Small Business Automation: 3 Types of Tasks That You Could, But Should Not Automate

Everyone is talking about automation these days. We automate application deployment, code testing, Analytics reports, bulk image optimization, server builds... Up to the point where you run the risk of... over-automating your business processes. That critical point where your small business automation strategy becomes first ineffective, then even dangerous.

When, instead of “reaping” those results that we've set up our workflow automation for, in the first place:

  • to free our staff from “mundane” tasks so they can focus on higher-value processes
  • to cut down costs
  • to reduce the risk of human error 

… we end up causing more damage instead.

Therefore, knowing which are the perfect IT operation “candidates” for automation and which of them you should never automate is critical. 

For, you can't just automate... everything. Every single manual process. 

And here, just think operations such as building use cases, validating features, assessing capabilities and so on...

A bit confused now?

Here, let me shed some light and point out to you 3 such business tasks that, although you could, you should never automate:


1. Operations That Are Constantly Changing

Including tasks that should be frequently updated and constantly enhanced into your small business automation strategy is just... counter-effective.

It would only lead to unstable suites. And it's more than predictable:

Why would you rely on a machine-learning algorithm for automating tasks that... are non-standardized? That are variable and inconsistent?

Like front-office tasks, for instance, that, more often than not (compared to back-office tasks), depend on your staff's decision-making skills.


2. Non-Repetitive Tasks

Again, it won't pay the effort to automate business tasks that don't need to be performed on a regular basis (daily, weekly). Or, even “worse”: one-time tasks!

And here, think non-repetitive (and often highly complex) tasks, like tweaking something in your source code setup. Not only that it's not a recurrent task, but it also calls for successive human validation and input.

Or, here's another example: addressing an issue that you're challenged with while you run a setup, an issue that's OS or architecture specific

Definitely not the ideal “candidates” to include in your small business automation plan.


3. Processes that Require (Constant) Human Intervention/Validation

And tasks that call for a lot of human input and creative thinking fall into this category, as well.

Tasks like design processes, content writing, problem-solving and so on.

And it's more than logical:

Why would you even bother putting on “autopilot” operations that require human validation at regular intervals? There's no way you could reduce costs in such cases: the costs of analysis will always be there, they're inevitable.

Of course, as you can see, I have just barely scratched the surface with this “trio” here. With this basic list of 3 common types of IT operations that you shouldn't automate.

And it's a fact: in 2019 it's become critical to include automation into your company-wide strategic planning. To eliminate repetitive, mundane manual tasks from your team's workflows.

Yet, it is equally crucial not to... overuse automation. 

And thus to risk sabotaging your entire small business automation strategy.