Digital Transformation

How to Identify Which Business Processes to Automate?

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Change can be challenging. For years, business processes were meticulously structured and followed almost religiously. While perhaps monotonous, this approach provided a sense of comfort and security. Workers were expected to follow established processes faithfully, without thinking too much.

Now, workers are expected to continuously adapt, again and again, to new technological developments. And sometimes, this constant adaptation proves challenging due to inherent resistance to change. While there’s plenty of opportunities for automation, many are reluctant to embrace it, somewhat worried that they themselves will be replaced. However, recognizing the significant benefits of digital transformation for both enterprises and individuals can serve as a bridge to overcome this resistance and fully embrace the automation of tedious tasks.

Predictions suggest that, with the rapid growth of automation, hyperautomation is the next frontier. Hyperautomation includes technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, business process automation and RPA software (robotic process software).

In this post we’ll explore the benefits of automation, discover various automation opportunities, and identify business processes best suited for automation.

What Are Some Deciding Factors for Automation?

The first step to approaching automation is observing your company for signs that it would benefit from it. These signs often manifest themselves clearly:

Repetitive Tasks

Tasks that occur daily, weekly or monthly are prime candidates for automation. Streamlining these repetitive processes not only saves time but also ensures accuracy in data handling.

Time-Consuming Tasks

Tasks that consume a significant amount of time are ripe for automation - whether partially or fully. This is especially true if they prevent employees from focusing on core business needs.

Complex Processes

Processes involving multiple steps or switching between systems are excellent candidates for automation. Custom software solutions can automate such workflows seamlessly, ensuring consistent data management across platforms.

Time-Sensitive Tasks

Automation is a life-saver for tasks with strict deadlines. Automating these workflows guarantees timely completion without compromising accuracy.

Operations Prone to Human Error

Error-prone operations lead to frequent bottlenecks and therefore they are ideal candidates for automation. The likelihood of mistakes is greatly reduced, enhancing reliability and efficiency.

Clearly Defined Processes

Stable processes governed by well-defined business rules are favorable for automation. Stability implies that the process is unlikely to undergo significant changes or redesigns in the near future.

Identifying Automation Opportunities in Different Areas

There are different areas that could benefit significantly from step-by-step automation.

Data Management

Automation is increasingly used in IT departments to detect data anomalies and address data protection concerns, particularly regarding personally identifiable information (PII). Automated processes can efficiently recognize and redact sensitive data fields, enhancing security.


Finance departments often face repetitive tasks such as invoice processing and payment handling. Automation in finance streamlines these processes, leading to improved efficiency and reduced transaction processing costs.

Lead to Cash & Post-Sales

“Lead to cash” processes present significant automation opportunities, especially when sales cycles are categorized into high and low-touch segments. Post-sales processes, including managing return merchandise authorization requests, warranty claims, product repairs, and customer support, benefit from automation. Implementing automation in post-sales operations improves efficiency and enhances customer satisfaction. However, it’s important to align automation efforts with customer expectations, balancing automation with personalized customer experiences.

Identifying Where to Focus: Manual Discovery

Manual Discovery: Top-Down (Interviews, Workshops, Simple Observation)

The automation process often begins with a top-down approach, with finance leaders taking the lead in identifying automation opportunities within their domain. Process automation specialists conduct targeted interviews and workshops to pinpoint manual, repetitive tasks. While effective initially, this method may be limited to obvious automation opportunities.

Manual Discovery: Bottom-Up (SME Sourced)

On the other hand, encouraging business teams to internally identify automation opportunities relies on education and leadership support. However, this approach may overlook end-to-end opportunities and underestimate the full potential for automation.

Identifying Where to Focus: Automated Discovery

Task mining improves process discovery by using objective, data-driven techniques. By capturing users’ computer interactions, this method uncovers all automation opportunities.

Moreover, using real process data enables precise metrics calculation, leading to better prioritization. Integrating task mining with traditional (manual) discovery methods results with the most effective automation program, combining the best of both worlds.

Prioritizing Automation Opportunities

So, you’ve identified areas for improvement. Now, how to decide which ones to actually go for?

Here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding which ones to prioritize:


Automation and its maintenance take time and money, so it’s best to consider factors such as task volume and ongoing maintenance costs.

Process Clarity

Assess the extent to which the task can be standardized - automation works best with clear and well-defined processes.

Human Judgment

Identify tasks that require human judgment and discretion, as these may be less suitable for automation.

Bot Limitations

Take into account the current limitations of automation bots, especially in handling tasks that require advanced reasoning or deal with unstructured data.

Business Processes Best Suited for Automation

Here’s a list of processes that in general benefit from automation.

Customer Support

Customer service tasks, such as resolving inquiries and providing support with the help of chatbots and AI systems, are highly effective for quickly addressing routine customer interactions.

Accounts Payable (AP)

Automating AP and invoice processes improves cash management, reduces errors, and supports hybrid work environments.


Automating the onboarding process accelerates welcoming new employees, particularly appealing to tech-savvy generations who prefer self-guided experiences.

Expense Tracking

Integrating expense tracking with accounting software improves visibility, reduces reliance on paper-based processes and frees up staff from manual tasks.

Data Security

Automation helps identify anomalies and enforce data security measures. Since it restricts access to sensitive information, fraud attempts are identified more quickly and easily.

If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of implementing automation on your own, don’t fret. Partnering with can provide the support you need to navigate the automation journey seamlessly. From planning and development to training and maintenance, we offer comprehensive end-to-end support to make your company operate at its fullest potential.

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1. Which business process is best-suited for automation?

The best-suited business processes for automation are those that are repetitive, time-consuming, prone to human error, and have well-defined rules or standard procedures.

2. How do you assess automation opportunities?

Automation opportunities are assessed by analyzing how cost-effective they are, to which extent they can be standardized and excluding those that require human judgment and discretion.

3. What is the first step to approaching automation?

The first step to approaching automation is identifying areas for improvement.

4. What are the benefits of automation?

The benefits of automation include increased efficiency, reduced human error, improved accuracy, cost savings, enhanced scalability and improved overall productivity.

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