Everything You Need to Know About Automation for Small Business

So, you want to implement automation into your business model? Every morning an article flashes across your iPhone about the benefits of automation and RPA, or as it’s commonly known, robotic process automation.
Automation is the process is giving artificial intelligence repeated tasks that usually involve huge volume and turnover. Giving a large part of the workload sounds great in theory, but so did many other technologies that are not used anymore. For business owners who are new to automation, there are a lot of question.
Which roles will become automated? Is full or partial automation the best fit for your business? How do you ensure that a smooth transition into automation with current employees? Will you need to expand or evolve the roles as employees work with AI?
All of these questions are valid. Having doubts is a healthy sign of not having Shiny Object Syndrome. Shiny Object Syndrome affects small business owners across the world. Symptoms may include wanting the latest and greatest technology without a proper strategy, lack of training, and research into the realities of automation.

Thankfully, there is a cure. The treatment options listed below should be taken together, if possible. Skipping one step may result in further discomfort for you and your business.

  1. Automation Academy: Automation has many benefits and some risks. The only way to know whether your business should be investing in new technology, is to learn more. A software company called WorkFusion runs an automation course, and although they are selling the product, they offer free sign ups for anyone is curious about RPA, or repeated process automation.
  2. Open Source: Anyone can start building AI and automation frameworks with open source tools. These DIY projects probably won’t be as good as something created by a company that specializes in automation, but they are a start. Tech Beacon pointed to nine open source automation frameworks. Even if you choose not to develop the structure yourself, poking around in open source can help you understand this field better and be more confident in choosing an automation partner.
  3. Read the Reviews: Almost every business is on some kind of review site, and automation is no different. Captera is a website that helps enterprises find software. The site features customer reviews and rankings of each product. There are also case studies on software company websites. Although they are edited to make the company look good, they are still a useful resource.

Since Ford’s assembly lines, we have been steadily marching towards a future where machines do tasks for people. Automation is the next step in that process, but that does not mean every business needs to buy into it without the proper research. By doing a little human legwork, small companies can make a smooth transition into automation.

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