Part of our series on decentralised businesses.
As we conclude our series on the distributed enterprise, let us take a moment to consider how blockchain technology is continually evolving to offer more effective solutions for businesses. Automation is a key component of this, and its potential applications are vast, offering considerable advantages to a company’s day-to-day operations.
Getting Things Rolling
It is important to note that automation and artificial intelligence are two distinct concepts. Automation involves programming a computer to carry out specific tasks that were previously done by a human, in a more direct manner. This frees up employees to focus on other important tasks. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is a more abstract process in which a machine is trained to make decisions based on human input.
It is evident from this that the automation process is completely dependent on human input and judgement. Those designing the automation system can decide which processes it will be applied to and it will execute those tasks. Poor planning will result in unsatisfactory results.
It is essential to enlist the services of an experienced expert when implementing automation strategies in order to ensure success. They will be able to not only organise the process, but also identify the most suitable techniques for the task.
Automation processes can be applied to a range of tasks, meaning that businesses of all sizes can benefit from automation without having to make a considerable financial investment. Crucially, productivity can be maintained whilst important processes are automated.
Numerous Sizes and Forms of Automation Exist
IBM categorises four distinct types of automation that may be utilised within an organisation, each of which has its own unique characteristics and applications.
Primitive mechanisationMany businesses will have encountered the challenge of automating mundane but essential aspects of running a business, such as generating tickets in project management software or scheduling recurring events.
A robotic system to carry out a predefined set of tasks.The purpose of automating these operations is to guarantee that they are executed in a consistent manner. By eliminating minor inefficiencies, such as failing to notify an employee via email when a task progresses, we may be able to increase productivity.
In-depth mechanisation improvement.The use of a variety of technologies is essential to enable automated processes, machine learning, and AI experimentation. Algorithms are employed to accelerate tasks that would take longer for humans to complete, such as data analysis for business intelligence.
Self-learning robots.This option utilises Artificial Intelligence to optimise and promote machine learning, and is recognised as the most comprehensive and complicated automation process. It can be implemented to automate customer service on a website, by taking the form of a virtual assistant, for example.
It is often said that there is no ‘magic wand’ for technological initiatives. In order to achieve the most favourable results, it is important to consider not only the specific needs of your organisation, but also the wider context.
Our Distributed Enterprise Series focused on delving into a range of related topics. We began by defining Distributed Enterprises and offering guidance on successful implementation. Additionally, we highlighted the key tools and solutions organisations require to thrive in a dispersed setting, as well as discussing the current challenges faced in protecting these companies due to their unique structure.
It is evident that automation can be a beneficial tactic to utilise in a distributed model of labour. By removing geographical restrictions, it is possible to realise the core principles of this model, such as faster, more efficient, and more agile work.
In contrast, not having a centralised base for core operations necessitates the application of tailored strategies. In this context, automation systems could prove invaluable.
It is becoming increasingly clear that automation is the way forward for many businesses in terms of streamlining routine tasks and operations. Gartner has identified this as one of the top strategic technology trends for 2023, highlighting the importance of hyperautomation in the present. Therefore, it is logical to pair the distributed model with automation when creating a distributed business.
In order to make life easier for yourself and your remote workers, it may be beneficial to automate and manage processes such as scheduling, job allocation, ticket management on an agile platform, onboarding and offboarding, training and development, bookkeeping, and employee technical support (for the most straightforward queries and straightforward issues).
When automated processes are managed centrally, businesses operating within a dispersed model may benefit from increased productivity, improved quality of output and increased overall business value.
Related reading on our series on decentralised businesses.