What Is Business Automation and Why It’s Important in 2021

how to automate business processes

The world of business automation has changed over the course of the pandemic. A little over a year ago, business and IT leaders would only talk about their automation-related ideas. Now, it has transformed into a business imperative.

Modernising and optimising your workflows will have an almost immediate impact on your bottom line. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, 63% of companies that implemented AI stated that it contributed to increased revenues.

What’s Business Automation?

Business automation or business process automation (BPA) describes the process of leveraging technology to execute recurring tasks. Instead of replacing humans, automation will help your staff focus on more meaningful tasks. It’ll also allow enterprises to pool their resources better and concentrate on mission-critical projects. 

The recent shift in thinking that’s accelerating the adoption of business automation protocols comes down to recessionary pressures, remote work, remote business support, and new digital technologies (for both customers and employees alike).

What Are the Key Benefits of Business Automation?

Besides the obvious benefits, BPA also helps enterprises systematise specific tasks and assign them to algorithms or people. AI will take on mundane tasks in this scenario, while humans will embrace projects that demand critical and creative thinking.   

This approach helps replace manual efforts to enhance efficiency, availability, reliability, increase performance, streamline processes, and reduce operating costs. When staff are free to focus on tasks that demand specialist competencies, knowledge, and accumulated experience, they’re more motivated, efficient, happier, and loyal.

With transparent workflows, employees have a bird’s eye view of what work has been completed, what needs to be done, their performance levels, and more. Equal access to information also ensures that all company data is up-to-date and available for all participants. This has a direct impact on process optimisation. 

The result is the reduction of activity costs, sales optimisation, improved workflows, enhanced customer experiences, the identification of new opportunities, and the mitigation of risk (such as human error). 

10 Though-Provoking Stats and Facts About Business Automation

  1. By 2026, automation in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry is estimated to generate a revenue of more than $ 900M.
  2. 66% of executives across all industries and regions say that “addressing potential skills gaps related to automation/digitisation” is their Top 10 priority. Almost 30% put it in their Top 5 priorities.
  3. Advertising automation can save businesses $130,000 a year in costs. By 2022, 80% of all advertising processes will be automated, according to Adobe.
  4. Global spending on marketing automation tools is predicted to exceed $25 billion by 2023 — a 14% annual growth rate.
  5. Top 3 marketing automation goals are to 1) improve the pipeline of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – 92%, 2) increase customer retention – 81%, and 3) improve lead nurturing – 66%.
  6. Database automation could save enterprises over $1 trillion annually wasted on poor lead management.
  7. As much as 40% of productivity is lost to multitasking and task-switching.
  8. Of all businesses that are currently using cloud automation, 81% feel they’ve improved their ability to deliver business model innovation.
  9. Automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue.
  10. Companies that use marketing automation software are twice as more effective in lead generation as those using only mass email software.

What Makes 2021 the Right Time to Modernise and Automate?

If you’re not already reaping the benefits of automation, now’s the time to do it. 


As enterprises transformed their infrastructure to accommodate fully remote teams and working structures, business and customer needs changed. 

Leveraging automation tools helps businesses boost momentum, improve fully remote workflows, centralise essential functions, and gain a competitive advantage. This means that companies that fail to modernise their infrastructure this year risk being left behind.

What exactly should businesses modernise and automate?

The answer to this question is relative to your unique business and your industry vertical. However, in general, all companies need to modernise the following to facilitate robust automation:

1. Current Infrastructure

When was the last time you audited and analysed your current infrastructure? 

If you haven’t moved up to the cloud (by now), it’s crucial to start this process immediately. While cloud migrations might seem daunting, it’s worth the effort as your staff and customers will notice and benefit from improved efficiencies.  

Those who have already migrated to the cloud should also engage in infrastructure audits to eliminate potential cloud waste to reduce costs. A thorough infrastructure analysis will open the door to new opportunities to automate functions, and your customer will be the ultimate beneficiary of such endeavours.

Read when it's high time to retire legacy software and go Cloud.

2. Digital Migrations

Businesses that are still dependent on the paper-based system (for files or billing) desperately need automation. If you still employ people who manually enter data into tables, you’re wasting money unnecessarily.

BPA helps companies save a significant number of hours and resources when it comes to tasks like inputting accounting information, generating reports, double-checking details, and more. Automation also helps keep track of payments, send reminders, and initiate collection processes. This approach also helps ensure that all your vendors and partners are paid on time. 

Check out how Evolve saved £4 million per year for Lafarge, the UK's leading supplier of construction aggregates.

3. Customer Facing Platforms

Whether it’s a mobile app or an e-commerce website, enterprises need modernise their customer-facing platforms in line with current industry trends. This means updating the functionality of a website or application, enhancing user experiences, and upgrading the CMS to optimise development cycles. 

Modern content management platforms help companies save a significant amount of money and resources by improving developer times. Furthermore, without a modern website or mobile app, you won’t be able to deliver highly intuitive and immersive experiences. You also won’t be able to benefit from technologies like chatbots.

Going forward, expect to see more IT democratisation and hyper-automation. This is because you can’t automate “anything and everything” without IT democratisation. Hyper-automation will enable the robotisation of production lines and customer service protocols. 

However, these efforts are at risk of being derailed by a lack of tech talent (or the necessary resources to attract and retain top talent). To resolve this issue, businesses can engage an established third-party software solutions provider and integrate low-code/no-code platforms. 

According to Forrester, some notable failures will occur during the rush to push out automation. However,

the lessons learned over the past 12 months will lead up to 30% of organisations increasing their focus on quality through better planning and testing before deployment in production (or exposing it to employees).

This means that companies that do their homework and formulate a modernisation strategy can overcome potential hurdles and integrate automation technologies seamlessly.

Final Thoughts

In 2020, we managed to enable remote working and collaboration across industries effectively. In 2021, companies will take it to the next level by adopting business automation wherever possible to maximum effect. 

Business automation is an investment that cannot be denied in 2021. As the stats above show, this can no longer be considered a luxury feature. This is already a commodity that helps reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks and manual labour, allowing you to focus more on revenue-generating tasks and long-term strategy.

Do you want to reap the benefits of business automation? We can help! Learn more about our bespoke software development services or schedule a commitment-free consultation now. 

Create your account