How to get started with enterprise workflow automation

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No matter the size of your operation, you need efficient workflows to streamline processes, optimize resource utilization, and enhance business outcomes. But when you’re dealing with the complexity and scale of enterprises, workflow automation becomes even more important to support collaboration and business growth.

According to a global office worker survey, the majority of employees feel “crushed” by mundane manual tasks, with 68% of the respondents saying they wish they had more time to take on new responsibilities. With digital workflow automation, you free your team from repetitive work. 

Defining enterprise workflow management

Enterprise workflow management is the systematic design, execution, and optimization of business processes within a large-scale organization. It uses structured methodologies and technology solutions — such as workflow automation tools — to enhance efficiency, team collaboration, and the overall effectiveness of operational workflows. 

By orchestrating tasks, you expedite routine operations, reduce human errors, and enhance scalability. You reap benefits, from increased employee productivity and business agility, to cost savings.

What you can do with enterprise workflow automation

How to automate enterprise workflows: Key steps

Let’s review five key steps to automate enterprise workflows.

1. Have a clear understanding of your business processes and goals

Gain a deep understanding of your organization’s existing processes. Document and analyze your business workflows to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement. Develop a strategic plan, defining the desired outcomes of your enterprise workflow automation initiatives. This way, you know which manual processes and use cases to prioritize. 

2. Choose a scalable enterprise workflow automation software

Implement a customizable workflow management software that makes it easy to set up and get visibility into your processes. Make sure it integrates with your existing collaboration tools and is capable of handling increased data volume, user numbers, and process complexity.

Look for these key features and capabilities in your enterprise workflow software:

Features of workflow management system Benefit to enterprises
No-code user interface With an intuitive interface, even users without coding skills are able to easily create and customize workflows
Workflow templatesPredefined models or patterns of workflows serve as starting points for creating  consistent and standardized processes
Notifications and alertsReal-time messages and updates inform relevant stakeholders about task assignments, status changes, or any other important activities
Activity trackingMonitoring the progress of tasks and processes within a workflow provides a transparent view of who is doing what and when
SecurityAccess control, encryption, and other security measures protect sensitive data and guarantee the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information
Pre-built integrations Integrations enable smooth data exchange, collaboration, and coordination between different productivity apps

3. Provide user training to foster adoption

According to a Salesforce study, 89% of full-time workers are more satisfied with their jobs due to automation. 

Provide training to your team on your enterprise workflow management system. Leverage pre-built workflow templates to give them ideas of the type of automation they can incorporate into regular processes.

Promote user adoption by emphasizing the benefits of automated workflows — in particular, share how teams will save time and improve their work-life balance. 

4. Ensure data security 

Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data and comply with industry regulations. Workflow automation software for enterprises usually comes with multi-factor authentication, permission controls, audit trails, and more.

5. Monitor progress and identify opportunities for improvement

After you build your first automated workflows, learn from that experience and gradually expand your use cases. The key is to regularly review and analyze digital processes to identify new opportunities for automation.

Top enterprise digital workflows you should automate

For 78% of companies, productivity gains are a desired impact of implementing an automation initiative. If you’re new to enterprise workflow automation, look for use cases where routine and repetitive tasks consume significant time. 

Top enterprise use cases of automated workflows

Start with these three automated digital workflows for enterprise operations.

Document generation

Imagine you have to generate documents, such as service notifications or inventory reports, at a weekly cadence. In this case, you benefit from workflows that capture, process, and input data into digital systems, enabling automatic document generation. For example, you can generate custom customer reports with information retrieved from Salesforce.  

With enterprise workflow automation, eliminate manual steps such as exporting and uploading documents across different tools. You can build a template with different types of placeholders and tags, and then plug data from a variety of sources into these tags to create the final document. No exporting, uploading, or typos.

Task assignment 

Collaborative workflow automation enables seamless team coordination. Let’s say you need to create and submit a pitch deck for approval. You can set workflows that assign tasks automatically based on triggers such as execution activity. The reviewer will get a notification when their action is required.

Without this type of enterprise workflow automation, you might have to email or message a coworker to say that the content is ready — or you might be uncertain about who is currently responsible for advancing the task. These manual processes are top hindrances to employee productivity, as a Box-sponsored IDC study reveals.

Barriers to employee productivity

E-signature collection

With the rise of remote work, the demand for compliant e-signatures continues to grow across different departments. By converting to native e-signature tools, workflow automation, and cloud document management, you ensure your content flows and you boost collaboration.

Instead of relying on manual distribution and approval of files for electronic signature, automated digital workflows intelligently route those documents to the appropriate stakeholders.

Department Signature-driven workflows
SalesContracts, service agreements, change orders
MarketingAgency contracts, SOWs, speaker agreements
LegalEquity agreements, patents, regulatory compliance documents
FinanceExpense approval forms, stock purchase agreements, IRS declarations
Human resourcesOffer letters, policies, promotions 

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Level up enterprise workflow automation with Box Relay and Box Sign

Box Relay puts you in control of your content-based workflow automation. 

You’re able to create rules to streamline everything you do in the Content CloudFrom automatically creating custom reports, to assigning a task for review, Box supports a wide range of multi-step processes. You can build automated workflows from scratch through our no-code interface or leverage templates to jump-start the process. 

Even request files, reviews, and approvals from users without a Box account. With Box Sign, you get unlimited e-signatures per document or user. You can collect signatures through third party apps, including Salesforce. And as announced at BoxWorks, we’re rolling out the private beta of our solution to document generation — Box Doc Gen — starting this spring.

The best part: You inherit our enterprise-grade security and compliance, and Box Shield protects the flow of your content without compromising your retention policies.

Contact our team and let’s discuss all you can do with our enterprise workflow automation software.

CTA to automate enterprise workflows with Box

**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blog post is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.

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