5 Common misconceptions about workflow automation

5 Common misconceptions about workflow automation

Automation is one of the most pervasive buzzwords of our time. But it’s also a vague term that has far-reaching implications. As such, some business leaders are understandably quick to dismiss it as hype rather than embrace the phenomenon as a way to reduce costs and boost productivity. If you’re hesitant to automate your business process, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the misconceptions surrounding workflow automation.

#1. It’s too expensive for small businesses

Automation is often associated with high-level innovation of the sort that only large enterprises with vast financial resources can afford. Yet it’s also something that many startups and small businesses are investing in as well. In fact, rather than being expensive, automation is a top way to reduce expenses. After all, it’s hardly economical to pay a full-time wage for a job which can be handled entirely by automation technology. For example, modern accounting software can automate things like sending and filing invoices. Most such solutions command a modest monthly fee with no capital expenses on software licenses and additional hardware.

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#2. It means losing control over your processes

The age-old adage suggests that, if you want a job done properly, you need to do it yourself. That’s simply not true anymore. While computers might be far from perfect, they’re not subject to human error. Automated data entry, for example, isn’t subject to inconsistencies associated with manual input.

Rather than losing control over your processes, automation achieves the precise opposite. It eliminates human error while freeing up time to focus on more strategic initiatives and high-level decision-making. Also, every automated routine generates a full audit trail that’s updated in real time to provide full visibility into your business processes.

#3. It demands a high level of in-house expertise

Behind the scenes, automation is the product of highly complicated, specialized, and powerful technologies. But that doesn’t mean it’s complicated from an end-user experience, unless you’re literally developing your own automation solution from scratch.

Cloud-based solutions like PaperSave provide automation features straight out of the box. While highly advanced and specialized workflows might require some basic scripting skills, the vast majority require no additional in-house expertise and are accessible to anyone who’s capable of using a smartphone. If you want to streamline invoicing processes, for instance, PaperSave offers easily accessible features that let you customize workflows and start automating tedious tasks right away.

#4. It introduces additional security risks

Most business automation tools incorporate cloud computing for more flexibility and less reliance on in-house resources. However, numerous reports of data loss and cyberattacks have made many businesses wary of migrating to the cloud, while the pervasive fear of losing control continues to discourage some from investing in automation.

In reality, automation improves security by mitigating the risk of human error, such as accidentally overwriting data, disclosing it to the wrong recipients, or surrendering login credentials during a social engineering scam. It also makes it much easier to implement security, privacy, and compliance controls at scale.

#5. It will result in massive job losses

The most common misconception about automation is that robots will end up taking all our jobs. While this is a popular trope in dystopian science fiction, the reality is somewhat different. Yes, automation will claim some jobs, just as other technological advancements have in the past. At the same time, it does free up time to focus on more rewarding tasks that allow employees to hone their skills and enjoy a greater degree of control and responsibility.

It’s about creating environments where people can focus less on tedious, repetitive tasks and devote more time to more engaging and valuable work that requires human input. Ultimately, no one really enjoys manually typing in data into a spreadsheet for eight hours per day.

PaperSave provides workflow automation solutions that enhance efficiency and let your staff focus on more rewarding tasks. Read our free white paper, Intelligent automation in accounts payable, to see the massive benefits of workflow automation. You can also schedule a free personalized demo with us today to learn more about PaperSave’s automation capabilities.