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AUTOMATION: THE KEY TO SA BUSINESSES FUTURE

Automation is predicted to have a significant impact on how people and businesses operate in the next decade. Although there are pockets of sophisticated automation in South Africa, it is fragmented. In order to build economies of scale, South African companies need to begin implementing automation now.

THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTOMATION FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

Automation provides a unique opportunity for you to scale your business. Automation promotes business growth and expanded service offerings while improving the consistency and speed of your service offerings all without the need to increase your headcount.

THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTOMATION FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY

Automation is seen as the only option for South Africa to address the staggering rate of poverty and poor economic growth. According to a study carried out by Wharton, automation has the potential to increase an organization’s efficiency and quality of outputs that leads to an increase in demand and productivity. This increased demand creates a need for more employees, thus increasing the number of jobs available in an organization. Automation not only creates more job opportunities for the unemployed, but a more productive and efficient organization will contribute to an increase in economic growth. 

Implementing automation within our companies will allow South Africa to remain competitive in the global market by reducing operational costs, increasing productivity and improving the quality of homegrown products and services. There is a need in SA to implement automation in SA to remain in stride with our global counterparts or run the risk of becoming stagnant in a dynamic and technology-driven environment. 

SA businesses need to implement and master automation or run the risk of being conquered by 4IR and have little stake in the economic activities of our country. 

Through automation, the government, business leaders, and our society can work together to ensure that we thrive in the era of the 4IR. South Africa needs to embrace technological advances, reskill workers in automation and change the unfavourable perception of automation prevailing in our economy.

WHERE TO START

1. Business strategy:

The implementation of automation should be driven by your business strategy. Often technology-related initiatives are driven solely by the technology team, which can result in the automation of business processes that don’t necessarily contribute towards the overall business strategy.

 The business strategy in relation to automation should focus on reducing operational costs, improving the client experience, and increasing the delivery speed of new products and features.

2. Evaluate your current technological resources

The current technological tools and platforms within your company need to be analysed before a decision is made to implement new technologies. Businesses should start by introducing plans to develop current business processes and make better use of the tools already in place within the business. You need to analyse the features of your currently technological tools and platforms and determine how they can assist in implementing your overall business strategy, as well as where they fall short. 

3. Identify opportunities to automate:

Shortfalls are an opportunity to introduce newer technologies that have the potential to assist in automating business activities and contributing towards your overall business strategy in ways that older technologies are unable to. 

4. Select the correct automation solution:

When looking for new solutions, choosing the correct supplier of those solutions is as important as the solution itself. Firstly, you need to determine what features you require from this new solution and then which services providers have the ability to provide this.  Once this has been established, a demo should be requested to determine which service providers solution has the ability to meet the company’s needs.

Automation is the key to futureproof your business in South Africa. Other than the myriad of benefits in relation to operational efficiency and productivity, it allows your business to remain competitive in both the local and global markets.

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