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How to Introduce Automation to Your Small Business

Automation in your business

Tools that were originally designed to help your business achieve efficiency may now inadvertently be costing you time and money. As you strive to do more with less, you need technology to deliver efficiency.

Business Process Automation (BPA) makes this a reality. It allows you to create a technological ecosystem with every feature working in conjunction with another.

Business Process Automation – What is it?

Business Process Automation has revolutionized businesses by creating more efficient workflows. It frees your team to spend more of their time doing things that are productive and beneficial to the organization. In a well-run business, everything has an efficient process structure to it so that tasks are achieved as accurately as possible for as little cost as possible.

Business Process Automation works off the same set of rules. Working from an initial trigger action, be that prescheduled or because of a prior human action, a series of pre-scripted events will then take place – removing the laborious task of manually working that long list of steps. You define your own parameters from which the automation will act.

Why would you BPA and where can it help you?

Let’s look at a real-world example of Business Process Automation and then break it down to see how it helped.

A business is growing and is beginning to amass a reasonable following on social media. The business is inundated with tweets every day, diverting some employee’s attention from normal duties to respond and engage. This big positive for the popularity of the business has become a problem. A simple but completely manual process is taking up valuable time each day.

By managing this task manually, you may find other work is not getting done on time, or some clients are not getting due attention, or service elsewhere suffers. And this particular task, managing social media, is really a full-time job, even a 24/7 job. If you use social media, you have to stay engaged for it to work for you.

This is where Business Process Automation comes in.

The business introduces Business Process Automation (Power Automate by Microsoft) to manage the workload that the tweets are creating. With Power Automate, you can set up a flow that follows the potential customer, sends them a reply, and adds them to a spreadsheet that is then automatically emailed to you for your approval.

In this example, Power Automate made it possible for the member of the team to get back to the job they were hired to do, and not be constantly pulled away to respond to tweets.

Business Process Automation allows you to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing errors, and keep control of your processes. Arguably the most important of all the benefits of Business Process Automation is the insight it gives you, breaking down business processes the way that BPA requires, will give you new insight into the working of your own organization.

So, how do you implement it?

How to implement BPA in your workplace

Implementing BPA is a challenge that requires thought and planning. This is a collaborative initiative that you’ll want to share with your whole team.

Identify tasks to be automated

Start by collecting feedback from your employees, and by looking at customer problems and request sheets. This will give you an idea of what the glaring challenges are that need automating first.

Most sectors of your business face blockages in their daily workflows. Ask your employees, who have fist-hand knowledge of these challenges. Once having discovered and decided on the correct opportunity, talk to your IT team about software solutions such as  most commonly Power Automate by Microsoft. They will have the responsibility of managing the program throughout integration and uniting the software with your business goals.

Analyzing customer support requests and complaints is another good way of spotting opportunities for automation. It may be beneficial to provide a questionnaire to get some feedback from your customers about the things they feel are great and things that can be improved.

Outline business goals

Knowing your goals will guide you to automate the right parts of your business. What is best accomplished with manual human interaction and what is best accomplished through automation? You must also find a way of measuring its success once it its implemented. You can do this via financial figures, employee feedback, or other means.

Get the team on board

Creating a company culture that’s adaptable to change within your organization is essential. Involve your team every step of the way, in integral decisions going forward, and be sure they receive the training they need to make the automation successful.

Monitor

The last step is to monitor the system frequently to see that it continues to make a difference to the workday. BPA tools are not static – they change and adapt constantly, along with your business. The best tools you work with today could be your company’s biggest hinderance tomorrow, so stay aware of changing technology. For unbiased consultation on the technology that will work best for your business today and down the road, contact mPowered IT.

 

Single Sign On – What Is It and How Does It Affect Your Organization?

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The increase in cyber threats in recent yeas has made the job of your IT team far more difficult. Keeping your network secure can take the focus away from keeping your technology updated and running properly. Single Sign On can take some of the strain off your IT team, allowing them to concentrate more on the tasks that are more important to growth of your organization.

Single Sign On – What is it?

Single Sign On (SSO) allows your users to log in to any related software system with a single username and password. Doing this makes the process of logging in much easier and reduces the likelihood of forgetting passwords. SSO can be real time saver.

How does it work?

Once a user accesses a website using SSO, they can then enter a different website that has the same relationship with the SSO solution. The authentication flow follows the same steps. Put simply, the system remembers that you got the password right on the original site and it will then allow access to the new site.

Does Single Sign On make my organization more or less secure?

SSO can be good and bad – the same features that make it an efficiency booster also make it a vulnerable feature in your IT landscape. It can potentially give a hacker one password to access multiple sites. Your employees may be accessing multiple sites and apps each day in the course of their jobs. Your IT team must have full identity governance to be sure that SSO is as secure as possible. Many companies tackle this issue by purchasing a centralized identity authenticator on special servers, allowing them to govern access to their system. When a team member signs in, their authentication passes through the SSO server, it then passes on their credential for authorizing that person to the app.

You can take this even further by implementing multi-factor or two-factor authentication – which will drastically improve the levels of security your organization is able to achieve. Anything that requires your team to prove their identity is a good thing – once having done so they can use their SSO login credentials successfully.

SSO – alongside other tools – can revolutionize your workplace going forward.

mPowered IT – Ensuring Your Cyber Security

mPoweredIT are your go-to proactive partner in keeping IT systems secure and defended. We never leave things to chance or wait for a problem to arise – predicting and preparing for the threats of tomorrow will help ensure your valuable data is protected and your business continuity maintained.

 

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