When it comes to automation, there are so many abbreviations and keywords that it may feel like you’re wading through alphabet soup. The following are 11 of the most important automation-related abbreviations and keywords you need to know:
- Automation: The application of technology to make a machine, process or system operate more efficiently. For example, IT automation can greatly reduce your IT costs while simultaneously enhancing your IT capabilities.
- Business Analytics (BA): The aggregation and interpretation of corporate information to identify trends as they happen and respond accordingly. The growing demand for BA has been a catalyst for the development of BA software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
- Business Process: A series of steps taken to achieve a desired outcome. For example, a business process for expense reports may include an employee filling out and submitting a report, having said report verified by accounting, then being approved and sent to the finance department for reimbursement. Whether general or highly technical, business processes generally have several steps and require time and resources to complete. Automation often reduces the time and money needed to fulfill the same process.
- Business Process Automation (BPA): The automation of complex business processes through the use of advanced technologies such as computer systems or software. BPA efforts usually focus on mission-critical processes and support the information-sharing needs of various departments. Processes can be fully automated or semi-automated, which means some human intervention will be necessary to complete the procedure.
- Business Process Management (BPM): A systematic approach to making an organization’s business processes more efficient. Many companies use BPM vendors to streamline and automate their business processes. As TechTarget explains, “Within BPM, automated business processes are managed collectively to improve an organization’s overall workflow in terms of achieving greater efficiency, adapting to changing business needs, reducing human error and clarifying job roles and responsibilities.”
Customer Relationship Management software collects data on your customers
- Customer Resource/Relationship Management (CRM): A packaged or customized application that manages customer information collected from sales, orders, tracking and all other interactions. CRM allows your employees to see the status of orders and other relevant customer data all in one place. CRM system data is often mined for business insights, making it valuable for companies that are trying to understand the products and services their customers want.
- Dashboard: A user interface similar to the dashboard of a car. It offers data on key performance indicators in an easy-to-read format so managers can understand trends in the business and make changes as needed.
- Data Management: How a company collects, stores, secures and uses its information. A company’s data management may be subject to compliance regulations, especially when it comes to personal data. Many companies are using this information to make real-time business decisions and garner deeper insights on industry trends.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Software such as SAP S/4HANA that organizes and integrates important business systems and functions such as those for finance, sales, inventory, supply chain and CRM. ERP software allows companies to operate more efficiently while making relevant information accessible across departments.
- Manual Operation: A non-automated operation that requires human intervention. Manual operations typically require more time and money than automated operations.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A pay-as-you-go model for software in which a vendor licenses an application to a customer but only charges based on what the customer uses.