed with a mobile-first mentality. From receiving an order to the customer satisfaction follow up survey—every employee has to be able to handle their business on the go.
Utilizing Cloud Computing
Cloud technology has truly revolutionized the way organizations conduct external business and internal processes.
Cloud-based apps are built like blocks. They’re able to interact with each other in new ways and be rearranged quickly when new business needs arise. This bodes well for manager who need to be able to customize elements of their WCA solution without burdening their IT department.
And because the cloud on which business tools live is universal, they can be accessed in most places by anyone with the right permissions—making business itself more open to the fast, global nature of enterprise.
Looking Into the Future
Using past data and current trends, today’s machine learning is able to predict the patterns of tomorrow.
This has major implications for WCA and its ability to anticipate the needs of a business.
Imagine if your supply chain could automatically know to ramp up or down based on information learned from your sales software?
Or what if if your HR team could actually forget about initiating onboarding and offboarding workflows because your smart software was able to learn and execute with perfect timing?
Predictive applications will only continue to become smarter and make business processes even more hands-off.
Conducting Performance Analysis in Real Time
If nothing else, digital transformation has shown the business world just how powerful analytics can be.
Workflow content automation measures its own performance in real time. Managers can peek inside of what’s currently happening at the departmental level while executives monitor how the organization is measuring up against key business goals.
Modern WCA solutions are build with analytics in mind. They empowering decision makers to optimize workflows and smooth out operations by providing answers to questions such as the following:
Which processes are automated, and which still need to be?
What functions do these automated processes perform?
When and how often do these automated processes run?
Who’s involved in these automated process?
What content is being accessed?
How effective are these processes?
How can these processes be improved?
If your business is still operating paper-bound processes, you’re missing out on a world of transparency, efficiency, and improved revenue that workflow content automation can help you build.
WCA integration will make your digital transformation more powerful—from integrating leading applications to make more informed business decisions to truly taking your business global to watching your efforts pay off in real time.
Those who choose not to embrace a transformative way of thinking and develop digital-first workflows will find themselves passed over by both employees and customers seeking a better experience.
Get ahead of the curve by empowering your employees to take on the nonroutine, cognitive knowledge work our economy will soon come to depend on.
And feel comfortable knowing your workflow content automation software can handle the rest.