Demand for effective automation is increasing. It’s easy to see why. After all, automation has many benefits; especially within Microsoft 365.

Automation can save valuable resources; the top ones being time and money! However, there are instances when automation should be either second-guessed or avoided altogether. We’re automation experts at Business Agility, and even we’d recommend that automating absolutely everything isn’t the best idea. This is because many processes require some element of human intervention. This could be in the form of approving something; replacing an outdated document or running a custom audit.

Obvious reasons that call for automation include improving document management, streamlining reporting, and modernising the workplace overall. Many workplaces continue to use paper-based processes, which, when digitised and automated, not only improve efficiency but bolsters security within the business too.

While there is clearly a lot that you can automate, you should always do it for the right reasons.

Why shouldn’t I automate?

Once automation is established in your organisation, it can be tempting to continue automating as much as possible. After all, that automation project you just set up was a resounding success! Why not continue to automate everything? Well – because, it could have the opposite effect and end up being a burden (and eventual nightmare) for your organisation.

Don’t automate uncommon processes (at least not without help!)

If you begin automating complex processes that aren’t done regularly, and are yet highly important – sometimes, it’s better to have human intervention.

Don’t automate anything that makes the overall process(s) larger

Automation is supposed to streamline your businesses processes, not over-complicate them. If, during setup, you find that you’re needing to include complex and illogical checkpoints, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and review how this level of automation will help your organisation. Automation setups can indeed be complex and efficient; however, weld always recommend that you get expert advice first!

Be mindful of processes where customers are involved

A subpar automation process can hinder a customers’ experience. Think about if you’re a supplier of a product or service. Things like support, browsing experience and customer service are examples of things that customers value highly. Automating support (such as using too many chat bots and long phone chains) will irritate your customers. There are just a few things that still (and will continue to) require a friendly face.

Here are a few examples of where we’ve helped clients automate:

  • HR: Absence Reporting
  • HR: Holiday booking
  • Sales Lead Pipeline Review
  • Expenses
  • Room booking & Management
  • HR: Recruitment and other on-boarding process
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Policy Review and Approval
  • Travel Booking
  • HR: Training and Management
  • Event Planning
  • Projects: Change Request Management
  • Product Planning
  • Help Desk Ticket Management
  • Compliance Support/Audit trail reporting
  • Investment/Account Management/Review
  • Contacts Management
  • Inventory Tracking

…and quite a lot more!

Automation within Microsoft 365 has become easier and more efficient thanks to powerful apps such as Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate.

Automation can benefit both large and small teams in a business – read our blog post here about it.

We recently hosted a webinar about how Microsoft 365 can help a business increase its resilience – watch it here.