Automation: Types, Benefits & Use Cases

Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
October 03
9 min
Table of Contents

Automation refers to the use of technology that reduces human intervention in processes. Automation is a technological integration of various means, including mechanical, electrical, electronic devices, and computers. Complex systems such as modern manufacturing plants, automotive, and medical centers typically use a mix of engineering and high-tech to provide a more efficient environment. What are the types of automation, use cases, and benefits? About it in our article.

What is automation?

Automation represents the use of technology to perform tasks with limited human assistance. Any industry that encounters repetitive tasks can leverage automation. Automation alongside integration is often a part of Digital Transformation. Most prevalent in the manufacturing, robotics, automotive industries, IT systems and business decision supporting software.

Automation, while aimed at streamlining operations, does not stand for the same thing in every industry and use.

Why automate?

Despite the different terms, uses and approaches, automation aims to increase productivity, reduce costs, optimize processes and free human resources from the most tedious tasks. Automation is part of the digital transformation seeking to improve business performance.

Data searches, manual entry, and duplication of records in multiple systems, as each process has its own software… the list goes on. 90% of employees are often overwhelmed with tedious, repetitive tasks.

Nearly 5 hours employees spend on average duplicating tasks each week. Annually, it is up to 94 days spent doing something that could have been automated.

Automation supports managing, changing, and adapting IT infrastructure and the way business operates. It frees up time and energy and enables focusing on innovation. The primary goal is to get work done faster.

Automation is not intended to replace human resources. Rather, it transforms formerly tedious work into one that is more synapse-stimulating. It eliminates redundant steps, with the main focus and benefits found in productivity, consistency, and efficiency. By making operations more efficiency-enhancing, automation makes human involvement more important and less frequent.

Check the case study: Up-to-date financial data
automatically transferred from POS to ERP

Automation allows employees to focus on the bigger picture of the business and surroundings, the problems, and their solutions, rather than on mundane, repetitive tasks.

Based on the search results, here are some recent statistics on automation:

  1. 94% of companies perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and automation has improved jobs for 90% of knowledge workers (Kissflow).
  2. Automation is one of the fastest-expanding software sectors, with a current market value of $6.1 billion and a forecasted growth rate of 200% by 2023. By 2030 (Quixy).
  3. A survey found that 59% of Fortune 500 companies are using marketing automation and this number is steadily increasing (Windward Studios).
  4. 67% of companies use business process automation solutions that improve end-to-end visibility across different systems (Imaginovation).
  5. A Deloitte study recently found that over 50% of organizations are planning on incorporating the use of AI and automation technologies in 2023 (Forbes).
  6. Around 30% of all workers are potentially exposed to advanced technologies used for automation purposes, with manufacturing workers much more exposed (U.S. Census Bureau).
  7. According to McKinsey research, 50% of all work can be automated. Thirty-one percent of businesses have taken the step to automate at least one function (Formstack).

These statistics highlight the rapid growth and adoption of automation across various industries.

What are the types and approaches to automation?

Depending on the field, we can distinguish five different general courses:

Business processes automation

Business process automation (BPA) involves using software to automate repetitive, multi-step business operations. BPA solutions are characterized by high complexity. Their implementation requires a certain amount of knowledge and prior preparation. BPAs are connected to many enterprise IT systems and are tailored to the needs of the organization.

BPAs are often part of a digital transformation strategy to ease workflows, free teams from tedious tasks and operate more efficiently.

Business automation

Business automation is the fusion of business process management (BPM) and business rules management (BRM) to develop an enterprise-ready application optimized for the demands of the market. The need for business automation is a natural consequence of the development and optimization of an organization’s performance.

Digital transformation is the key and overarching strategy to thrive in a constantly changing market. It requires a good understanding and partnership between IT and business leaders.

Multiplying documentation, complex processes and backlogged schedules create frustration and negatively affect task execution. Hence, widely understood (and often abused) agile enters with the help of streamlining and optimizing business operations. Business automation improves processes that are often overcomplicated so that effort, time, and responsibility are not wasted.

The right approach to business automation allows an organization to better understand end-to-end operations. Automation with strategic thinking outlines and provides an architecture for all business processes to be mapped and automated. While this approach may seem time-consuming to implement at first, proper preparation and mapping of processes allow for a smoother end-to-end process, better matching of technology stack and prediction of potential risks.

Get an Expert View on how to succeed in business transformation!

Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software bots to automate repetitive tasks. From basic chores such as inputting forms and preparing invoices, to more complex work such as customer service and troubleshooting.

Most RPA tools are programmed to perform tedious, rules-based tasks, such as moving rows of data from a database to a spreadsheet, answering inquiries on chat. A bot does tedious but necessary work – 24 hours a day – at a very low cost. RPAs are low-risk and high return on investment.

RPAs are a part of a larger business automation strategy.

Industrial automation

Reducing human labor, eliminating workplace risks in manufacturing processes are all a part of industry automation efforts and Industry 4.0 solutions. In manufacturing, the goal is to use automation technology to improve systems or processes. The ultimate goal is to drive greater efficiency by improving production capacity, reducing costs, or both.

Industrial automation has become linked to electromechanical systems that are programmed to perform various processes. While automation may not be right for every factory, most companies can benefit from fixed, programmed or flexible approach to automation in manufacturing or universal processes automation.

Check our well-oiled implementation on the production line!

IT Automation

Automation is the key to IT optimization and digital transformation. Matching the IT infrastructure to the modern, dynamic environment is a challenge that many companies face. Today, there is a need to scale and perform faster than ever. Legacy updates are unavoidable, and IT automation is an essential part of modern IT infrastructure development.

Automation can integrate and address everything from the cloud, and infrastructure optimization, to application deployment and configuration management.

Case study:
The release cycle speeded up 26 times
with IT automation

The capabilities of automation can range from specific technologies such as containers, to methodologies such as DevOps, and to broader areas like cloud, security, testing, and monitoring.

In addition, it is also worth mentioning support with more advanced solutions and algorithms AI (Artificial Intelligence) Automation, Machine learning and Deep learning. Hyperautomation fuses together many modern solutions.

What are the benefits of automation?

Benefits are experienced by organizations both right away and over the long term, and include:

  • Increased productivity. Employees can spend more time making a bigger impact on the business. Operations happen on their own through automation. It also results in higher work engagement and lower employee turnover.
  • Budget allocation. Investing in automation frees up resources and enables better allocation.
  • Greater reliability. By reducing human intervention, oversights and issues. Automation brings more order and regularity to operations. This way you know exactly when processes, tests, updates, workflows, etc. will take place, how long they will take, and that you can trust their results.
  • Easier management. Digitizing processes means better monitoring.

Check the case study: From manual to complete automation.
Stock status always updated!

Challenges organizations face when aiming to automate processes

As with any venture, there are some challenges. The most important of these relate to the cost and scope of work. Costs, because building an effective automation strategy takes time and energy. That’s why it’s important to choose the right IT partner to avoid budget burn.

Scope of work, because automation requires the right approach. You need to verify which areas may be at risk and decide on their ultimate scope. Automation is effective and efficient with a proper plan, mindset, and strategy for its implementation. Get in touch to discuss further our business-driven approach to software development and automation!

Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
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