Start automation with low-hanging fruit - TechCentral

Start automation with low-hanging fruit

Peter Clarke

The automation journey should begin by identifying the mundane, repetitive processes that are essential to a business but that consume valuable staff time, says Peter Clarke, CEO of LanDynamix.

“Every business has them: dull, repetitive tasks that need to be done but that can be soul-destroying and negatively affect the morale of those performing them,” he says. “Tasks of this nature lend themselves to automation very readily, and the benefits can be quite significant in terms of employee engagement, accuracy and, ultimately, business efficiency.”

Clarke says a second category of process that is a prime candidate for automation are the mundane and repetitious jobs that nevertheless require extreme accuracy. An example of such a chore is the manual transfer of data relating to a client’s consumption of a service to the billing system. Any inaccuracies can set in motion a series of costly remediation actions by the financial department and also result in reputational damage.

A third category includes jobs that are highly labour intensive. For example, IT departments need to deliver software patches to a large number of machines on a regular basis. Doing so manually consumes large tracts of time for technical staff — time that could be spent doing other work that adds greater business value. By contrast, automated patch management takes virtually no human time and runs smoothly in the background, with exceptions being flagged for manual intervention.

Clarke says that LanDynamix itself is well down the road toward automation, particularly with regard to billing, sales and IT, with IT already highly automated. He illustrates the benefits of automation through the regular month-end task of billing customers for use of the LanDynamix voice platform.

‘Significant outcomes’

“The manual capture of clients’ use of the voice platform onto the billing system took an average of 90 minutes every month and to make matters worse this was on the busiest day for the accounts department. Removing that 90-minute chore from accounting produced significant positive outcomes. Firstly, it eliminated the real potential for human error, caused by pressure, and secondly, it added productive time into the work picture, time that could be much better spent on more important business tasks.

“As with most automation projects, there was a relatively small upfront cost to create the link between two separate systems, but it was easy to justify and does not need to be incurred again,” he says.

“We have found that by showing clients what we have done as a company provides a powerful way of communicating what we can do for them. It opens their eyes to the potential of automation and what it offers in terms of efficiency gains, intelligent use of staff time and ultimately the growth of their business.”

About LanDynamix
LanDynamix provides cybersecurity solutions and managed services in the South African ICT arena. Our areas of specialisation include remote support and monitoring, as well as management. Our Security Operations Centre delivers globally competitive levels of protection to our customers’ businesses. We use these services and solutions to operate our clients’ technologies for them, protect them from security breaches, and consequently free them to focus on core business and growth. LanDynamix is able to maximise clients’ competitive advantage, while minimising down-time, risk and costs. For further information log onto www.landynamix.co.za.

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