Remember the good old days, when the only technology you had to learn to use at work was the phone and the fax machine? Business technology has come a long way from the Mad Men era, and today’s software vendors offer solutions for just about anything your business needs.
Need electronic document management? There’s a solution for that. Need electronic signature capabilities? Done. Want to automate your purchase requests and approvals? No problem. What about on-boarding and training? There a solution for that, too! The list goes on.
The problem starts to develop when a company has acquired too many of these single-purpose solutions, also called point solutions, and the investment and administrative responsibilities begin to add up. It becomes a lot for the CIO to manage, and training is a beast because there are so many systems to learn to use.
The alternative? Find a single solution for all of these needs – an Enterprise Automation Platform. Here are some other reasons to consider Enterprise Automation over a collection of point solutions.
Fully Integrated Data
When you’re looking for information, do you find yourself searching in multiple systems for all of the data you need? Worse yet, when you’re entering information, do you have to enter it more than once because you’re using more than one piece of software? With Enterprise Automation, this isn’t an issue because your data is synced across your existing systems and the enterprise platform you decide on. This means that your data is always up to date, and that you’ll only have to check one place when you need info.
Better yet, most enterprise automation platforms offer advanced data capture, which can keep you from having to manually enter data at all. OCR capabilities pull the key figures you need and enter them into the system for you, along with your important documents.
Should anything go wrong with your software, you’ll be thankful that you have an enterprise solution. One support rep can cover all of your departments and processes, bringing along a holistic understanding of the big picture and your goals. This means faster solutions because you won’t have to bring in multiple support reps from disparate companies and explain to each of them exactly what is going on in your convoluted system.
When your organization brings on new hires, how many pieces of software do they have to learn to use? Is it one for each process? One (or more) for each department? A better question might be this: how many systems does your trainer have to be familiar with and able to demonstrate? The more point solutions you have, the more complicated the training process becomes. With a single enterprise automation solution, on-boarding is simplified and faster, meaning that new hires can be up and running in less time and performing the job functions you hired them to do.
What’s more, consider how much easier cross-training would be if all of your departments used the same platform. Once they know how to use the work queue in Human Resources, you team will know how to use it within Finance or Ops or any other department. This also helps your team to communicate and help each other out.
Encourages Inter-Office Communication
Do you think of your coworkers as one big team, or is it more of a series of teams – several in each department, or one team for each major job function? Ideally, all the professionals at your company will feel like members of the same team – all with the same goal and headed in the same direction.
When your whole team is working within the same system, it’s easier to feel united. All documents are stored within the same electronic document management system, even if segmented by process or department. All processes and tasks are worked through the same work queue and assisted by the same automation tools. Tasks can be assigned and re-assigned depending on who is available and required to complete each step. Using a single platform for enterprise automation increases inter-office communication because you’re all on the same page, and you have an understanding of what your teammates are doing.
Limitless Growth of Initial Investment
Apart from the fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good reasons, are there concrete financial reasons to choose an enterprise automation platform over a point solution (or a series of point solutions)? Yes, of course there are!
As you already know, point solutions have a way of stacking up. You end up with a half dozen different pieces of software (or more!), and they never quite meet all of your needs, because when a new requirement comes up, you have to buy more. With an enterprise platform, that’s not the case. After making your initial investment, the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tools and Document Management functionality can grow to fit across your entire organization.
With a standard, repeatable approach, automation can sweep through your business, from one department to the next. And with no additional large financial investment required, there’s no reason not to grow the solution. Years down the road, when you’re still finding new uses for your enterprise automation platform, you’ll be glad you chose it from the beginning, over a point solution.
Interested in what an Enterprise Automation Platform can do for you? Sign up for a consultation with one of our business managers, and learn if enterprise automation makes sense for you.