Back-office tasks might not steal the limelight, but for any thriving company, they’re the support that drives them forward. With the digital winds of change sweeping across industries, automation has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity.
Why? Let’s find out how automation aids the back office, which in turn boosts business efficiency.
The Current State of Back Office Operations
The back office has always been the backbone of businesses, managing everything from documents and record-keeping to payments. But, get this: as per a 2020 Deloitte Insights report, nearly 60% of businesses still choose to roll with manual systems for at least one back-office function.
It’s an attempt at keeping things old school. With the way trends emerge and consolidate their position, businesses are adapting automation as a means to make tasks efficient, while also giving them a competitive edge against those already settled into automation.
Why is Automation the Next Logical Evolution?
In the digital era, data isn’t just data—it’s a behemoth. On average, businesses now manage a staggering 163 terabytes of data, as stated in an IDC report. With such colossal data piles, accuracy and speed become paramount, making automation not just convenient but essential.
We can’t imagine staff managing this magnitude of data with precision, calling for automation for betterment.
Benefits of Back Office Automation
When businesses embrace automation, they aren’t just updating an age-old system; they’re reinventing their entire operational ethos. Think about it: process efficiency can skyrocket by up to 60%, as highlighted by the McKinsey Global Institute. Moreover, Capgemini Research Institute points out that post-adoption, 86% of businesses enjoyed increased efficiency, and 67% observed an elevated customer experience. Automation, thus, isn’t merely about doing things faster, but also doing them better.
- Increased Productivity: Automating the routine? It’s like giving time back to your team.
- Enhanced Accuracy: Decreased chances of mistakes through manual labor.
- Cost Efficiency: Fewer mistakes = Money saved. Simple math.
- Boosted Morale: No more bored Back Office Staff, let the machines do it.
While automation is hard to resist, the journey isn’t necessarily an easy one. Setup costs, initial resistance, and concerns about data protection are some roadblocks. In fact, Forrester Research suggests that 43% of businesses face challenges in their automation transition due to budget constraints and expertise shortfalls, most of which are foreseeable.
Gazing into the Future of Back Office Automation
At the rate things are changing, what can we expect from back-office automation? It’s a blend of AI, Machine Learning, and Cloud Computing, converging to elevate back-office automation into uncharted territories.
By 2025, as Gartner projects, a whopping 73% of businesses are setting sights on investing in AI-centric back office tasks. With this, the entire landscape is expected to change, skyrocketing businesses into imminent success.
Back Office Software Solutions: Embracing Technological Advancements
Back-office software solutions are quickly changing the way businesses embrace back office automation. By automating and streamlining key back office processes, such as accounting, human resources, customer service, and IT support, back office software can help businesses improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and improve their bottom line.
Here are some of the ways in which back-office software is changing the game for businesses:
Increased efficiency: Back office software can automate many repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic and value-added work. For example, accounting software can automate tasks such as invoice processing and payroll, while CRM software can automate tasks such as lead generation and customer follow-up.
Reduced costs: Back office software can help businesses reduce costs in a number of ways. For example, by automating manual tasks, back office software can reduce labor costs. Additionally, back office software can help businesses reduce paper costs, inventory costs, and other overhead costs.
Improved accuracy: Back office software can help businesses improve the accuracy of their data and reduce the risk of errors. For example, accounting software can help businesses track their finances more accurately, while ERP software can help businesses manage their inventory more effectively.
Enhanced compliance: Back office software can help businesses comply with industry regulations and standards. For example, HR software can help businesses comply with labor laws and payroll regulations, while ERP software can help businesses comply with environmental regulations.
Some well-known back-office software providers include:
Accounting software: SAP Business One, QuickBooks, NetSuite
Human resources software: Workday, ADP, Paycor
Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho CRM
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software: SAP ERP, Oracle ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365
The back office, often misunderstood and overlooked, is emerging as the powerhouse of businesses in contemporary times. As automation wields its powers, redefining operational norms and breaking the shackles of manual constraints, the question isn’t whether businesses should adapt, but how soon. If the wave hasn’t reached your shores yet, perhaps it’s time to set sail and meet it head-on.