Why is Office Automation Important?
Even if you don’t realize it, automation is a key part of your daily life. Every time you open your garage with the push of a button, turn on your coffee maker, or set your alarm clock, you’re benefitting from the
numerous conveniences afforded by automated technology. It only makes sense to use the same types of computerized tools in the workplace. Webopedia defines “office automation” as “the use of computer systems to execute a variety of office operations, such as word processing, accounting, and e-mail.” Streamlining and optimizing these functions can help workplaces run more efficiently and effectively. Kelley Connect has been assisting businesses with office technology since 1974, so we understand its importance firsthand. Read on to why office automation is important.
The History of Office Automation
Office automation may seem like a purely contemporary concern, but it actually has quite a long history. If you stop and think about it, even the assembly lines of the early twentieth century technically fall into this category. Computer scientists, information technology specialists, and forward thinking executives began using the term “office automation” more than three decades ago.
In their Communications of the ACM article “The Impact of Office Automation on the Organization: Some Implications for Research and Practice,” Margrethe H. Olson and Henry C. Lucas, Jr. explain: “computer technology has recently been applied to the automation of office tasks and procedures…The development of automated office systems raises a number of issues for the organization…The need for further research examining the potential effects of office automation is emphasized.” Even in its inception, professionals knew the trend toward computerized office work would be important.
Office Automation Today
Over the years, this trend came to fruition with the advent of better, faster technology. Inc. explains: “the modern history of office automation began with the typewriter and the copy machine, which mechanized previously manual tasks,” but now it also includes “the conversion of information to electronic form.” A true turning point in the history of office automation was the invention and widespread use of the personal computer—Inc. notes: “[it] revolutionized office automation…this revolution has been so complete, and has infiltrated so many areas of business, that almost all businesses use at least one commercial computer business application.” Rather than an up-and-coming luxury, some degree of office automation has become a basic necessity for companies.
In her article, “Importance of Office Automation System for Business Enterprises,” Saritha Pujari illustrates the four basic uses for this technology: “a) producing outgoing documents (using text processors), b) storage and retrieval of documents (using document management systems), c) transmission of messages (using message communication systems), and d) scheduling and meeting management (using video-conferencing systems).” There are hundreds if not thousands of tools that automate these crucial activities.
Of course, computers, printers, wireless networks, and other information technology systems can help optimize your operations. Today, office automation has become so ubiquitous and advanced that scientists are even considering the potential of robots and artificial intelligence in the workplace. While you probably won’t be purchasing a workplace robot anytime soon, staying up to date with your office automation is pivotal. With greater and greater progress being made in this field, author Stanley Zarowin’s statement from over a decade rings especially true: “as we enter the new millennium, [office automation] has taken another quantum leap, going from a priority to a prerequisite for doing business.”
Why is office automation imperative? In his Houston Chronicle article, Aurelio Locsin explains: “automating processes reduces your involvement in mundane clerical tasks, such as organizing customer data or creating reports, and leaves you to concentrate on the parts of your business that you prefer…automating information systems reduces storage space, speeds retrieval, and allows several employees to access the same data at the same time.” Furthermore, Reference for Business notes: “benefits in using electronic management systems include savings in production and service costs as information is quickly routed for optimal office performance.”
In short, office automation can allow your company to:
- Save money (including power usage, materials, and labor costs)
- Enhance productivity
- Go green
- Securely store important information
- Track your output and operations
- Reduce the rate of errors in your work
- Improve colleague and client communications
- Schedule tasks and employee hours
- Better understand and control your budget
- Manage your resources
- And more!
How We Can Help
Kelley Connect offers a variety of services to help businesses get with the times and adopt office automation. We offer a wide range of advanced, customizable print management options, as well as information technology solutions. With our extensive expertise, innovative programs, and sophisticated technology, we can make automating your office as painless and prosperous as possible.
Embrace Office Automation with Kelley Connect
We would be delighted to help your business come in to the twenty-first century with modern technology. Contact us today to learn more about office automation or begin implementing it in your company.