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What the tech… is workflow automation?

We’re back with another edition of our #WhatTheTech series, where we distill tech jargon into understandable terms. This week, we move on to workflow automation to improve business processes.

If you missed last month’s post on cloud computing? Take a read!

#WhatTheTech is workflow automation?

Before we can define “workflow automation,” we first need to break down the terms “workflow” and “automation.”

A “workflow” is a business process — a sequence of related steps or logic required to achieve a task or complete an activity. In business operations, work flows from person-to-person and system-to-system.

The definition of “automation” in a business sense involves the conversion of a manual process, tool or system to one that works automatically.

So essentially, “workflow automation” is the use of automation-driven solutions to improve how we work.

How does it work?

Workflow automation is key for digital transformation — the integration of technology into your business operations.

Since each business operates differently, the description of how workflow automation actually works varies from company to company. However, the core idea behind workflow automation remains the same: improve business processes.

For some businesses, that first means converting all paper forms and documents to digital; for others, it means prioritizing tech platform consolidation. But no matter how you decide to automate your workflow, its purpose is always to make operations more effective and efficient through technology.

How do businesses use workflow automation?

Though the use of workflow automation depends on your goals, there are several cross-industry applications worth mentioning:

  • Cloud technology:

Covered in the first post of our #WhatTheTech series, cloud computing helps your business automate workflows by providing internet-powered systems and software. Cloud-based programs reduce the amount of maintenance typically required for programs stored on physical, on-site networks. At a time when many of us are working remotely, cloud technology is critical because it gives employees the ability to access their work anywhere they have an internet connection.

  • Process mapping:

With process mapping software, you can establish total visibility and improve business processes at scale. Process mapping enables company-wide collaboration, ensures accountability among your employees, and streamlines all of your operations in one place. This software also brings your business practices to life, giving your employees a clear understanding of how your company operates.

  • Document management:

Document management tools are one of the most common applications of workflow automation. They help your business create and distribute documents, sign contracts on digital devices and generate employee onboarding materials. These tools are especially useful for digitally transforming your paper-based operations.

  • Mobile apps:

Developing a mobile application as part of your automated workflow helps you access processes wherever you go. The ability for employees to complete their tasks from any device and anywhere is key now that many people are forced to work remotely. Mobile apps can also help you implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, where employees can use their own devices for work activities. The accessibility of mobile apps gives your employees a flexible work environment now and in the future.

  • Intelligence processing:

Analytics tools enable you to continuously monitor and fine-tune business performance. With access to data-driven trends, you can craft your work processes to be more efficient and improve your overall business through actionable insights.

What does workflow automation have to do with Nintex?

Workflow automation is a key driver of the Nintex Platform and our commitment to help you achieve process excellence for your business. With the right strategy, workflow automation can help you perform your best work and allow your employees to focus on tasks that are vital to your company’s success.

And with work-from-home as the new normal, workflow automation equips your business for today’s challenges, while improving business processes for the long run.

To learn more about the impact workflow automation can have on your business’s digital transformation, schedule a demo today.

Follow our blog for more technology 101 in our #WhatTheTech series.



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