The Role of Humans in Robotic Process Automation

The Role of Humans in Robotic Process AutomationWhile robotic process automation has been touted as the be all and end all of workplace optimization, in reality it’s not necessarily the magical quick-fix that many in business leadership envision it to be. It’s much more complex than that. Will it ultimately lead to greater efficiency and productivity levels? Definitely. Robotic process automation is certainly poised to dramatically change the way we work, but it’s not as though we’re going to be turning our jobs entirely over to machines. To be truly effective, RPA still requires a certain degree of human management.

Human input and oversight is critical for RPA to be successful. In a perfect world, it would be great to simply plug and play, putting the robots in place and just letting them do their thing. But that’s not what you’d do with human workers, right? Just like your employees, the robots you implement must first be told what to do. The tasks, workflows and processes they’re employed to do must be built and communicated, and that’s where humans come into play.

The good news is, with the right software solution, this is relatively straightforward (i.e. it doesn’t require any advanced coding or programming skills). Regardless, however, building and implementing a complex RPA process still time and attention. The most important step is determining what processes can and should be automated to achieve maximum efficiency, and this cannot be done without human input. It’s also equally important that the process be tested regularly, particularly during the building and implementation process, to ensure that it’s working properly. Again, this requires human intelligence.

Those who have already been successful at adopting and leveraging robotic process automation within their organization recommend establishing a dedicated team to oversee and manage the automation process. It shouldn’t be assumed or expected that IT will simply add RPA to its list of other functions. Those in charge of RPA should specifically be assigned the duties of managing and modifying workflows, allocating the appropriate number of robots to daily tasks, prioritizing work and, of course, dealing with exceptions as they arise. The latter part in particular demonstrates the important role of humans in ensuring that RPA runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Furthermore, just like their human counterparts, robots will require routine performance reviews. Obviously this won’t require tact and two-way interaction, but rather its purpose is to improve the automated processes whenever and wherever possible. Once up and running, the robotic process automation team will need to oversee processes at various intervals, fixing anything that goes awry and identifying areas of potential improvement. Additionally, human input is required to go through, analyze and leverage all of the data and documentation reported by the robots.

So, while the ultimate purpose of robotic process automation is to streamline operations, it’s not meant to replace human workers. In fact, at least as of the time of this writing, this wouldn’t even be possible. In reality, RPA is meant to enhance and improve the work environment for humans and only with their support, input and management can the true benefits of automation be realized.

Curious about how RPA works and whether it would be a good fit for your organization? Request a free product demo today.

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Best practices for rolling out Robotic Process Automation

Best practices for rolling out Robotic Process AutomationAwhile back, we pointed out the many distinct benefits that robotic process automation has to offer businesses of every size and industry. But what about those first few steps? How can one develop an implementation strategy that will make rolling out RPA as smooth and stress-free as possible? If you’re preparing to adopt RPA for your organization, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Involve the Whole Team – Even if the RPA technology will be managed by a specific department, such as IT, that doesn’t mean the implementation process should be exclusive to that group. To the contrary, nobody will understand the very processes you’re trying to automate better than the end-user. Tap into this resource during the planning and implementation process to ensure that every necessary angle is covered.

Make it a Collaborative Effort – Expanding on our previous point, the implementation of robotic process automation shouldn’t be handled in silos, but rather as a collaborative effort amongst all of the teams and departments that will be directly affected by this new technology. During the planning stage, it might be helpful to hold focus groups and gather as much feedback as possible from different perspectives. As a bonus, this process can help you identify change champions who will further support the adoption of your automation initiative.

Develop a Core Team – When it comes time to focus on which tasks and workflows should be automated and what each step of the implementation process should be, it’s always good practice to have a dedicated automation team to lead the cause. Most likely, this group would be made up of individuals from within your organization, but it may involve some external consulting, depending on the size and scope of the project at hand.

Leverage Self-Service – The goal of robotic process automation is to maximize efficiency and productivity levels. Self-service automation is a great tool for achieving these goals. Not only does it save the end user time and aggravation, but it also frees up your IT help desk personnel to focus their efforts on more strategic and complex issues. Incorporate self-service into your RPA initiative as much as possible.

Drive and Measure Adoption – One thing is for sure, nobody likes change. Driving adoption of a new technology, such as RPA, can be incredibly challenging. That’s why developing a strong and strategic change management plan is critical. It’s also why identifying change champions is such an important step, since these individuals will lead the charge on your behalf.

As with anything else in the business world, preparation is the key to success when it comes to implementing robotic process automation. By planning ahead and keeping the above best practices in mind, your RPA initiative will be a much more positive and painless experience for everyone.

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5 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Improving the Healthcare Industry

5 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Improving the Healthcare IndustryThese days, it seems everybody is buzzing about robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other so-called next generation technologies. One area where a number of these technologies are already helping to streamline process and improve operations is in healthcare. In particular, robotic process automation has enabled those in the healthcare field to shift a significant amount of manual, time-intensive and error-prone work from human to machine with incredible results.

To demonstrate how RPA can be applied in healthcare, let’s take a look at five real-world examples.

Administration – Much of the busy-work that healthcare industry workers get bogged down with, including training, data entry and accounting, can be transitioned to software robots. Not only does this save time, but it also eliminates the risk of human error, improving accuracy and client satisfaction levels.

Claims Administration – A good portion of daily time is spent handling claims, whether it’s inputting and processing, adjusting or dealing with appeals. Imagine how much more your team could accomplish if those routine, time consuming tasks were shifted to machine. This is one of the biggest areas where robotics process automation is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Membership Management – Another area where time is not optimized when performed manually is that of managing members. For instance, setting up accounts, verifying eligibility, processing enrollments, managing benefits, billing and customer service are all part of the daily drudgery. All of these functions can be automated.

Provider Management – On the flip side of things, providers must also be managed just like members are. Credentialing of new providers, data and network management and assisting with contract audits are necessary evils that can and should be transferred from human agents to robotic process automation.

Care Management – Last, but certainly not least, there are the important workflows involved in managing care, including coordinating that care, case and utilization management, population wellness and remote monitoring. Once again, RPA is ideal for centralizing and streamlining these workflows effortlessly.

The result of shifting these and other routine tasks from human agents to software robots is far more than just cost savings. More healthcare leaders are recognizing the value-added proposition that robotic process automation has to offer, including greater quality and innovation. When workers are no longer bogged down by their daily tasks, they are freed up to focus on more critical activities, like engaging in more meaningful customer interactions.

The most exciting part? Robotic process automation isn’t something that’s coming in the near future. It’s already here, and it’s already changing the face of healthcare as we know it. Don’t miss the boat! Schedule your free product demo and see our Next Generation automation platform, powered by AI, in action today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

The Case for Robotic Process Automation in Financial Services

Without question, the financial services industry has experienced tremendous change over the past decade or so. Between ever-changing regulatory challenges to evolving technology to increased competition and more, staying afloat in this field certainly isn’t easy. Robotic process automation (RPA) is helping many institutions meet these challenges head on and emerge even more successful on the other side.

First, it’s important to clarify that despite its name, adopting RPA isn’t technically about unleashing an army of actual robots to perform the rote work of humans. In reality, robotic process automation involves software applications which are designed to handle everything from simple, routine tasks to complex workflows. Furthermore, RPA that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning has the capability of adapting and improving over time.

Simply put, RPA is revolutionizing the way that banks, lending institutions and insurers carry out their business practices. In fact, this technology is ideal for the financial services industry because of the staunch regulations and high volume of transactions being performed on a daily basis. From an accounting perspective, for instance, RPA can be applied to everything from recording journal entries to performing account reconciliation. RPA can even be used to manage invoices, audit expense reports and process payments.

The Case for Robotic Process Automation in Financial ServicesPerhaps the area where robotic process automation is most beneficial to financial institutions is in the way of regulatory compliance and risk management. Employing an intelligent automation platform, a financial firm can utilize advanced technology to automatically evaluate account openings and review disclosures to ensure that employees remain compliant at all times. Robotic software can run continuous reviews and reconciliations to identify anomalies and alert management of potential problems.

In terms of risk management, RPA can help spot and verify even the most subtle of changes in exposure as well as determine the cause for such movement. Automation can also be used to assess credit limits and identify the cause when those limits are breached. Intelligent RPA combined with AI and machine learning can take these things a step further by leveraging data to provide recommendations for which course of action should be taken in order to limit risk and remain compliant.

One of the reasons RPA is such a valuable tool in the financial industry is because it is capable of undertaking tasks at an incredibly high rate of speed while also performing those tasks uniformly and without error. This is why it’s widely accepted, both by financial firms as well as regulatory agencies. It is not, however, meant to replace human workers altogether. To the contrary, RPA is designed to augment the skills of human employees, making their jobs easier and freeing them up to focus on those tasks that cannot be automated.

And lastly, despite being in an industry that is perpetually dealing with change, the one thing that seems to always remain constant is the need to reduce operating costs while maximizing efficiency. Robotic process automation is fundamentally designed to help firms achieve these goals by enabling the standardization and centralization of a broad spectrum of business processes. At the same time, RPA increases controls and facilitates consistency in execution. And because automation eliminates much of the tedious, manual tasks, staff can apply their talent to more high-value and meaningful work, which means higher retention rate. In other words, everyone wins.

Given all of these value-added benefits, it’s no surprise that leading financial institutions are already leveraging the power of RPA to help streamline operations and provide competitive advantage. If you are in the financial industry and would like to see for yourself just how automation can improve your firm’s overall performance, we encourage you to take Ayehu for a test drive today.

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Is Robotic Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?

Is Robotic Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?When robotic process automation first hit the market, some thought it was too far-fetched to ever become a reality. But as more and more organizations began recognizing the many benefits – from increased productivity and efficiency to lower costs and fewer errors – people started worrying, wondering whether this technology would spell the end of the human workforce as we knew it. Would robots really start taking over jobs? To answer that question, those asking it must look inward.

In reality, the impact RPA has on the workforce will depend largely on how humans themselves respond. When faced with the rising adoption of automation, workers will likely take one of two paths. The first group will continue to focus on the type of work they’ve always done, but do so more efficiently thanks to the assistance of digital labor. The second will take this as a golden opportunity to pursue their ambitions, increase education and broaden their skill sets, put their creativity and innovation to work and move on to more value-added tasks. In either case, the organization will benefit, as will most of the employees.

In particular, roles that have a primary focus on people, such as customer support and call center agents, have the potential to benefit greatly from robotic process automation. Instead of being bogged down by repetitive, menial tasks that can easily (and more quickly) be handled by software, agents will be freed up to tackle more complex issues requiring a human touch. Furthermore, the improved allocation of resources afforded by RPA will allow agents to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. This can dramatically improve both customer and employee satisfaction rating.

This concept can also be applied to the IT help desk. Rather than waiting until system problems arise and scrambling to fix them in a timely and effective manner, help desk agents can use the extra time robotic process automation provides them with to monitor and proactively address technical issues before they occur. Imagine how impressed the VP of Sales will be when he gets a call from IT letting him know his hard drive was about to fail, but it’s been taken care of.

In both of these scenarios, the human worker is enhancing their interactions with their colleagues and/or customers. And since robotic process automation is there to take on the routine, manual tasks, the human agents themselves are also able to improve.

The reality is, very few organizations are focusing on using robotic process automation to eliminate jobs. Instead, they are focused on automating tasks, which in turn will improve productivity, streamline how work is completed, eliminate errors and cut costs. In other words, companies implementing RPA are not doing so to replace human workers, but augment and make their lives easier. As a result, everyone benefits – from employees and management to clientele to the organization’s bottom line. It really is a win-win.

Still not completely sold on the idea of robotic process automation and the value this technology brings to businesses across all industries? Don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself. Click here to download a free 30 day trial of Ayehu. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed!

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Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Help with Regulatory Compliance

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Help with Regulatory ComplianceThere are lot of resources out there that list the many benefits of robotic process automation (our blog included.) One of the least talked about, however, is compliance. When it is mentioned, it’s typically just that – a brief mention with little to no elaboration. The fact is, compliance is a very important topic for most organization and since RPA can make a significant impact, it’s worth delving into in greater detail. Let’s take a look.

What is regulatory compliance?

In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was put in place to establish and enforce new standards that govern the security, confidentiality and transmissibility of health care patient information. While these types of regulatory standards weren’t necessarily new, HIPAA thrust the topic of compliance into the limelight, making the public more aware.

There are, in fact, a number of other public and private compliance regulations that govern more than just health care. These include:

Sarbanes-Oxley Act – This act came about largely as a result of the Enron Corporation collapse. Signed in 2002, this act oversees the adequacy and scope of internal procedures and controls as they relate to financial reporting. All organizations, regardless of size, must comply with this act.

PCI-DSS – Established in 2004 by MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc., American Express, Discover Financial Services and JCB International, PCI-DSS is a set of standards that cover the operational and technical security standards of payment cards. These standards apply to all businesses worldwide that process, transmit and store payment card information.

Regulation SCI – These SEC regulations, established in 2014, are directed toward financial trading companies and cover the establishment and maintenance policies and procedures for the continuous operation of IT systems. They also regulate the flow of information and records between applications.

Regardless of which regulations your organization happens to fall under, the consistent factors across all compliance efforts include clear policies, enforcement of those policies, documentation of that enforcement and retention of that documentation.

The Role of Robotic Process Automation

As with all financial statements and even personal tax returns, the threat of government audits of regulatory compliance is ever present. When these audits occur, the speed and ease with which they are completed depends on the organization’s ability to successfully demonstrate its accordance with compliance regulations. This is typically done with the production of supporting documentation, such as log files.

Robotic process automation can provide tremendous support during such times as a compliance audit, particularly when it comes to producing network log files. Most RPA tools feature comprehensive documentation of all network activity and facilitate fast and easy retrieval of said documentation.

When you implement RPA at the enterprise level, you can design robotic log files and develop storage rules which conform to and integrate with other log files. This enables access to compliance and audit documentation and eliminates the hard file searches and subsequent data gaps that can occur with manual processes. Robotic process automation also ensures that enterprise leadership is provided with fully integrated, company-wide compliance reporting as needed.

When robotic process automation is applied to compliance reporting and management, not only will audits run much more smoothly, but company leaders will also be better able to anticipate and address compliance issues, proactively review compliance status and prepare in advance for effective responses to any audits that may arise.

For most organizations, compliance is a necessary evil. Thankfully, with the right tools – including robotic process automation – it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

To experience RPA in action, simply launch your free 30 day trial of Ayehu today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Business Benefits of Robotic Process Automation

Business Benefits of Robotic Process AutomationRobotic process automation is gaining a lot of traction as it’s being adopted and implemented in businesses of every industry. Still, there are some decision makers who are on the fence about whether RPA is worth the investment. If you are among those who aren’t 100% certain, let’s take a look at a few of the many benefits RPA can provide to your organization.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest advantages of robotic process automation is the immediate and significant reduction in expenditure it can deliver. When work is automated, not only is it completed faster, but it also can be performed round-the-clock at a much lower rate. So, you get greater output for less, which results in a better bottom line.

Quality, Accurate Work

Let’s face it. Even the most careful human can and will make a mistake. Multiply those errors by the number of people you have performing routine tasks for your company, and you could be looking at a pretty costly problem. With RPA, the work is performed error-free. Better quality means higher satisfaction rates, which – again – is good for your company’s profitability.

Enhanced Cycle Time

How long does it take a human worker to perform a given task such as completing a web form? Even if it’s mere minutes, a robot could shave that time down to just a few seconds. Over time and multiplied by dozens of tasks and several staff members, this savings really begins to add up.

Employee Empowerment

Robotic process automation does not require any special technical skills. That’s why it’s an ideal application for the end-user. The ability to deploy robots to perform certain tasks without having to enlist the help of someone from IT empowers the end-user to get their jobs done more efficiently and effectively. Meanwhile, it frees up IT to focus on more important tasks and projects.

Simplicity and Flexibility

Automating tasks and workflows through RPA does not require coding or script writing. That means even complex processes can be transferred from human to machine with little effort. The faster these tasks and workflows can be automated, the sooner your organization will begin reaping the benefits. In other words, RPA delivers quick returns.

Better Control

Many companies choose to outsource so-called busy work to external parties. This, of course, comes with inherent risk. Robotic process automation can provide a better solution and since the work remains in-house, the business maintains maximum possession, control and visibility.

Insights and Analytics

Learning from the past can help your business leaders make better decisions for the future. RPA offers the ability to gather, organize, track, analyze, report on and store valuable data. That information can then be utilized to improve on current operations, address and correct issues in a timelier manner, accurately forecast and develop best practices.

Still not convinced that RPA is a beneficial solution for your business needs? Why not try it for yourself? Click here to start your free trial of eyeShare today.  

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How Robotic Process Automation Can Solve Your Legacy Problems

How Robotic Process Automation Can Solve Your Legacy ProblemsThere are few things an IT executive dreads more than having to replace an outdated legacy system. You know…those ancient programs that hold some of (if not all of) the organization’s critical, “can’t survive without” data. The reality for many companies is that these legacy systems remain the foundation from which all business processes function. Unfortunately, as these systems become increasingly challenging to manage and are no longer capable of meeting the changing demands of customers, they become a much bigger concern. Thankfully, with robotic process automation, replacing them entirely is no longer the only option.

Depending on the overall scale of an organization’s legacy systems, replacing outdated technology with newer, better systems can take months or sometimes even years. Add to this the increasing pressure to ensure a seamless and error-free data migration. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, customers and employees alike must be able to access the systems they need just as they normally would even while the replacement is occurring. One IT executive in the banking industry likened the replacement of legacy systems to “changing the engine on a Boeing 747 while still in flight.” In other words, it’s incredibly difficult and a monumental task to say the least.

In the past, replacing entire legacy systems could be avoided (along with the astronomical costs associated with such a feat) by offshoring or outsourcing. Unfortunately, this is not always feasible, especially for companies that have a significant number of users. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution to legacy problems, regardless of business size or industry. Here’s why.

It’s fast.

Let’s say a competitor of yours has come out with a new and improved feature to serve customers that your legacy systems unfortunately do not have the capacity to support. Rather than scramble to find a solution and waste valuable time in the interim, robotic process automation can help bridge the gap, either temporarily or as a long-term solution. Considering the fact that the legacy replacement process typically takes years to complete, RPA provides a much faster solution, allowing your company to remain competitive at all times.

It’s more secure.

One of the biggest downsides to outsourcing is the loss of control and subsequent increased data security risk associated with giving up that control. Because robotic process automation is an in-house solution, all of your sensitive data remains in the full possession of your IT department. This makes it an inherently more secure option. Additionally, unlike offshoring, with RPA you can easily scale up or down at a moment’s notice based on need.

It’s affordable.

The reality is, many organizations have been built upon old systems that date back to the 70s and 80s. For many, these ancient relics are simply too expensive to replace. Robotic process automation provides an affordable alternative, allowing businesses with any budget to break the chains that once bound them to their outdated systems. This opens up the doors to virtually limitless possibilities.

Obviously there are certain limits to how much RPA can revitalize legacy systems. For instance, this type of technology cannot actually alter outdated systems. It can, however, serve as an interim solution unless and until a full replacement becomes necessary. For many organizations – particularly those that do not have the means or resources to completely dismantle and replace their existing infrastructure, RPA may be well worth considering.

Want to try robotic process automation for yourself? Click here to start your free 30 day trial now.





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The Challenges of Implementing Robotic Process Automation

The Challenges of Implementing Robotic Process AutomationRobotic process automation has revolutionized the way businesses operate. In its most basic form, RPA facilitates the automation of routine, repetitive manual processes, alleviating human workers of their most mundane tasks and streamlining workflows to make them more effective and efficient. Sounds ideal, right? It can be, but it’s also important to understand that there can and likely will be certain challenges when implementing an RPA initiative. Anticipating these challenges can make it easier to overcome them for a smoother transition.

Choosing What to Automate

When first starting out, we typically recommend starting with one or two workflows and then building from there. But choosing which tasks to automate first can be difficult, especially if there are multiple departments and employees who want to take advantage of RPA for their own benefit. Your best bet is to conduct a thorough audit of everything that’s done on a daily basis, identify and prioritize which areas are creating the most inefficiency and then work through the list that way.

Employee Resistance

Just because management is on board with RPA doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else will be. Many frontline workers view robotic process automation as a threat that will eliminate their jobs. While this may certainly occur, in most cases, RPA will create new and better opportunities for those employees. Education and open, honest communication is key. By showing them how automation can and will make their lives easier, you will break down this resistance and gain much needed buy-in.

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

Leading any change initiative, including the adoption of automation, requires defining and setting realistic goals and objectives. It also involves setting expectations about what changes are occurring, what the future will look like and how everything will likely play out over a specified timeframe. Without these things, the process can drag on, get off track and lose momentum. It can also quickly lose the buy-in and support of employees. Be mindful of this throughout the entire planning and implementation process.

Risk of Creating Silos

The goal of any robotic process automation project should be to make the business operate more fluidly and efficiently. If the team leading the initiative isn’t careful, the result could be the exact opposite. Make sure you’ve chosen an RPA tool that is fully integratable to connect and support existing systems for a more harmonious infrastructure. If your RPA is standalone, it will only add another headache to an already frustrating environment of disparate systems.

Getting Started

Sometimes the biggest challenge to RPA implementation is simply getting the ball rolling. If you feel your team is ready to take the plunge, you can start today by downloading a free trial of eyeShare. This will allow you to feel your way around and experience firsthand how robotic process automation can benefit your business.

The best time to make your move is now. Click here to get started.



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




The Role of Robotic Process Automation in Big Data Analytics

Without a doubt, we are living in an age when information is always available at our fingertips. Sometimes it seems as though we are practically drowning in the data that’s available to us. In fact, according to IBM, there are some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every single day, and an estimated 90% of all the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone. And while much of this “Big Data” may seem irrelevant to you, organizations around the world are taking it very seriously. So much so that many are now employing the use of robotic process automation to help harness, analyze and leverage it.

The Role of Robotic Process Automation in Big Data AnalyticsWhat’s the connection? Well, for starters, using robots to automate business processes can simultaneously result in the retrieval of all kinds of information about how those particular processes are carried out. In this sense, robotic process automation is much more informative than even the best human analyst could ever be. In addition to extracting data, robots can also record everything and pull it together to become much more useful to key decision makers, helping to discover bottlenecks and other problems and identify opportunities where processes could be better optimized.

Data analytics can transform an astronomical amount of information into patterns that are logical and easy to understand. In fact, it’s pretty commonplace for advanced analytics to be built right into many of the software products that are on the market today (Google Analytics, anyone?). Robotic process automation solutions are similar in that they are capable of gathering data and reporting analytics for any given time duration.

You can use RPA to gain insight into any of the following (just as a few examples):

  • Total number of completed transactions
  • Average time each transaction (or workflow) takes
  • Number of business and/or application exceptions generated
  • Estimated time until task/process/workflow completion

Ultimately for Big Data to be useful, it must be properly vetted, thoroughly analyzed and appropriately organized into something that makes sense to someone who doesn’t necessarily have a background in advanced analytics. Delivering this valuable end result is another key benefit that robotic process automation has to offer. So now, not only can robotic process automation help create a more efficient, productive work environment, but it can also help identify problems and opportunities for improvement.

Could your business benefit from using robotic process automation, for Big Data or any of the countless other advantages it affords? Why not find out today for free? Download your own copy of Ayehu automation platform and start experiencing for yourself how powerful the right RPA solution can truly be.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate