The short-term benefits of automating repetitive, manual workflows are well known: saving time, saving money, and increasing efficiency. But there are lesser-known, long-term benefits of automation, too, and they can have a profound and lasting effect on the success of your business.
Here are three ways in which automating processes can transform your business for the long haul.
1. Focus Employees on Innovation
2. Reduce Risk
3. Make Better Decisions
by Staff Writer
By the end of this year, enterprises are expected to pass the 50 percent milestone for cloud adoption, meaning that half of businesses will be using at least one cloud application, platform, or service. But this prediction also means that by 2019, the other half will still be missing out on the tremendous benefits cloud computing can offer.
The cloud refers to software and network infrastructures that are hosted in remote data centers rather than on your business’s premises or devices, accessed via the internet. The slow rate of adoption means that many businesses have yet to realize the operational improvements and efficiencies that can come from the cloud.
Words from Ian Khan, technology futurist and author of Cloud Wars, stand out: “We still have a lot of catch-up to do. Enterprises are planning the future, but many are still living in the past.” But for growth-focused organizations, he says, “there’s no other option. The future is about the cloud.”
How can moving to the cloud benefit your business? By taking a page out of Khan’s book, we’ve identified four key benefits.
by Stephen Danos
The benefits of building and maintaining a culture of quality can be measured in dollars. According to a 2014 study, companies that emphasize quality, and ultimately make fewer mistakes, can save an estimated $67 million per every 5,000 employees.
At a time when customers increasingly use social media and online reviews to make informed purchasing decisions, the pressure is increasing for businesses to continually raise the quality of their offerings. This emphasis on quality — combined with pressures to respond to changing demands at speed — can lead to more mistakes for companies that lack a clearly defined doctrine of quality.
So, how do effective leaders build and sustain a culture of quality — without sacrificing speed? Here are some ways business leaders can get started.
As initiatives get bigger and headcounts get smaller at large organizations, business leaders are challenged to do more with less. Despite their best efforts, it’s easy for productivity to tank when time-wasting workplace conventions and habits continue.
Common unproductive tasks can lead workers to spend less than half of their time on their main jobs. One survey found that U.S. employees at enterprise companies of 1000 or more employees only spend 45% of their time on primary job duties. The other 55% is spent on email, meetings, administrative tasks, and interruptions.
Here’s a look at five time-wasters that are draining your team’s productivity and taking time away from creative and innovative work, and what you can do to help them get more of the important stuff done.
When was the last time your department’s best new idea came at the end of a day of data entry or back-to-back status meetings? History’s greatest innovators (Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates to name a few) regularly tout the importance of creating space for reflection and deep thought to unlock their best ideas, yet employees are busier than ever and logging increasing hours. Even with these longer hours, workers report they spend almost half of their time on repetitive, low-value tasks.
This is significant time that is taken away from high-value, innovative work. So what’s at the root of this rampant repetitive work? Rework caused by human error, suboptimal meeting culture, and email overload are three of the biggest factors preventing your team from maximizing their potential. To gain a competitive edge, organizations must find a solution to remain relevant. Here’s a look at what’s keeping your team from innovation and what you can do about it.
The new year is often a time for reflection — a time to think about what we’ve accomplished and what we can do better next year. To help you have an even greater impact in 2018, we wanted share five of the best new features in Smartsheet that came out in the last year and review best practices on how to use them to effectively manage team work.
Here are five pro tips to help drive your success with Smartsheet in 2018.
Pro Tip 1: Card View
Card View gives teams a more visual way to communicate, collaborate, prioritize and organize work. Not familiar with Card View? Card View is inspired by Kanban boards - a work visualization style designed to let teams easily manage their work. Using Card View, the columns and rows in Smartsheet are replaced by lanes of cards that let you visually track the flow of your work from start to finish.
To find out the latest tips and tricks for using Card View, watch the webinar below. You can also learn more about what you can do with Card View from our help article here, or access the card view templates in the template gallery here.
Employees and the C-suite often struggle to cope with an abundance of tools meant to facilitate better collaboration. Yet even with so many tools, nothing seems to be in the right place and the tools (e.g., email, online chat, file sharing) don’t always work well together. As a result, many employees give up and default to the tool they are most familiar with: Email.
Email will never go away, but we need to look at how we can give people better choices for working together. Until they have access to better tools, employees won’t switch from email because people cling to the familiar.
Additionally, the chaos created by too many collaboration tools imposes a tax on productivity. But bringing order to this chaos is possible by looking to the cloud. A cloud-based work management solution provides a single workspace that streamlines and centralizes collaboration with tools that are intuitive and flexible for workers, both internal and external.
Is your organization ready to collaborate in a new way?
Time spent on routine tasks reduces your ability to focus on solving problems or innovating for your business. Managing updates, status reports, and approvals is time consuming and repetitive, not to mention disjointed and error-prone. Often, the updates and approvals you need to move work forward get lost in your email inbox, or requests get lost in someone else’s.
We are excited to introduce three powerful new capabilities in Smartsheet: Automated Actions to eliminate routine tasks, freeing you to focus on higher value work; Smartsheet notification center to make it easier to stay up to date; and an all-new mobile app to help you, your team, and your stakeholders move work forward from anywhere.
Automation can free up time by taking over tasks. But turning that free time into time for innovation takes practice.
Most business leaders will tell you that creativity is critical to business success. In a study by Forrester, 82% of leaders surveyed believed in a strong connection between creativity and business results. And that’s not just perception. Companies with cultures that encourage creativity outperform their competitors by driving innovation, revenue growth, and market share.
Furthermore, over two-thirds of the companies that were ranked highly for fostering creativity have received awards and recognition for being a “best place to work.” Creativity — or the ability to be creative at work — is also important to employees, and may be lacking. Nearly a third of employed U.S. adults would take a pay cut for a job that allowed them to be more creative, according to a Creative Live survey.
Writers and Bloggers from Smartsheet.