The Complete Guide To Business Process Automation (And How To Find The Right Software For Your Company)

Business Process Automation

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Imagine losing millions of dollars and going through devastating computer mishaps as a result of human error that could have been prevented using automation.

Baker Hostetler reported human error as the cause of 50% of data security incidents.

In the aviation industry, a 2008 report records that 70% of accidents were attributed to human error.

The danger of leaving it all to humans is that human error can be unpredictable and happen when you least expect it. Other issues like cost reduction, service improvement, and streamlined processes can be enhanced when automation is embraced.

Even though many organizations understand the need for business process automation (BPA), they have yet to implement the required solutions and this is often tied to lack of time or financial constraint for some, while others just don’t see the ROI that comes with it. The price to pay in the long run for delayed implementation could outweigh the actual cost of automating now.

Don’t wait to experience tremendous losses; get started today and start reaping the benefits of BPA.

The Complete Guide To Business Process Automation – Content Index

Chapter 1: Why Automate?

· Who Automates Their Business Processes?

· 7 Practical Scenarios For Applying BPA

Chapter 2: The Basics Of Business Process Automation

· What is Business Process Automation?

· The Elements of BPA

· 7 Notable Principles of BPA

Chapter 3: Business Process Automation Methodology

Chapter 4: Business Process Automation Tools

Chapter 5: How to Choose the Right Business Process Automation Software for your Company

Chapter 6: How Business Process Automation Can Transform Your Business

· Business Process Automation Examples

Chapter 7: When Not To Automate

Chapter 8: Best Practices In BPA For Effective And Timely Results

Chapter 9: The Top 5 Programming Languages of Business Process Automation

Conclusion

Chapter 1: Why Automate?

Why automate?

Organizations employ automated processes in their day-to-day activities ranging from employee onboarding to accounts payable procedures. This minimizes the need for employees to transmit papers from one location to another.

Two major indicators for automation include procedures that require consistency across the organization and processes that need to be free of manual errors on every occasion.

Here are the top five reasons for automating your processes:

1. Happy Employees

As tedious tasks are eliminated – using software applications – your employees can become engaged in more enjoyable aspects of their jobs, thereby improving employee satisfaction and enhancing business output

When employees are not happy or are dissatisfied with their jobs, there is no way they can be at their best when carrying out assigned tasks.

This is one of the most significant factors affecting employee turnover in many organizations around the world today.

2. Enhanced Efficiency

Availability of modern technology as well as enhanced software applications have made it easier to increase employee efficiency and you can get better results when you embrace automation.

3. Minimize Manual Errors

One of the most devastating events that could happen in a business is manual error, especially if it has to do with finances or marketing. For instance, one error – entered manually – in data entry can significantly distort data analysis which could lead to inaccurate financial forecasts.

But by automating your processes, you can minimize the need for manual entry of data thereby reducing manual errors.

4. Improve Scalability

When you automate your processes, your business becomes more efficient, thus enhancing cost-effectiveness. This, in turn, leads to the development of a scalable business model, which has the potential of proliferating to meet increased demand.

5. To Reduce Costs

By automating tasks, you will cut down the need for human intervention while enhancing the efficiency of your business. This will also result in the reduction of overhead costs, the elimination of waste, and the minimization of unnecessary spending.

Who Automates Their Business Processes?

The beauty of automation lies in the fact that virtually any business can benefit from its implementation.  What we’ll be looking at here is how businesses have applied BPA to their processes.

Manufacturing and Trading

Why wait for manual approvals on every process if an automated check is good enough? BPA for processes such as document flow management or procurement activities can increase production speed and improve procurement timelines.

For instance, automating your stock control processes would make production faster if there were custom orders to be fulfilled as against a manual check for available materials in production.

Banking

The banking sector is a complex industry with a large customer base. Remember how long it used to take for checks to clear? Or for international payments to arrive?

Automation changed all that and customers now enjoy faster responses to their financial needs without waiting for days for approvals.

Telecommunications

Whether it’s customer service, databases updates, technical support or updating billing systems, automation can handle it. The client base in telecoms is ever increasing and these customers don’t like to be kept waiting when they have any issues like renewing subscriptions, managing orders and queries, or making profile updates. This means that big players in the telecoms industry need to embrace automation.

Healthcare

A second wasted or a wrong input in the healthcare industry could be fatal. Automated systems have been used for project management, electronic signatures, quality control processes, record management, and procurement.

Imagine missing an appointment or prescribing medication that has been recalled. With automation, you will be reminded automatically before it’s too late and, in this case, automation become a true life saver!

Internet Businesses

As an online business, you are able to reach out to more customers and cover a wider geographical area. You also tend to their challenges by providing 24/7 marketing and customer support irrespective of time zone because it’s all automated!

For example, when customers order your product online, they get to do so from any part of the world. Even if you are sleeping the automated sales funnel you have set up will guide them through the purchase processes and deliver the digital product seamlessly.

 With automation, your processes for lead management, marketing, sales, and social media management all become better.

7 Practical Scenarios For Applying BPA

Not all business processes can be automated. This is why organizations should set aside time to determine the processes that should be automated and the ones that require human intervention.

Experts recommend that organizations should aim to systematically automate processes that are resource- and time-intensive. Business processes that are susceptible to human errors should also be automated.

The following are eight practical scenarios for applying BPA:

  1. Rote and repetitive tasks – These are manual processes that can be automated, thereby minimizing the chances of human error. Human resources will also be diverted to other areas that require more critical analysis or thinking.

Examples of processes that fall under rote and repetitive tasks include status software updates, inventory management, monitoring and automated project management tasks.

  • Sensor-based tracking and alerts – For organizations with processes that need constant monitoring such as quality checks in production lines or safety compliance processes, automation that uses sensors and alerts can be used. The sensor detects unusual cases and raises alarms. This is a better solution as it replaces a human who would have been stationed to handle the process.
  • Self-service employee portals – This is applicable for departments like HR. For example, employees who desire to further their careers can do so by taking online courses while the systems monitor and keep track of their progress. This is possible without the need for an HR person or trainer to follow up on the entire process physically.
  • Manual tasks that are risky or may cause injury – Companies are always looking for ways to reduce or eliminate the need for staff to engage in dangerous or hazardous tasks.

These jobs have been assigned to motorized crewless aerial vehicles, robots, and crewless trucks. Automated machines take the risk and handle tasks such as working at dangerous heights or entering a radioactive facility without fear of harm to any human.

  • IT back office processes – Batch processing along with nightly data center operations are presently automated in most organizations, thus eliminating the need for night IT operations staff. Staff needs only be brought in when there is an auto alert that calls for human intervention.
  • Research – Automated databases have made research and information management easier for organizations that depend on big data. These include legal case law, crime records, climate and weather research, life sciences research, financial and insurance risk analysis, healthcare records, and demographics studies.
  • Document Management – Business processes that extend from the purchase of goods to the processing of the orders, as well as budget approval, are used in this case. Approvals, signatures, archiving as well as electronic requests are organized into a paperless and successive workflow.
Practical Scenarios for applying Business Process Automation

The scenarios above do not cover all the ways BPA can be used. The list is inexhaustible.

Chapter 2: The Basics Of Business Process Automation

What Is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

Business Process Automation is a tech-based process of automating activities run within your organization, with the aim of simplifying, reducing running costs, increasing efficiency and improving service delivery just to name a few benefits.

It involves a thorough or comprehensive study of how businesses operate, identifies areas that can be improved, and creates viable solutions that will transform the business in question.

In your quest to research and find the right automation process for your business, you would come across robotic process automation, but it is quite different from business process automation. Robotic Process Automation is a process that engages in higher-level tasks that use software as well as artificial intelligence (AI) in machines adapted to learn how to maneuver complex tasks unlike business process automation which relies solely on software. Here’s a presentation that tells us more about Robotic Process Automation and what it entails:

There are remarkable differences between BPA and RBA. These differences can be said to complement each process when combined to run your business. Below is a comparison between business process automation and robotic process automation.

The technology being developed for enhancing robotic process automation has been identified by experts to have a huge impact for businesses. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is being taken to a whole new level,  and concepts you could once only imagine are fast becoming a reality.

For instance, Google showcased Google Assistant that could call and set up a haircut appointment for its user, and this same tech can be applied to customer service in future to give customers a top-notch experience without human intervention. This will then leave room for humans to focus on other tasks that AI cannot handle.

This video (at 0:10-2:00) on Google Assistant

Although, AI is already in use for customer services, this intends to take it to a deeper level of interaction.

The Elements of BPA

1. Knowing The User – The kind of BPA you choose to adopt must capture the needs of the end users. All the stakeholders must be comfortable and satisfied with the automated process. There is no point adopting a method that will totally change the way things are done just because you want to automate. Rather, it should enhance and improve on the set methods in use.

2. Planning – Creating a visual map or blueprint before automating is key. Document and write down the flow of the process in question so that at a glance you will be able to pinpoint areas where automation would be more beneficial.

3. Keep It Simple – The specific techniques, methods, and tools used to enhance the processes involved in automation should be kept to a minimum. Yes, it can be exciting when you start, but don’t get carried away. Automate only processes that really take well to it.

4. Documentation – In the beginning, you will have everything running smoothly and have no issues. But sooner or later, when you run into problems, you will need to troubleshoot, and if you have been documenting with notes and logs, then it becomes easier to address problems in detail as needed.

5. Testing – Before you actually start using or running your automation, you should have it tested in real time. This will give you the opportunity to detect any bugs or missed steps and put them in order before you begin fully.

6. Training – Getting the users trained is a must. One good way to do this is to use the “Train the trainer” approach. What is required here is to train the team leader and allow them pass on what they learn to other team members. This leaves everyone involved well-grounded in its usage and they can also refer to team leaders for guidance when challenges arise.

These six elements are key to the performance of your BPA, but there’s more. There are certain principles that should also be adopted which we’ll look at in the next section.

7 Notable Principles of BPA

Developing a good Business Process automation is based on certain principles, which will ensure that you have a well laid out blueprint suitable for your business.

So, what are these principles?

Business Process Automation Vs. Robotic Process Automation

#1: Training Of Developers

If you plan to outsource the development of your automation software to developers, you need to ensure that the developers understand the different tasks that need to be automated within your organization. This will help them develop the right codes and scripts to capture the processes.

#2: Develop A List Of Tasks

Ensure that you make a list of all the tasks that need to be automated. This will help you capture sensitive steps required to develop proper automated processes. Doing this will not only cut down on errors associated with humans but also enhance your progress.

#3: Keep It Simple

If something sounds difficult, then it probably is. Do not over-complicate your processes in a bid to automate them. Break down the tasks into manageable bits to make it easier to automate. Analyze your existing process and redesign complex parts to accommodate automation.

#4: Be Consistent

It is important to maintain consistency. You cannot start automation and then stop halfway. You need to use the automation process setup regularly and maintain the same procedure.

#5: Proper Integration

BPA needs to blend in nicely with the entire system within your organization, especially when it comes to integration via APIs. You can integrate your automation at different levels of the process, as long as you maintain the desired output.

#6: Training

As you automate you should carry your staff or team members along by providing the necessary training required to help them transition into the new process. This can be arranged prior to the automation process to streamline moving to a new way of getting things done.

#7: Keep Evolving

Setting up your BPA process is not a one-time thing. As your business grows and evolves, you’ll need to revisit existing processes to improve efficiency and maintain a healthy competitive edge. This means that your BPA process should be able to accommodate these new changes in your business.

Following through with these principles will ensure that you stay on track.

Now that we have covered the basics, we can get into more details. You might be wondering about the options available for your business or if your business will benefit at all from automation. Stick with me to find out as we cover that in the next chapter.

Chapter 3: Business Process Automation Methodology

BPA methodology is a lifecycle which is ongoing to keep your business processes up-to-date and relevant. There are basically two methods for a successful BPA.

Enterprise-Wide Methodology

If you are just getting started with automation, the enterprise-wide method is ideal for you. Unlike the Generic method, which is used for upgrades, the enterprise-wide is for starting a new automation process. This means that it involves covering more details to start.

The steps to incorporate are as follows:

  • Define- It covers a thorough assessment of what you need to do
  • Model- Involves setting up based on proven processes that work
  • Execute- It is the implementation stage of your blueprint
  • Monitor- For evaluating and assessing the process put in place
  • Optimize- To give room for improvement of process in use

An organization that has gotten to the optimization stage and is looking to expand and improve the existing automation processes can proceed to use the generic method.

Generic Methodology

The generic method is an ideal method if you are already using automation in your organization but wish to add to its existing automated process to accommodate expansion in your business.

The generic method helps you with continuity. When you already have some semblance of automation in place, there might be no need to recreate the entire process. What is required in this case is to pick out areas you can extend and automate.

The generic method is a process analysis tool that is not specific to BPA. It usually involves a step-by-step process that assesses and improves upon what you have as your business process.

Here’s what needs to be done to use this method:

  • How- To evaluate the current practice within your organization
  • Why- For assessing how you can make your existing process better by identifying the gaps
  • Fix it- To work on improvements in errors or gaps
  • Track it- A follow-up process for monitoring the new process adopted
  • More- An open platform that gives room for additional input to ensure continuity

Combining BPA and BPM

A process that cannot be measured is bound to fail, and this is why it is a great approach to apply the Lean and Six Sigma in your BPA process.

Assessing your process involves the use of five key tools, which are very similar to what is obtainable in the generic method but with a slight variation.

The five tools involve Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling (DMAIC) all the processes used for your BPA.

Combining BPA and BPM

Applying Lean and Six Sigma in your BPA process gives you room to improve, expand, and grow. It also helps you streamline your processes and cut down time which would otherwise be wasted on repetitive tasks.

This will allow you and your team focus on other productive issues and also ensure that your established processes have proper flow that can be perfected over time.

The method you can use for your BPA therefore depends on where you are in your business. Remember however, to always document the process irrespective of the method you use. This will help you with continuity and make transitions to bigger roles easier.

Now that you understand the method that suits your organization, what tool can you then use to help you implement your BPA seamlessly? Read on to find out in the next chapter.

Chapter 4: Business Process Automation Software

Business Process Automation Solutions

Business process automation is key for improving workflow and business processes with the aid of streamlined technology. Your chosen BPA solution should therefore have all the tools needed to help you with business transformation. Every industry is unique and an ideal BPA solution should be flexible enough to fit your particular need.

As you search for the best solution that will suit your situation, you will find out that there are so many options out there. However, you don’t have to waste time sorting through them. We have done that for you and sifted through to sort out the gold from the dirt.

Here are the top 30 business process automation and business process management software in the market today (in no particular order).

#1 SmartSheet

SmartSheet is all about speedy execution of processes and working without any delay. It is ideal as a project management tool that allows you to manage several ongoing projects or BPA processes simultaneously.

It comes with automatic reminders you can set up for future endeavors and allows multiple access to the platform at any time.

One downside is the absence of linking tools especially for lengthy databases or sheets.

#2 Heflo

HEFLO is a 100% cloud-based business process management (BPM) tool that users can utilize to model, automate, and manage business processes. It is great for organizations looking for automated cloud-based collaboration tools.

You can customize it for the processes you wish to automate and have them managed on one platform.

Heflo boasts of a sophisticated technological environment and offers several web-based applications. It has a free 15-days trial period but this might not be enough to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

#3 Kissflow

Kissflow is touted as the leading business process management software that allows users to reduce chaos by helping you organize your BPA steps.

Users have access to more than 500 pre-installed applications that capture processes such as employee onboarding, travel reimbursement, invoice generation, budget preparation, and so on. It also has numerous customization options with simple drag-and-drop to get the job done.

Kissflow only allows you to share files of up to 500MB.

#4 Laserfiche

Laserfiche is the world’s number one software for ECM (enterprise content management), productivity-boosting, and business process automation. It has 100+ quickstart templates suitable for organizations in the health, finance, and education sectors.

It allows you to build processes using pre-made and customizable templates that you can easily edit so that it captures your automation processes.

This tool is a little complex and will take some extra effort to understand and use when compared to other platforms.

 #5 Tallyfy

Tallyfy is a workflow software that helps you automate daily or repeatable tasks efficiently while freeing up more time for you to take care of other things. It is a great BPA tool especially for onboarding, sharing, and tracking of processes with provision for integration with other apps.

This makes it a great choice for HR, client onboarding, and project management. It is suitable for both big enterprises and small businesses.

Users looking to use this software in other languages might need to look for alternatives as this is offered in English only.

#6 Process.st

If you want to make use of a simple yet powerful tool for managing your team’s recurring procedures and checklists without spending a dime, the Process Street is your best option.

Although it doesn’t help with automation directly, it enhances the management of your automated processes.

All you need to do is generate a process template, organize multiple instances of these templates as specifications or checklists, and follow the progress of your team. You can also collaborate with other members of your team to ensure the smooth running of your organization.

Although it has a step-by-step guide to show you how it works, if you are a visual learner, you might find it a bit challenging to follow through.

#7 SweetProcess

SweetProcess is an all-encompassing business process management system best suited for employee training, documentation processes for standard operating procedures, new employee tasks, and checklists.

It is a perfect choice for both small and large businesses who need to automate, and you only get billed per active user.

Although SweetProcess is great for process tracking and monitoring, it won’t automate your processes itself.

#8 Agiloft Custom Workflow/BPM

Agiloft is a configurable platform that improves communication, performance, and efficiency across an organization.

It grants users complete control over task workflows and business processes and is a great choice for start-ups and Fortune 500s’ alike. Agiloft has a versatile framework that handles and automates operations at all times. It doubles as both a BPA and a BPM tool depending on what is required by your organization.

The downside is the billing system that has a minimum subscription of a year – a big commitment without knowing if it’s precisely what you need.

#9 Comindware Tracker

Comindware Tracker is a web-based, non-coding workflow software app that can be used to run, design, and modify workflows without absolute dependency on IT, meaning that people with little or no technical know-how can still utilize its drag-and-drop simplicity.

It is ideal for industries such as Digital Banking, Logistics and Transportation, and Online Education and e-Learning.

Although it is not used to create automated processes, it is great for managing them.

This platform would be perfect if it could accommodate more app integrations to add to its flexibility.

#10 Trackvia

Trackvia is an app-development and workflow platform which facilitates rapidly developing and deploying mobile and web workflows.

With Trackvia you get to keep your automated processes in check and ensure that they are performing optimally.

The platform is also a low-code alternative that dumps the need for spreadsheets and doesn’t require a comprehensive knowledge of programming.

Construction, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors are industries that are best suited to benefit from this platform to streamline the running of vital operations, with several customization options.

Trackvia is not made for small businesses as the base price is quite high, especially for start-ups.

#11 BP Logix Process Director

BP Logix Process Director is an innovative but powerful and exceptional compliance automation and business process management solution that empowers organizations to build reliable, efficient, and effortless workflows while making sure they reach maximum conformity with regulations. It is ideal for organizations within highly-regulated niches or industries like healthcare, government, financial services, and pharmacology.

BP Logix Process Director allows users to have maximum control of their data as well as transactions so that they can retrieve and store data securely for auditing.

A weakness of this software lies in its basic analytical capabilities, which hinders it from being sufficient for high-end users.

#12 Prophix

Prophix is a feature-rich and powerful financial management tool utilized for budgeting, financial consolidation, planning, management reporting, and analysis. This implies that businesses can generate enough information to create a more stable and brighter financial future.

Prophix is user-friendly, and its spreadsheet-style interface enables non-techy users to have access to professional services, education, products, and technical support.

It is great for automating processes such as allocations, consolidation, data imports, and other non-transactional processes.

The limit of this platform is its inability to handle very large and complex data sets. This means that it will not be suitable for organizations with large data processing needs.

#13 Bizagi Digital Business Platform

Bizagi Digital Business Platform is intuitive and powerful software for digital transformation. It helps in the transformation of organizations by automating business processes in the cloud or on-premise.

With Bizagi you can create visual business processes with drag-and-drop functionality. It also features an extensive online tutorial to guide usage, and you only pay for active usage.

The downside of this software lies in the fact that it doesn’t support MAC and the number of users per account is also limited and so it would not be a good fit for large teams.

#14 Azuqua

Azuqua was created to eliminate time-intensive and manual tasks so that users can pay greater attention to producing their best work. It is targeted at SaaS companies, business teams, and IT.

The software works across other platforms, and this allows you to connect data from multiple software platforms. You can also get started with a 14-day free trial to see how it works and handles robust automated workflows.

The steep learning curve on how to use it might be a drawback as you need more support and walkthroughs. Building of complex workflows might also need a user who is a bit technical to get the hang of it.

#15 PMG

PMG Digital Business Platforms does not require users to have coding skill set before coming on board. It is a great platform for users in IT, marketing, HR, and other business operations. It features tools suitable for reporting, rich forms, front-end portals, and so on. You can also easily integrate it with other applications for a more versatile solution. It provides BPA via process management technology which includes workflow design, execution, and integration.

Users looking for guidance from the knowledge base might be disappointed as this is currently not available.

#16 Bonita BPM

Bonita is a platform that has the capacity to accommodate multidisciplinary development teams. It caters to a wide range of industries such as telecommunications, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, energy, finance, and education just to name a few. Bonita can be integrated with a number of applications and it can easily be assessed as it is cloud-based software.

Bonita is more geared toward the provision of business process automation management as opposed to BPA itself.

There is currently no free trial of the software, but you can check out the demo available to see how it works.

#17 Nintex Platform

Nintex is an online platform that provides workflow automation solutions for businesses in energy, finance, and health/life science industries. The platform automates processes between current enterprise content management systems and collaboration platforms, connecting cloud workflows both on-premises and for mobile users. It also comes with a low-cost start-up fee and you can test it out easily.

One challenge with this software is that it is priced based on the number of workflows used and not number of users. This might not go down well with potential users.

#18 Promapp

This cloud-based process management software app allows users not only to create but to also store business processes online. Promapp is user-friendly no matter how complex your workflow is as it processes and monitors real-time changes while allowing you to complete and approve operations in the cloud. It is suitable for all sizes of businesses ranging from start-up to enterprise with flexible packages.

Even though Promapp is a great automation tool, it has a steep learning curve and non-techy users will find this challenging, especially first-time users.

#19 QuickBase

QuickBase is one of the leading business process management tools for improving collaboration and teamwork in the healthcare, legal, and real estate sectors.

Solutions provided by QuickBase include app integration,  and collaborative and workflow automation. It offers a free trial and a strong community base for support if you run into challenges.

The mobile interface is not too great, and workflow creation process needs some improvement such as adding a drag-and-drop feature for workflow.

#20 Pega Platform

Pega systems is a cloud-based real time AI automation solution for marketing sales and customer service automation. This makes it ideal for healthcare, life sciences, financial institutions, communication service providers, manufacturing, and high-tech industries.

Pega is not a direct BPA tool, but it helps with the management of automated processes via its BPM suite.

If you are hoping to work offline on Pega, some features might not function properly and this can be a drawback in cases where you can’t access the cloud.

#21 ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker is an innovative online software program offering a drag-and-drop intuitive interface that allows business analysts to model approval-based workflows. It is ideal for industries such as education, finance, healthcare, telecoms, and manufacturing with great features like advanced dashboards for monitoring, email workflow approvals, and a responsive form designer. It also has an Android and iOS version which means that users can enjoy the flexibility on mobile.

ProcessMaker is best used as business process management software that regulates your workflow and ensures smooth running of your automated processes.

The learning curve for complex workflow creation is steep, and you might need a developer or tech person to create one.

#22 K2 Platform

K2 Platform features a cloud-based solution for industries such as oil & gas, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and finance.

K2 is a cloud-based business process automation tool for creating and deploying automation across your business. It can be used for workflow creation, form design, and integration with existing platforms. It also has pre-built apps that can be used on mobile for added flexibility.

Although it is great for workflow creation, it is not suitable for processes that require data manipulation or transformation.

#23 Zoho Creator

Zoho is a business process management tool that can be used to create apps for mobile and web, customize pre-built apps, and integrate seamlessly with CRM.

The software features process-based applications suitable for industries such as aviation, logistics, retail, health, services, and support just to name a few. Its strong point lies in the fact that you can customize the apps to suit your need.

If the number of users you wish to bring onboard goes beyond 100, then Zoho might not be able to accommodate them all.

#24 Navvia

Navvia is a cutting-edge ITSM and business process management system that helps organizations not only to reduce implementation costs but also to customize industry-specific and modified processes. It is a cloud-hosted system that audits, designs, and researches various types of business processes. It allows users to make use of its ITIL V2, V3 as well as CobiT-friendly templates to create personalized methods from scratch.

It is best suited for industries like IT, finance, or healthcare with its role-based access to powerful dashboards and collaborative interfaces.

The downside of this platform lies in the huge annual subscription fee which might make it difficult for small businesses to use.

#25 Kintone

Kintone is a database-creation platform for businesses and helps those businesses to build database apps, collaborates with users’ data and applications, and provides dynamic and powerful reports. It also helps to transform Excel timesheets and spreadsheets into concerted data sets and shares them online with other members of users’ teams via dynamic graphs and charts.

If you are looking to automate your database, Kintone is your go-to platform to get it done.

Kintone features social communication, external collaboration, client certificate authentication, peer-to-peer messaging, and numerous storage options.

It is also a great tool for health, aviation, or Non-governmental organizations with free trials and demos to help you see how it works.

There is need for an improved user-interface and app-to-app integration for a smoother user experience.

#26 Pipefy

Pipefy is a business process management tool that applies to industries and businesses like software development, finance, IT and service desk, BPO, and customer support. Users can use this tool to improve their productivity, efficiency, and profitability to help them organize, create, and manage their workflows and automated business processes with the versatile API integration and templates.

This platform needs to be developed further to allow limited user-based access, and the pricing might also be a bit on the high side, but you need to compare your ROI to know if it’s worth it.

#27 TaskRay

TaskRay is a contemporary project management application that is focused on onboarding for franchises, customers, sales teams, and wealth management. It allows users to track, manage, and support their work in any area of their businesses via drag-and-drop simplicity and extensive visibility across teams and multiple projects with templates, task cards, a daily planner, and milestone tracking processes.

It is best suited for automating your customer onboarding process and it can cater for businesses with large customer bases.

The platform is a bit difficult to understand, but with practice you will get the hang of it. This can be attributed to the interface, which looks a bit cumbersome and needs some simplification.

#28 Integrify

Integrify doubles as a workflow management and business process software application for organizations or enterprises. Its primary focus is on scalability, rapid deployment, and extensive integration. It is a workflow builder that features building tools, integration platforms, reporting interfaces, and optimization for automated processes.

There is no free trial but you get quote-based pricing and a demo of the software to get a feel for how it works.

#29 LogicGate

LogicGate is a workflow automation structure that makes it easier for users to streamline communications, build business apps, and manage complexity. It is best suited for industries which are into health, energy, pharma, retail, education, and financial sector. LogicGate features tools and apps that can be integrated to simplify and automate processes.

There is no trial version of the software and you also need to request a custom quote to get the price for your usage type. The platform is not for small businesses, but large enterprises and Fortune 500’s will benefit greatly from it.

#30 Scoro

Scoro is a cloud-based professional services tool for companies of all sizes, especially in consulting, advertising, and IT.

It is an easy-to-use business solution that provides a control hub which shows pending tasks, KPIs (key performance indicators), calendar events, account information, and much more on a single screen.

Scoro is an all-in-one billing process automation for items such as invoices, late payment reminders, time-billings, and other financially related activities.

The downside of Scoro is the time it takes for synchronization of data to take place as this will not allow you to move to other steps and might cause delays during implementation. The 14-day trial period might also not be enough for large organizations with a lot of potential users to test. However, you can take advantage of their flexible packages to give it a full run.

Your perfect solution should be able to enhance your documentation process, help you convert that documented process into an effective workflow, and then take you the extra mile of automating your process.

There are so many options out there and at this stage, you might feel a bit confused, but don’t worry. Let’s see how you can pick the right solution for your business.

Chapter 5: How to Choose the Right Business Automation Software for your Company

As we saw in the previous chapter, there are so many options out there and it can be overwhelming when it comes to picking one that would be right for you.

Below is a 4-Step process that will guide you in choosing the platform that is suitable for your business.

Step #1: Identify What You’re Automating

How to Choose the Right Business Automation Software for your Company

Repetitive tasks such as customer service, inventory management, database automation, loan approvals, and even onboarding processes for your customers all have specific software that will be able to transform them into automated processes.

Ensuring you know your automation requirements will, therefore, stop you from investing in the wrong package. For example, an organization handling large databases for a global workforce may gain little (or nothing) from customer service automation, but could record major improvements with database automation. It is key to identify exactly what it is you want to automate.

This brings us to the question “What Business Process Automation Software is unique and most suitable for your business?”

Here are the types of Business Process Automation software out there that you can choose from.

Database Automation Software

For businesses that collect, process, and keep an appreciable amount of data, having a database automation software is a must.

Is your business centered around a database that needs regular updates? Do you store your database in a cloud and need regular backups? Then you should be looking for database automation software.

You should also embrace database automation if you run on acquisition of multiple sources of data, need to maintain consistency, perform data integrity tests, or adapt to rapid market changes.

Database automation helps you manage growth and ensure that your data integrity is verified. It will also handle issues relating to data recovery or expansion especially when you are scaling up in your business.

Database automation can be the solution to huge data processing for businesses whose processes are dependent on data generation, articulation, processing, and recovery.

For example, a hospital with records of their patients stored, a financial institution, or even a web host provider with numerous clients will benefit from automating using the database automation software.

Robotic Automation Software

Does your process involve automating front-end UI and other high-end customer interaction? Or do you engage in complex and repetitive tasks which can be overwhelming? Then the robotic automation software would be ideal for you.

Robotic automation is not only the employment of robotic engineering designs for business automation. It can be a bot program or software used for undertaking high-volume repeatable tasks such as data entry, form checking, or re-keying the interface between a system to facilitate easier processing.

Processes involving artificial intelligence and machine learning have truly transformed the use of robotic automation software. For example, a bottling company would use an automated robot to detect any defects in the production line prior to filling the bottles with content. The massive number of bottles to be checked is beyond a human, but the detection process can be automated to run faster and produce more accurate checks.

Robotics are also being taken to new heights with AI robots acting as customer service personnel even within airports and some others serving to clean an entire store with the layout programmed and perfected via machine learning.

Robotic automation solves the problem of technicality and enormous time consumption characteristic of complex tasks. Although it can be expensive initially, it is a sane and profitable investment as it often reduces the cost of operations in the long run.

This makes it ideal for businesses who can entrust their repetitive processes to machine learning and enable humans to focus on other tasks.

Server Automation Software

Does your business require multiple servers to run smoothly? And do you need to keep every package on all those servers updated? Then server automation software would be ideal for you.

Database automation and server automation are very similar in processes as well as in the problem they solve. Serve automation takes care of the deployment of new server software applications, inventory management and provisioning, patching and compliance operation, and it removes the margin of human error.

There are basically two types of server automation. The point tool server automation, which is limited to just one tool at a time, and the software suite server automation, which is a combination of tools from one vendor. One’s selection should be largely dependent on the size of your business. For example, tools like Capistrano and Mina can run automation scripts on multiple servers.

Your organization can now accelerate app deployment, speed up and even simplify positioning processes, and you should take full advantage by identifying your true need.

Small businesses will appreciate the point tool as it provides a simplified automation for one specific process. For firms requiring comprehensive coverage especially for complex processes, the suite server automation provides an extensive array of functionalities that is sufficient for most server needs.

Custom Automation Software

Do you own a large business with rare and specific processes that generic automation software cannot handle? Then you need to get a custom automation software.

Custom automation software is built from scratch either in-house, or by the solution provider. All the requirements for your organization are added to the software during this process and it serves a perfect solution for your automation need.

So, if any of the generic software is not sufficient for your organization, consider having one built for you. Ensure that due diligence is taken to get it right from the beginning as it can be expensive and time consuming to get one built.

Generally, the suitability of BPA software is overly dependent on the specific needs and size of each business. Your business might therefore require a combination of two or more of these software types to cater for its needs.

Step #2: Identify The Key Features You Need

Identify The Key Features You Need In Your Business Process Automation Software

BPA software are often equipped with a variety of key features and you need to identify these features to know which one will suit your needs. When you have the right automation software, you are better positioned to meet your goals more effectively.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at key features of an ideal automation software.

Lead scoring feature

In an effort to making more sales, it’s important to understand your consumers’ moves towards your products or services.

An ideal business process automation software would be able to monitor the choices and moves of prospective consumers, their interests and more.

This will in turn enable sales reps to make better moves in presenting targeted offers to the prospects and eventually lead to sales.

Progressive profiling

As you continue to acquire more clients and get to know about them, you can offer upgrades and better service to them based on the record of the client. This happens over time, and to achieve this, you need a BPA software that can store even the minutest details about a customer.

Social media integration

This is a feature that should never be ignored if you want to maintain ample visibility and great customer relations.

The company can identify customers and prospects’ reactions to products/services on time and how best these products or services can be properly rendered to them.

Secure interface

An ideal business process automation software should be rugged when it comes to security. The security of your company and customers’ information should be on a platform that is fully secured from any form of cyber-attacks.

Cloud-based technology

The beauty of automation lies in your ability to access your data from any location and keep the information up-to-date in real time. This makes collaboration more effective across your organization.

SLA status indicator

Having an automation software that allows multiple workflows is great, but you need to be able to tell which of the workflows needs urgent attention so that you can make it top priority and deal with it immediately. Issues such as delayed execution, high expenses, or poor quality should be flagged and handled immediately.

The SLA feature is a great tool for achieving this, and is one feature you should look out for.

Real-time notifications

When using your automation workflows, it should be able to send out real-time notifications to team members concerned. This means that the team member doesn’t have to log into the system to receive the notification as that might be too late.

Role-based access to controls

Every member using the automation process has an important role to play, but the roles need to be pegged to their designation tasks. This should also be reflected in the automation process by a feature that will restrict usage based on the role of each user. This will help to safeguard sensitive information and also limit tampering with the system.

Step #3: Identify The Best Provider

Identify The Best Provider

Whatever your industry, you should be able to find a solution that will help you with your BPA needs. Here is a list of what to look for in a BPA software provider:

  • Trust Pool – The trust factor plays an important role when selecting your BPA company. The kind or class of clients working with your selected BPA company will increase your level of confidence in their ability to deliver what you need. Go ahead and ask for references from clients, and research how long the provider has been in business.
  • Personalization – Even though everything is expected to be automated, you should be able to add a personal touch and addons to the software to make it unique for your business.
  • Certified Company – Automation involves placing sensitive material in the cloud, and you need a company that is in compliance with state, regional, national, and international laws (as appropriate) for the storage, handling, and moving of data. Also, the provider should use encrypted software for storage and transmission of data. This is important especially for sensitive industries such as healthcare.
  • Global Technical Presence and Support – The location of your BPA company should not affect the technical support you can get from them. They should have a global technical support system that will help you troubleshoot if you run into problems.
  • Trials And Demo Offers – It should be possible for you to test run business process automation software before you commit to it. BPA companies that offer demos and free trials make it possible for you to see how well suited it would be for your business before you come on board fully.
  • Affordable pricing – Your BPA company of choice must be within your budget. It wouldn’t make sense to go overboard and spend more on automation if it will not give you a positive ROI. There should also be flexible packages that will allow you move up gradually.

Step #4: Implementing The Transformational Phases Of BPA

Implementing The Transformational Phases Of BPA

Business Process Automation within an organization can be divided into four transformational phases.

However, dividing these phases into small and independent parts depends mostly on the fine points of your organization and whether or not external consultation will be required.

Analysis

The analysis phase is where you evaluate the infrastructure of your organization by assessing its objectives and needs before carrying out a full examination of data needs, current business processes, and existing systems.

After obtaining all relevant data, you can go for a technology solution that is suitable for your business. This may depend extensively on the architectural design of the solution. You may also need to hire the services of external consultants who are specialists in the use of technology.

Implementation

This phase has to do with setting up and customizing the technology. You should make sure that the existing IT systems are extended using modified or personalized add-ons and plugins.

Documentation is crucial at this stage and must not be handled with levity. Every single functionality should be documented or recorded for clarity.

The implementation of an administrator should not be omitted as well as the selection of end-user training.

This should be followed closely by user-acceptance and end-to-end testing to ascertain viability before going on to the next phase.

Integration

This is the stage where API (application programming interface) implementation is carried out. This is where the newly installed programs gain access to existing programs and communicate with them as well.

Data integration is also carried out during this phase. Here, data obtained from multiple internal databases are combined which also helps in streamlining the entire process.

The final step in this phase is the implementation of ESB (enterprise service bus) within a service-oriented architecture or SOA. An enterprise service bus allows communication or interaction between software applications that function or operate in line with each other.

Process Improvement And Optimization

The fourth phase focuses on seeking out logjams or whatever impedes the progress of the entire process. This is where you identify any flaws and take the necessary steps to correct them so that the process flows smoothly.

You need to be updating your system versions regularly to stay abreast of new and innovative technologies as they emerge.

Moreover, the entire organization should have unlimited access to technical support and maintenance for maximum output.

Deciding to automate is still not enough. You need to understand the benefits and rewards of BPA. Knowing what you stand to gain when you decide to automate is important before you make a decision, so let’s dive in to see the benefits.

Here’s a 10-step checklist put together to help you develop an excellent BPA blueprint. (Content upgrade offered here)

Chapter 6: 18 Ways Business Process Automation Can Transform Your Business

Ways Business Process Automation Can Transform Your Business

Growth and transformation is the goal of any business. BPA is one strategy that will take your business to the next level; incorporating it into your process will help you with the following:

#1: Client Management – Small businesses frequently have a hard time with managing accounts and clients, but BPA software works to keep the accounts of every member/client up-to-date and does what needs to be done at the right time. With the click of a button, BPA software can readily be used to gain access to any files needed.

#2: Marketing And Customer Support – Businesses get to create ecosystems that will simplify and restructure operations. They will be able to merge different Web applications and get them to work conjointly.

Business process automation can be employed in marketing by posting articles or blog posts automatically to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms.

It can also help to improve customer support so that any help or inquiry request is tracked accordingly and given due attention. Businesses can add potential and existing customers to their customer relationship management software for follow-ups via email or text messaging.

#3: Fewer Admin Tasks – Business process automation also helps admins perform fewer tasks. For instance, automation software can be used for auto emails, client management, thank-you letters, reminders, and planning questionnaires.

#4: Optimized Website Management – An optimized website management ensures that new and existing customers get the best user experience when interacting with your website. Various tools are available that you can use to spot and fix website issues automatically to help you avoid long downtimes.

#5: Better Project Management – Business process automation software helps businesses keep track of tasks and projects while keeping them up-to-date with new developments.

This makes it easy to access or reference anything during the project in order to evaluate how it evolves, enhancing communication at all levels.

#6: Effective People Tracking – Using business process automation software also helps businesses easily keep track of a wide range of clients and customers with easy access to the information needed for follow-ups.

#7: Establish A Clear Approval Hierarchy – By implementing business process automation tools, the approval hierarchies will be followed and this will ease the flow and speed of approvals.

#8: Less Complicated Legal Work – Customized software can be employed to systemize the legitimate work of getting clients out of cell phone contracts. There are three legal steps involved in this procedure which include: detecting an infringement, stating a well-founded objection, and switching to a new supplier in accordance with the customer’s agreement of the current provider.

This video on the advantages of automating processes in business:

#9: Improved Forecasting – Using business process automation helps to improve forecasting by reducing projection errors as much as possible. Thus, businesses can arm their sales teams with relevant information that will help them commence productive discussions with clients.

#10: More Efficient Communication – Business process automation software helps organizations to increase their overall efficiency as well as increase their productivity. Every process is unified and communications streamlined across all offices and departments.

#11: Reduced Person Hours – Utilizing the right BPA automation software helps to reduce person hours. As the amount of labor time is minimized, arriving at a set goal becomes faster. With more time freed up, your staff can then concentrate on higher priorities and more crucial decisions.

#12: Reduced Error – Automated tools are usually more accurate than humans and help you to avoid the expensive costs that are associated with human inefficiencies and errors. In addition, the use of BPA tools saves a lot of managerial labor costs in the long run as time spent on supervision of subordinates is also reduced.

#13: Operational Stability – A high level of stability in daily processes is implemented using the right tools. Any situation where documents may be misplaced or process steps missed is eliminated or reduced significantly. All automated processes will rigidly follow set guidelines for document functions or actions.

Members of staff get to perform their tasks easily since the processes are accurate, dependable, and constant.

#14: Customer Consistency – Business Process Automation helps organizations ensure that each customer receives the same care every time.

Customers feel comfortable with your brand and working with your organization becomes convenient, thanks to the rapid access to their account.

Customers can also be confident that their sensitive information is not only processed accurately but is secure.

#15: Reduced Costs and Overhead – Thecost of implementing automation when compared with the ROI shows that it is a smart move for your organization. Organizations also experience profound decreases in expenditures and significant improvements in their revenue, saving up on labor and money by eliminating things like paper-based file management.

#16: File Transfer – Automation supports all kinds of advanced requirements such as complicated file names, data manipulation, secure transfers, and error handling. It also simplifies the managing of high-volume file transfers.

BPA tools help organizations integrate file transfers into large workflows, which may include tasks such as decryption and encryption of files or the entering of information from such files into an ERP system.

#17: User Provisioning – Employee onboarding and offboarding is a time-consuming process and, sometimes, both the IT and HR departments are not equipped with the necessary tools to handle numerous employee processes straightaway.

Automation software helps to improve user provision process via pre-built actions and triggers which saves both labor and time.

#18: Report Generation And Distribution – When process automation is tied to other processes such as data transfer or export from Portable Document Format (PDF) files, it becomes more valuable and efficient.

This is because the right BPA software can deal with and handle diverse report formats.

Having gone through the benefits of BPA generally, we’ll take a look at specific examples of ways BPA was applied to simplify processes.

Business Process Automation Examples

Business Process Automation Examples

Sometimes, it is important to see automation in action to understand the impact it can have on your business. 

For Better Communication With Customers

Businesses like Medium, Buffer, Beach-Nik and Allmoxy who need to communicate regularly with their customers would find it hard to do so if they had to reach out to each one individually.

They also need to help new customers with their onboarding process to make it easy for them to enroll and use their platforms. Here’s how they automate:

  • Automatic Hipchat alerts connected to RSS feeds to give updates on industry news, blog posts and comments
  • Automatic notifications to the team in charge for new customer registration or updates to information
  • Using Zapier to automate Trello Boards for new customers

For Improving Customer Interaction

Customers love to feel important and therefore love to have all the attention they can get from businesses they patronize. This means that businesses need to be on top of their game when it comes to interacting with the customer.

Here’s how customer interaction was automated by businesses like Leankit, Perfect Coffee, Brandfolder, Classroom Medics, and Ucademics.

  • Automating the creation of support ticket from Zendesk by linking it up with Zapier
  • Improved and automated customer support by linking apps with MySQL.
  • Sending out an automated “thank you” message to customers who fill their surveys
  • Confirming support request via Firetext, an automatic SMS sender to add that personal touch to responses
  • Using drip feeds and automated emails for customer onboarding process

For Lead Management

Having new customers enrolling for your products or service is not enough. They need to be carried along and updated, otherwise they’ll lose interest in your offers.

To achieve this, businesses like Launchpad, Nir & Far, Dotted Music, BillCutterz, and Convert and Glider have adopted automation strategies including:

  • Automatic transfer of customer data from Typeform or Google Sheets to email platforms like MailChimp or Podio
  • Organizing and automating follow-ups based on customer interaction with email sequence sent out
  • Automating transfer of leads from marketing to sales to take over and follow-up

For Sales

When you have large sales volume, it becomes expensive in terms of time and staff to acknowledge and send receipts. Also, claiming of high volumes of unpaid invoices can be challenging if not automated. This is why smart businesses such as Single Grain, Hickies, MoonClerk, Work Ninja, and Hubdoc have adopted automation strategies for managing their sales. These include:

  • Identifying and following up with high-value leads as opposed to manual screening of a pool of leads
  • Automating invoice and sales to run on its own with apps like Xero and Magneto
  • Automating notifications for unpaid sales or rejected payments using Slack with Stripe, Mandrill, or Moonclerk
  • Automatic transfer of customer details from Shopify sales

Other areas Business Process Automation can be applied include carrying out complex organizational functions, running financial institutions, shipping and logistic processes, and so on.

For every industry, you can be sure that there is a suitable solution that can be customized to your needs or requirements. However, not all processes can be automated, and you should know when to say no to automation.

Chapter 7: When Is It Not Advisable to Automate Business Processes?

When Is It Not Advisable to Automate Business Processes?

The way you approach business process automation determines the level of success your establishment will get from it and the quality of the outcome.

If you approach it the right way, you will obtain tremendous results. But if you do otherwise, it could result in a poor ROI (return on investment). This is why it is essential to understand when it is not advisable to use BPA in your organization.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Do not use BPA if the entire process is based on your emotions or feelings. The best way BPA will work for you is when you implement it mindfully with the use of raw and relevant data. Leave no room for assumptions and do not rely on gut feelings.
  • You should only automate processes after diligently digging for your company’s most urgent workflow problems and keeping track of metrics. For best results, BPA should be data-driven as well as an immediate response to the issues facing your organization.
  • Do not use BPA if the entire process is going to be too complicated. If it is a process that is going to be un-maintainable by future individuals, then perhaps you should not implement it.
  • For an organization to succeed, it depends mostly on the management getting everyone involved, so they’re all on the same page. If you automate something without the involvement of stakeholders in your establishment, it could backfire. There must be someone who has an overview of the entire setup at all times to ensure that every process is running smoothly, even when technology trips off during operations.

So, ensure that you understand exactly what you need to automate before proceeding. This brings us to the right choices you need to make when automating to achieve effective and timely results.

Chapter 8: Best Practices In BPA For Effective And Timely Results

Automating business processes makes everyone in an organization feel optimistic (if they understand how it will help make their jobs easier), but it is another ball game entirely when it comes to implementing the approach across the company.

Getting to know how the process is meant to work and what needs to be set in motion for a seamless integration is key, and this lies in knowing the best practices to succeed at automating your processes.

Here are the best practices in business process automation for effective and timely results:

Take It Slowly

Business owners might be eager to adopt automation for their business and want to get it done all at once. However, this could be counterproductive. There is no way you can accurately gauge the automation of your business and its impact on your organization in one sitting. It is best to do it in phases.

When you map out what parts to automate, then you can focus on each one to ensure that it has been smoothly automated before moving on to the next phase.

This will allow you to:

  • Test the effects of automation
  • Pinpoint roadblocks
  • Arrive at potential solutions to eliminate the problems

Choose the Right Tool

Opting for the best tool that is suitable for your organizational needs should be your goal. The best BPM and automation tool that suits your business must be versatile in terms of the level of capabilities, considering technical or non-technical users, and right for you in terms of scalability.

We talked about the software options available in chapter four. If you missed it, you can scroll back up to take a look.

Define Specific Automation Goals to Measure the ROI

Some organizations implement automation processes before contemplating the objectives or goals. But in reality, the reverse should be the case.

The first step you should take before automating is to identify or specify goals. Then work towards achieving those goals. Every action or performance is essential and must be evaluated so that you can confirm the worthiness of the investment.

Ensure Clear Establishment of Roles and Hierarchy

When you automate your business, there will likely be lots of changes. This implies that the roles of some people are likely to be swapped. Some people will take up more responsibilities while others are re-assigned to handle other operations.

However, these changes should be clarified and discussed with your employees, so that you can re-establish the duties as well as roles of every employee or stakeholder involved in the development.

This is why choosing a human-centric solution is preferable as it allows business leaders to breathe easy.

Involve Everyone in the Process

Automation is a far-reaching transformation that, when introduced to any organization, can bring up passive (or active) resistance from the workforce. This means that there is every likelihood that your automation efforts could become unsuccessful.

It is highly crucial not to allow any form of deterrent that will not let your employees embrace the change. Therefore, to encourage the complete involvement of your workforce or stakeholders not only in the adoption of the new platform but its evangelization as well, you need to ensure that every stakeholder is on the same page.

Every one of them must be involved from the beginning.

You can do this by conducting a brainstorming session for every stakeholder to fully understand all pain points.

This makes everyone in the organization feel important and respected, making it easy for you to implement automation processes for solving problems.

Train the Users

Ensuring that every stakeholder is adequately trained to use the new tool makes the implementation of business process automation easier. They must be fully educated on the basics of the platform, the validation behind implementing automation, and the desired results.

So, choose a software that is user-friendly and intuitive enough to promote easy learning.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

You should also ensure that the efficiency of the processes is continually improved for maximum productivity. Automation is an ongoing process and not a one-time thing. Always evaluate automation processes and make constant efforts to improve.

You can make use of KPIs (key performance indicators) to break down the entire process and make necessary improvements.

Always Have a Backup Plan

There should always be a backup plan in place, especially when an unexpected technical glitch occurs which could put your entire day on hold. Machines can also fail at inopportune times.

Relying solely on computers or technology is a recipe for failure. By having a failover option to turn to, competent individuals will be brought into play for manual handling of the processes and continuous running of your business.

Some organizations have their own in-house programmers and would like to have their software built from scratch. If you are in this category, then you will need to understand the language used for designing tools utilized in developing the software for automating your processes and we’ll dive into that in the next chapter.

Chapter 9: The Top 5 Programming Languages of Business Process Automation

The Top 5 Programming Languages of Business Process Automation

Programming languages have a strong effect on the outcome of your software. Depending on their strong points, they are employed to do the same thing but in different ways.

It is important to have a software that can easily be integrated with existing apps without compromising its security.

Here are five powerful programming languages widely used in business process automation among top global businesses:

Python

The versatility, compact code, good integration, and great library of standard functions makes the Python language a good choice for BPA. This server-side language is rich in a sea of modules that are sufficient for the complex analytical procedures associated with heavy transactions. Python features an all-purpose set of functionalities that makes it adequate to build just about anything you want with little or no external language blending. This flexibility also makes it suitable to capture your specific BPA needs.

Java

Developed by Sun Microsystems in 1996, Java has emerged as one of the supreme, in-demand languages for developed business software applications. While Java is not among the league of languages that is easy to master, classes in C and C++ can simplify this powerful language for beginners. Its modular nature makes it easy to extend, and you can also integrate features that will not depend on third-party providers or servers.

Java also offers you a feature that allows one set of codes to run on different operating systems. This also makes it ideal for developing BPA software as it will likely fit the operating system you are currently using.

C

C is the mother of most object-oriented languages today, Java and Python inclusive. It can provide you with the building blocks required to create your own source codes specifically for your own business automation design and embedded programs.

Its speed, maturity, and portability make it great as a programming language. It also makes calculation of complex maths easy, but it could be difficult to set up and easy to mess up, so a lot of care has to be taken with C.

If you’re keen on the best programming experience and arriving at a reliable business process automation solution, then the C-programming language is best for a stable and successful automation design.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

Structured Query Language (SQL) controls the management and interaction of databases in business automated processes. Think of inserting, modifying, and deleting data; SQL is needed to do all that.  It is also essential in engineering permissions on tables, procedures, and views.

Although SQL is not a programming language, it is a great database management language for small businesses looking to automate their database related issues. It is also quite easy to learn and can be seamlessly integrated with PHP making it a cheap choice.

PHP

PHP is generally a scripting language for building websites and developing apps. It is easy to learn and works well with web-based apps such as automated chat boxes.

PHP is also efficient in creating project management tools and powerful e-commerce solutions that are problem-solving-oriented and essential towards creating sophisticated automated business procedures.

The good thing about creating your own software is the fact that it does exactly what you want especially if you happen to be a large organization with very complex processes. This process might not truly be as easy as it sounds and in the long run all you want is that perfect solution that will fit your need.

Your perfect solution should be able to enhance your documentation process, help you convert that documented process into an effective workflow, and then take you the extra mile of automating your processes.

Conclusion

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of BPA and understand that it does not only improve your processes in service delivery but also cuts down on money and time spent to transform your business, the next logical step for you to take is to get started with your automation process.

Although automating your processes might sound appealing, it is not an easy task, and you might be scared to go through the process alone. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can download our checklist here (insert content upgrade checklist/ workbook) to help you get started now.

Have you decided on where to start or do you still have questions? Tell us in the comments!

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