You’ve probably automated something without realizing it.
Do you get a notification before your meetings begin? That’s how automation works. Do you get a message when it’s time to renew a subscription or when an event is approaching? Automation strikes once more!
However, if you aren’t used to creating automated workflows yourself, it can be intimidating to consider how automation can help you save time. What factors do you consider when deciding what to automate? What can you accomplish more effectively if you don’t do it yourself? What do you do first?
We asked ixodron specialists how they determine when a task should be automated. Here’s what they said:
It’s a task that you must undertake on a regular basis or on a set timetable.
When deciding which portions of your job to automate, a good starting point is to ask yourself, “What tasks do you execute the most frequently?”
Automation is ideal for tasks that must be completed often or on a set schedule since the benefits are immediate. Every day, you’ll spend less time on repetitive tasks that might rapidly become tiresome or irritating.
“If I have to do something three times, chances are I’ll have to do it a fourth and a fifth time,” explains Cosmin Dobrita, RPA architect at ixodron. “When I’m inclined to add anything to my to-do app as a recurring item, I know it’ll be a good fit for automation. Even if it’s simply an annual occurrence, I’ll try to automate it.”
Flaviu Cioanca, a sales manager, notes that he strives to identify the aspects of his daily work that are repetitive and also tedious to execute manually.
“I’ll consider automating an activity if it’s a repetitive or unpleasant element of my daily workflow,” he says. “Copying data from bills and putting them into the ERP or CRM is an excellent example. In our case, ixodron configured an internal workflow that analyses a client invoice directly from the email, identifies the data that needs to be copied, and then simply feeds them into the CRM, automatically filling in the blanks.”
Now, let’s study some Microsoft automation use cases (Office, Teams, and Azure are used daily by all companies):
It involves sharing information between apps.
Let’s face it: copying and pasting is laborious and time-consuming. Other manual data transfer methods, such as exporting CSV files from one software and then importing them into another, are also ineffective. It quickly gets overwhelming if you must do it over and over again daily or weekly.
“Does it use software/Software as a Service products from start to finish?” I ask when deciding if a task is a suitable candidate for automation, Cosmin Dobrita explains.
Automation is ideal for tasks that involve moving data between programs. When someone fills out a form on your website or subscribes to an email marketing campaign, you can automatically create new leads in your CRM.
It is repetitive and does not necessitate higher-order thinking.
Another important factor to evaluate is if an activity actually requires a human touch. Is it necessary to be creative, problem-solving, or emotionally intelligent? If that’s the case, you should skip automating it. An automation tool like Microsoft Power Automate, on the other hand, might easily manage a boring, uncomplicated task that doesn’t involve complex thought.
By answering a series of questions, Flaviu Cioanca proposes identifying the tasks you wish you didn’t have to do:
“Does the task have a monthly recurrence?
Is there a set of sequences that must be followed each time?
Am I willing to do something else instead?”
It diverts your attention away from what you truly want to do.
And, in the end, that’s what most people do: they automate things that prohibit them from accomplishing what they need to do.
“I think about how much time I waste without performing important business operations like sales or customer service,” Cosmin Dobrita adds. “I’m already thinking of automating it if the response is more than 15 to 20 minutes every day and it’s a rules-based procedure that uses software from start to end.”
He argues that automation means more than just saving a few minutes here and there for him. It’s all about how that time accumulates over time.
“Over the course of a year, all those little time fragments pile up,” he explains. “Simply put, 20 minutes saved every weekday multiplied by 250 average workdays in a year is around 5,000 minutes saved. That’s more than 80 hours, or two weeks!”
Start automating with ixodron today
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ixobi is an ixodron company