Automating rote business processing tasks is a hot topic among small and mid-sized businesses heading into 2014 because their options for achieving automation affordably (and without a lot of upfront IT work) are proliferating with the increasing availability of SaaS-based solutions.
Gartner predicted that by 2015, fully 55% of SaaS software sales will come from SMBs. Many of them will make their move for the first time in the next 12 months.
While we do recommend you get started with such profitable IT investments, we continue to counsel a patience approach! With all the options, and a wish list of processes that need automating (expense reports, invoice management, HR talent acquisition and management, procurement and so on), you cannot properly embed all the new software solutions into your organization all at once. Take them in series, working with a vendor that can build from one module with ease, customizing your solutions as you go.
Example: We had a client who recently ?scaled up? from expense report management software by adding aspects of our procurement solution (invoicing, in this case.) Once that is in place, automating document management is their first goal for 2014.
Each step has been carefully planned, and fully adopted by employees before they are asked to adopt the next system. The client is fully convinced adoption rates at their smaller company would have flagged if they had tried to impose a bunch of automation solutions all at once.
What is on your automation wish list for 2014? What analytical approach are you using to prioritize these initiatives? Are the employees collaborating in this planning? What are their most pressing needs?
We find involving the employees in the planning process take more time up front, but saves a lot of time once implementation starts, because they are invested in the project?s success.
Let us know what input you might need from us to help that collaborative process along.