People or Programs: How to Decide What to Automate in Your Business


Your business is your baby. You’ve poured years (or months) of hard work, sleepless nights and hard-stretched funds into it. So, when it comes to making big business decisions, naturally you err on the side of caution. This is probably becoming particularly obvious now that so many kinds of different programs and software are available. You have to decide whether to move to the cloud; whether you try new platforms; and whether you use programs or people. This last one is a big decision. There’s so much software out there that can automate a range of tasks, meaning you can reduce your head count, or not need to hire as many people. However, can you take a risk on software you’ve never used? Will it be just as good as a person doing it? Well, you won’t know for certain until you try, but here are some areas you can definitely think about automating.

Admin and accounting

There’s so many small, mindless tasks involved in accounting and admin – yet someone still has to do them. They take ages, but they’re easy and simple, making them the worst kind of jobs to pay someone to do. So, it’s time to look into automating your finances. You can do everything with new software and programs: from time management and expenses, to invoicing, tax reports and bill payments. Automating finance not only gives you more resource, as it’ll free so much of your team’s time, but it ensures that no human error can crop up. Similarly, you won’t need to worry about fetching data or running reports, as it will all happen automatically.


Of course, not all of your marketing can be automated. You still need creative ideas, copy and design, and that all needs to be done by a group of people (although an innovative advertising agency in Japan has an AI creative director – and it’s going quite well). However, when it comes to rolling out campaigns, you should look into marketing automation software. You can get as much – if not more – done, and at a fraction of the price of hiring a person to do it. Automating your emails and social media posts saves your marketing team time, so they can spend their day doing everything a computer platform can’t. Likewise, this software is always easy to use, so you don’t have to spend ages teaching employees how to use it or what to do.

Data and IT

If your business is already based on cloud platforms, then you don’t need to worry as much: nearly all of your tasks are automated. From data backup to updates, there’s little you need to do in the way of IT. Plus, as you’ll be using a service provider’s cloud platform, if there are any issues, you won’t need to deal with them anyway. However, if you’re not using the cloud yet, you have two options. Either move to the cloud, and take full advantage of its automated services. Or, find software that gives you the same benefits, without having to move to the cloud. However, as more and more businesses and customers only want to deal with cloud-based companies, it’s worth starting the digital transformation journey.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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