Be shocked: unless you automate IT tasks you could be wasting payroll. Or, to be less shocking: for processing, procedural and by-the-numbers “system” work, if software could do it, then software should do it - not employees.

Your staff are there to grow your business through their judgement, education and creativity. Their effectiveness in doing that is limited by how much of their work is systematised. Why? Because systematic functionality is the core competency of computers, not of people.

What can software do these days? You’d be amazed at the applications of machine learning to automate IT tasks. Yet, while you are amazed, your competitors might be taking advantage of the opportunities. The machine learning and business automation revolution is already here. First movers are already enjoying the advantages. You can already witness it in:

  1. The movie recommendations streaming services make when you log on.
  2. The timing of credit card offers from your bank.
  3. How the speech commands on your phone get more accurate over time.

Those things are, A: not random, B: taking place without human involvement. Where once users had to do all the work to interact with clunky software, now leading businesses are using seamless applications of machine learning technology that take the lead in interaction.

Understanding machine learning and business automation

The key point is that machine learning is really clever, but it’s not very smart. Being smart, adaptable problem-solvers is the core competency of your people. Every minute your people are prevented from working smart is an inefficient minute.

Hunted Hive Operations Manager Roger Chappel says wrapping your mind around the possibilities of machine learning and business automation is challenging.

“The key is that as your business grows, some tasks will not be as scalable as others. The same result in the same timeframe will require an increase in human resources,” Roger says.

“Computer software, on the other hand, is infinitely scalable and can be relatively cheaper than hiring additional staff for systematic work. It is all about what tasks they are doing.”

So, how can you begin moving away from using your HR assets as cogs in a machine and towards an organisation that leverages the unique abilities of its people to think, judge, adapt and empathise? Read on and find out.

As you read through, start thinking about the areas where you might be able to automate business tasks and routines. Business automation creates efficiency; it opens a door to profitability and growth. By the end of this article you will understand why machine learning and business automation is so promising.

The costs of not using business automation tools

Like any operational investment, the costs of not using business automation technology are hard to ascertain. Perhaps ‘cost’ is a poor way to think about it. There is no dollar value you can tot-up and subtract from your bottom line. Rather, the ‘cost’ is reflected in the growth and revenue that you forfeit.

Outcomes of avoiding process innovation include:

  • Your growth is restricted
  • Your competitive edge is eroded
  • Your HR cost structure is reinforced.

Start thinking about a business process analysis

Look out at your premises. Look closely at your business functions. What are your staff really doing? Ask yourself:

  • What are the repetitive tasks? Example: Do hard-copy documents have to be physically moved from office to office for managerial sign-off?
  • Are there tasks that take a long time? Example: Does someone have to physically make the rounds to get everyone’s coffee order and then go to the cafe and wait while it is filled?
  • What are the most expensive tasks in terms of hours and resources? Example: Does coordinating everyone’s attendance at a meeting require reams of personal emails and reminders?
  • Where is human error occurring? Example: How much manual data entry is your accounts team doing?
  • Are there tasks that detract from workplace morale? Example: Does your quality control system disrupt a worker at their peak productivity?
  • Is there a routine value-add you just haven’t had scope to implement? Example: Do you wish you could send a personalised follow-up message to every client, but no one in your team has the time?

Easy questions to ask. Hard questions to answer - especially without a ‘knowledge frame’ for how they could be resolved. This is why a technology roadmap is a great way to scope out the inefficiencies hidden within standard operating procedure.

A roadmap towards business process modelling

As a flexible, comprehensive and methodical tool for connecting concept with strategic goals, a business process automation solutions roadmap puts everyone on the same page about what will happen, what should happen and what has happened.

Based on a series of guided consultations, your roadmap will define your business process optimisation goal and plot how you’ll get there, including:

  • tactics
  • assets
  • scheduling
  • incremental tasks.

In short, your roadmap will be a complete scenario of how you’ll get from asking those hard questions to answering them to doing something about them.

What it all means

We started this article with the shocking assertion that any routine work your staff do hurts your ROI on their hours worked. That might have been a tough pill to swallow.

If you’re still with us, however, you might be able to see how investing in applications of machine learning and automating IT tasks can identify efficiencies that free your staff up for their true value-add: their ability to creatively self-optimise what they do to boost your bottom line.

Automate IT tasks and resolve the hidden inefficiencies in your operations with machine learning. Find out what you don’t know with a free initial consultation with Hunted Hive.