Why objections to business automation just don’t add up

Organizations ranging from SMBs to global enterprises are realizing game-changing efficiencies through business process automation (BPA). With compliance costs for Sarbanes Oxley regulations costing some companies more than $1 million annually, it’s no surprise that business have turned to automation to reduce costs. But if BPA can reduce time spent on tasks from days to hours, why are there still so many organizations hesitant to implement a solution? Below are some of the objections we’ve heard over the years and why they don’t reflect reality.

What if the solution costs more than it saves?

Fortunately, there are wide range of solutions and pricing models available for almost any budget. With careful vendor and product selection, businesses can find a highly specialized solution fit for a Fortune 100 company’s global deployment or an out-of-the-box hosted solution for a small monthly fee.

A key metric to discuss with vendors (and their current customers) is the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the software, licensing, and support over the life of the product. Traditional, code-heavy solutions come with an enormous price tag, take many months or years to deploy, and their prices increase as more and more custom code is required to keep the system running. However, agile low- and no-code solutions provide both quicker implementation times and lower TCO thanks to their extreme configurability. This allows businesses to easily manage their own solutions and avoid costly support over the life of the product. And the longer a business can maintain an effective solution, the more value they will get from the initial investment.

Speaking of implementation, business must be sure to consider the cost of implementation in the cost of the system. Budget-conscious business leaders should seek out a vendor with a fixed price implementation or a 100-percent money-back satisfaction guarantee on product and services.

Our processes are too complex to automate

This one is an immediate red flag, because the more complex the process, the more resources a business can save by automating that process. When a process is thought of as ‘complex’ it usually involves many manual steps and person hours. For example, it takes around 12,000 hours of internal work for a multinational company to keep up with Sarbanes Oxley regulations, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. This time is used to ensure compliance, but it is mostly spent documenting activities to prove regulations were followed.

With the right BPA software, compliance management, including a fully documented audit trail, is built into the solution. Additionally, with automated notifications, one-click approvals, drag-and-drop workflow editors, and other configurable features, your most complex and troublesome processes can be tailored to fit your business needs.

We’re too busy putting out fires to implement a new system

This is a strong indicator that your business processes need improvement. It is easy to get caught in the trap of only responding to urgent tasks, especially when they seem to bury the business. But if you do not take time to handle the important tasks, like improving efficiency and the costs of managing compliance, then you will never solve the larger process issues that are setting these fires in the first place.

A solution to this is to automate one process at a time with an iterative implementation approach. The right vendor will help you sketch out an overall plan and then tackle your most problematic process or department first. When you start to see the benefits and cost savings of automated solution it will be easier to commit time to streamlining the rest of your processes.

Learn more about saving time and money with business process automation. Read our white paper: “Reducing the Costs of Government Compliance with Business Process Automation.”