AI workflow automation: What you need to know in 2024

July 03, 2024 - 8 min read

new blog.png

AI workflow automation: What you need to know in 2024

Author: Mary Mattingly

Some days at work, you feel like a rockstar. 🤩

Other days? Not so much. You’re bogged down with endless emails, approval requests, and that report your boss has been nudging you about for what feels like forever. 🤮

It’s overwhelming, right? There has to be a better way…

homer sipson gif.gif

Source: Giphy

Well, guess what? There’s a new sheriff in town that can take the hassle out of your hectic days. It’s called an artificial intelligence (AI) workflow and it’s all about making your work life smoother, more productive, and less costly. 

Ready to see it in action? Then jump right in and read all about it!

What is AI workflow automation?

AI workflow automation is a method of streamlining repetitive tasks (such as data entry, big data analysis, or creating records) through the power of artificial intelligence

Need a simpler explanation?

Think about it. Artificial intelligence can automate data entry by recognizing trends and patterns. You can say adios to forever manually adding potential and existing clients’ personal info to your database. 

Plus, remember the countless hours spent on these tasks? Even Smartsheet says that over 40% of workers spend a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks like data entry. 

Spending so much time on these manual activities can severely impact your productivity. 

With AI workflow automation, however, you simplify such chores — and do them in less time. According to Salesforce, 73% of IT leaders say automation saves their employees time by 10 - 50%, allowing them to focus on goals that truly matter. 

In a nutshell, AI does all the work you don’t wanna do, while you focus on the more strategic, complex, and rewarding aspects of your job. 

Organizations often adopt AI-powered workflows to remove bottlenecks like slow approval processes or inefficient resource allocation and improve their existing business operations. Since you stop engaging with time-consuming tasks and let AI handle risk assessment or sorting through large datasets, you reduce your human workers’ load and boost productivity. 

AI workflow automation isn't one-size-fits-all — it comes in various forms, much like flavors of ice cream. 🍦

So why not explore them? 

What are the different types of AI workflow automation?

Mm, now I’m craving ice cream! 😋 

alt=""

Source: Giphy

If you feel the same craving (you know you do), maybe you can get some as a reward for finishing this article. Just like the variety of ice cream flavors, AI workflow automation comes in several shapes and sizes. 

Here are some of the most popular types you should know:

  • Predictive analytics automation: This type of AI workflow automation has plenty of benefits. Firstly, it streamlines inventory management by forecasting demands. Secondly, it enhances marketing strategies by predicting customer behavior, which helps expand your client base. 

Let’s not talk about its profitability — you’ll lose your mind! 

But what is predictive analytics? It basically revolves around analyzing historical data and algorithms to identify potential fruitful opportunities so you make better business decisions. 

  • Cognitive automation: Hmmm, what happens when you combine artificial intelligence and process automation? You get cognitive automation, which involves a bunch of ways, such as natural language processing, to capture data and scale automation. 

This process aims to improve your business outcomes by imitating how humans think. Yikes! It sounds kinda scary, but this is a good way to automate decision-making. 

  • Machine learning automation: Machine learning’s purpose is an easy one: to train computers based on the data you feed them and automate repetitive and booo-ring tasks no one wants to do, such as predictive maintenance or personalized recommendations. 

That’s why it’s important to automate such a workflow. Teams working in model development will be very happy with you. 🫶

  • Rules-based automation (RPA): This is the workflow that mimics human intelligence the most by following complex rules to sort data, process transactions, and respond to other system-based interactions just like a human would. 

It’s highly helpful in automating mundane tasks such as extracting valuable insights and filling out forms for you. How nice! 

  • Natural language process automation (NLP): Have you ever chatted with a chatbot? Sure you did! How was the experience? Were you awed by how easily it understood what you meant, even if you worded the sentence like crap?

That’s because the chatbot uses NLP to understand human language. It’s especially useful for text analysis and language translation, as well as categorizing and summarizing large chunks of text. 

But it’s also often used in customer service since the AI can interpret and respond to user queries easily. So, use it wisely. 

Understanding these types of AI workflow automation sets the stage for the exciting part: exploring the benefits they bring. Keep scrolling to learn what makes these technologies truly ✨transformative. ✨

What are the benefits of automating workflows with AI?

The power of AI is infinite! ♾️

Automating workflows with AI helps with streamlining processes, automates manual tasks, and gives your team members more control of their work. 

That’s it, huh? Wrong

AI workflows have plenty of other neat benefits, such as: 

A graph showing different benefits of AI workflow automation.

Don’t worry; we won’t leave you hanging. Let’s explore these benefits for a li’l bit. 

1. Lowers your costs

Quick question 🤓: is using a single platform more efficient than making a whole team do one task? 

The answer: hell yes!

An AI workflow automation tool costs less than it would to hire people to do the job. And we have the numbers to support that. According to a report by Deloitte, those who adopt intelligence automation expect to achieve a cost reduction of 31%. 

So, yes. It’s more cost-effective to invest in automation than hire and retrain new employees.

Plus, you don’t need to worry about quality. AI can deliver the same results as a human would in some areas, including data analysis, image and speech recognition, or customer service inquiries. 

However, even if AI is pretty advanced, it still falters in some areas (so human supervision is still required), such as offering emotional support or making ethical decisions. 

And since it’s so affordable, you significantly reduce labor costs. 

The beauty in this is that you free your budget to focus on hiring people for more creative tasks that they’ll love. Now you have the time to develop new products or create that design you’ve always wanted. 

Happy people = productive business. 

2. Reduces human error

We all make mistakes. We’re only human, after all. But can you blame us?

A notification on our phone can easily distract us. The dullness of our task, doing the same thing on repeat can make us skim over the most important part of the text. And as for burnout, that’s a significant creativity killer. 

It’s no wonder we sometimes forget to add a comma or misslep a word. 

Well, an AI tool is more reliable in this case. It helps reduce human errors and spots them better, so you can save your business’s reputation. That’s why it’s highly recommended in the finance industry, where AI Holmes can spot suspicious activity that point to fraudulent patterns. 🔍

Plus, it takes less time, money, and effort to fix these (maybe) fatal mistakes. 

3. Boosts efficiency

This one’s kinda self-explanatory. The whole point of an AI workflow is to automate those soul-sucking tasks and optimize your processes. 

You: 

alt=""

Source: Giphy

In a nutshell, AI can take care of any routine task that you hate — and do so consistently. After all, it’s a robot you program; it can’t get tired, unlike your human resources. 

Let’s say you employ the services of a chatbot to talk with your clients when they have a problem to solve. It can easily respond to their questions without relying on human help through the AI’s NLP capabilities. This feature makes sure the AI chatbot gives accurate responses quickly, which leads to higher customer satisfaction. 

Plus, since you free your team’s time, they can focus more on complex and creative work. The result? Increased productivity and innovation. 😉

4. Enables better data analytics 

Big data rules every company’s decision-making process. Why is it so vital? Because it enables businesses to analyze large amounts of data, which leads to faster and more accurate insights. 

Like a detective, it uncovers trends and patterns that will help you enhance your workflows. 

So, as established, big data is the bread and butter of any organization — if it’s not in your business, what are you doing?

Not to worry, though; it’s not too late. 

You can use AI workflow tools to analyze large data sets quickly and get accurate results. No human can match the accuracy of an AI analysis, so use it to your advantage. 

For instance, predictive analytics can unlock better data-driven decisions, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes. 

5. Scales with your company

Last but not least — your AI workflow tool scales with your team. As market or customer demands grow, the solution you select should grow alongside your business so it keeps up with these demands. 

It also means that teams of all sizes can use it to handle huge volumes of data and other tasks. 

You’ll hear no complaints from it! 😄

Besides, it enables faster time-to-market. For example, automated testing or AI-powered market analysis tools speed up the product development process.

In turn, this increases your revenue, improves company agility, and gives customer satisfaction a bump up.  

And won’t it feel nice to outsmart your competitors? 

***

There you have it! The benefits of AI workflow automation! What next?

Let’s talk about what you can do with your AI workflow.

What can you do with AI workflow automation?

AI workflow automation is like LEGO. It looks plain and simple on the outside, but you can do so much stuff with it! 

Turn it into a house. Create amazing mosaic artwork. Even craft some nice-looking jewelry. 

Sky’s the limit! 

alt=""

Source: Giphy

Like LEGO, AI workflow automation lets you do so much stuff: 

  • Close more deals. 
  • Streamline your review process. 
  • Make content publishing a breeze. 
  • Write engaging product descriptions. 
  • Make awesome interactive content.

Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and let’s have a chat over tea about each one (you’re in for a surprise!). 

1. Sales and marketing

Our first use case is department-specific. It’s about how plenty of sales and marketing pros use AI workflow tools to identify quality leads.

But AI does more than that — it can also target and prioritize leads for follow-ups. This means you can always focus on the leads that have the highest potential to convert, which gets you more profit. 

Ceros is a good tool for automating the marketing and sales process, but what it truly excels at is creating interactive and visually appealing content. 

While it doesn’t necessarily automate these processes or predict customer behaviors and such mumbo jumbo, marketers can use Ceros to craft content that’ll truly engage customers. 

2. Review process

Feedback’s always tricky. How many times have you received vague feedback like, “This isn’t what I had in mind.” 

Well, what did you have in mind?! If people don’t explain, you’ll never deliver what your client wants. You’re not a mind reader! 

And you hate it when you receive feedback from multiple people who weren’t in the initial call with you. On three separate online platforms, what’s more. 

For example, take MarkUp.io

While this tool doesn’t incorporate AI to automate responses or implement feedback automatically, it’s still an excellent tool for centralizing feedback from various stakeholders in one place. 

Screenshot of Gemma in MarkUp

In addition, it incorporates Gemma — a creative AI assistant — that does the heavy lifting for you.

Gemma can offer recommendations to improve your content in real time. Let’s say someone left a comment to create a shorter headline. You can ask Gemma to offer an opinion. In no time, you’ll have your copy.

Psst, Gemma might require manual oversight when it comes to applying feedback, but it’s still useful for drafting revisions or generating suggestions. 

Talk about convenience!  

3. Content publishing

You like writing. Sometimes, though, it gets kinda boring. Especially if you have to post the same thing over and over again, just with different words. 

What little’s left of your creativity is poured into publishing content, which is probably your least favorite part. Not to mention you often forget about it, even if you have a well-made content schedule.

It just slips your mind with all the other tasks you have to do! 

The right AI platform (like Ceros!) can definitely help you with both creating and publishing content on time. 

For example, Ceros has something called Editor. Most tools have AI-powered templates, but Editor provides a wide range of customizable templates and interactive elements that you can use to create jaw-dropping social media posts or other forms of content. 

Plus, Editor’s interface is intuitive, which means you don’t have to spend too much time onboarding people. 

As a result, you make more content in less time! 

4. Product descriptions

Before publishing content, you need to write it. Some days your writing zips along, while other days it feels like you’re stuck in quicksand.

AI models are here to make the content creation process a breeze. Whether you’re crafting product descriptions or any other type of content, AI simplifies the writing journey.

AI keeps your content engaging and dynamic. With natural language processing, interacting with AI feels intuitive and seamless, like chatting with a trusted companion.

In essence, AI boosts productivity and elevates the quality and creativity of your content, ensuring every piece resonates with your audience.

5. Interactive content creation

Tired of static content? 🥱 

Well, you’re not alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 53% of marketers use interactive content to boost their strategy and user experience. 

And here’s a kicker: AI is revolutionizing how we publish interactive content, making it a walk in the park. Harness this technology to easily create engaging, dynamic content that keeps your audience hooked.

Moreover, with Ceros, you can dig deep into the analytics. , capturing insights for you in the process. Track engagement metrics and understand what resonates with your audience to continually refine your strategy.

***

Now that you know what you can do with AI workflows, let’s show you how to get started with them. 

How can you get started with AI workflow automation?

In some instances, it’s kinda easy to get started with AI workflow automation (as long as you know what you want). That doesn’t mean, however, you can snap your fingers and — bada bing, bada boom — have your workflow. 

You need to go through these steps first:

A graph showing how you can get started with AI workflow automation.

Let’s set you up for success by talking about each one. 

1. Find which workflow you want to automate

Any good plan starts with identifying why you need a plan in the first place. Ask yourself: what are you trying to automate? 🤔

Carefully evaluate your current processes and see what’s missing. Do you need to pump out more content daily? Are you tired of sending trivial emails each week? Is your marketing team swamped with too much data they need to analyze at short notice? 

If you’re panicking right now and don’t know how to do this, we gotcha. Here are some tips: 

  • Understand your current workflows by asking your team members, stakeholders, etc.
  • See how your current task results compare with those you truly want. 
  • Use mapping techniques to see your chokepoints — where you can improve to get the highest return on investment (ROI) etc. 
  • Prioritize your workflows based on impact, potential, and frequency of use. 

2. Set your objectives 

You identified the workflow that needs improvement. Awesome! Now, you need to set your goals. 

It’s super duper important to define clear objectives when implementing AI workflow automation. Everyone should be on the same page with what you’re trying to achieve, so that no one muddles it up as you go. 

Plus, these objectives should align with your business goals. You can’t just choose a goal because it sounds good. It should work to reduce your costs, enhance accuracy, or deliver better customer service. 

Some examples of goals could be reducing processing time by a set amount, decreasing error rates, etc. 

Hmm, how do you set your goals? Here’s how: 

3. Select the right AI automation tool 

*scribbling down notes* “Okay, I need the right automation tool…” But as you’re saying that, you realize…

alt=""

Source: Giphy

Yeah, we understand you’re in a pickle. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to choose a tool that meets all your requirements and needs. After all, the perfect tool should have this and that and customizable workflows and easy integration and automated routing.

Basically, you need a lot of stuff. 🫣

We can give you some tips, don’t worry: 

  • Identify your use case and look for solutions that actively work to solve it. AI automation tools work best in marketing optimization, customer service, data entry, financial analysis, etc. 
  • Make use of free trials and demos to see how the platform performs and if it’s for you. 
  • Think about the tool’s complexity, ease of use, integration needs, etc. 

The only true answer? It’s Ceros, of course! It can easily help you streamline all your workflows so you can get to work ASAP.

4. Prepare for the merge

✅Setting objectives: checked.

✅Finding the right AI tool: checked.

❓Are you ready? Unsure.

At this point, you have all the tools you need for the merge. You’re ready for the implementation. 

Easier said than done. You’re quaking in your boots! What if something goes wrong? But we raise you with this: what if everything goes right?

We understand you’re anxious 😬, but here’s what you can do to reassure yourself: 

  • Follow your process mapping thoroughly to create each step of the workflow. 
  • See where you can integrate your new AI tool with existing systems (don’t forget to define APIs or other data formats). 
  • Collaborate with your IT team to ensure the AI software is compatible with your other tools and meets your standards. 
  • Seek help from professionals if you’re stuck, as they can help you configure your AI tool and assign the right people for the job. 

5. Test and evaluate 

The last step involves testing your new workflow. 

Sometimes, the new system integrates with your existing processes perfectly — yaay! Other times, you can spot fatal errors — naay

During this step, it’s essential to ensure everything’s running as intended so you avoid malfunctions and minimize potential issues. If an error does pop up, it’s fine. You can ask someone to fix it and make adjustments. 

Here are some tips to make it easier: 

  • Ask your co-workers for feedback as they’re your biggest source of improvement. For instance, you can use MarkUp to gather feedback in one single place. Other ways to coax out feedback from your team are online surveys, emails, or one-on-one meetings. 
  • Use test-automation frameworks to see if your tool can handle the pressure. “Uhh, what’s test automation frameworks?” Well, it’s simple: Testing frameworks are rules used for creating test cases. QA masters usually employ them to test a product more efficiently. 

However, it’s not always a smooth ride. AI workflow automation comes with plenty of challenges. 

Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything. 

What are the challenges of integrating AI into existing business workflows?

Adding AI to existing business processes can feel a bit like navigating a labyrinth—exciting, but undeniably complex. 😵‍💫

Fear not! Let's break down how to pick the perfect AI workflow automation tool that doesn’t just meet your needs but exceeds them.

  • Ensuring data quality and availability: Many AI tools need a large volume of data for training and evaluation. It might not be possible in strict industries like healthcare, where biased or incomplete data can affect the accuracy of the information. 

That’s why, in some cases, it’s hard to ensure your data is relevant and clean, especially if your data sets are too fragmented. 

  • Skilled talent: Everyone knows about AI but not all know how to use AI to its full potential. Which can pose a significant challenge for many companies that want to use AI workflow automation. 

One of these challenges is the shortage of data scientists, making many organizations worry about the future. However, you shouldn’t wallow in despair. You can start by training employees in domains such as machine learning or software engineering, so they can maintain and optimize AI-powered flows. 

  • Compatibility and integration with existing systems: Integrating your AI workflow with your current tools is probably the most difficult part of this process. You might be forced to make serious changes to your systems to ensure all your tools play nicely. 

Unfortunately, this can be quite time-consuming and simply not worth it. Try to find a workflow solution that requires few to no system changes. 

  • Ethical and regulatory compliance: You’ve probably heard stuff like, “AI is gonna steal our jobs!” or “You don’t really own the AI-generated images!” 

True, people are concerned about AI and how it uses data. That’s why your AI workflow must comply with data privacy, security, and fairness regulations (Ceros certainly does!) and ensure total transparency.

  • Cost and resource constraints: Using an AI workflow automation tool is not that cheap. Think of the costs of software licenses, the infrastructure itself, and hiring the right people for the job. 😩

You need to be 100 percent sure you have the budget for an AI workflow. Otherwise, you might run out of resources and money, which severely hinders your efforts. 

Phew — that’s all over with. But we just realized that you might need a bit more help with choosing the right AI workflow automation software. 

Message received. 📨

How do I choose the right AI workflow automation software?

You asked, we answered. 

alt=""

Source: Giphy

Before we get started, let’s define what AI workflow automation software is. It’s a type of solution that uses artificial intelligence to automate repetitive tasks and other decision-making processes, without human intervention. 

Which makes it kind of a big deal. 

The only problem is that there are too many solutions out there, for too many needs. No wonder it’s so hard to find the right one. 

Captain Ceros to the rescue! Here’s what you need to keep an eye on when searching for the right tool: 

  • Define your needs: Start by figuring out what your goals are. Again, ask yourself (or your team) what needs optimization, which parts of their workflow are kinda meh, and what you’re trying to achieve. Stuff like making more sales or enhancing accuracy, for example. 
  • Evaluate the tool’s features: Once you understand your needs, you can start researching your available options. Find only the AI tools that closely match your requirements and needs. Don’t settle for the first one that looks good — try to compare their features with other options. 
  • Check for integrations: Very important! Look for a solution that can easily integrate with existing systems or requires a smaller amount of tools to make it work. Look for support APIs, connectors, or plugins, and see if they’re compatible with your processes. 
  • Assess scalability and performance: Does your chosen solution scale with your company? Can it handle increasingly large volumes of data or will it balk at the first hitch? Select a tool that can meet not just your current needs, but also your future ones. 
  • Review security and compliance features: Your data needs to stay safe, no matter what. Otherwise, you risk damaging your reputation. So, find an AI tool that has encryption, audit trails, and compliance certifications most relevant to your location and industry. 
  • See if they have free trials: There’s no harm in trying the tool before you make a big commitment. Maybe the solution looks good on paper, but, when you start using it, it’s too complicated for you. Many AI workflow tools have free trials, plans, and demos to see if they fit your needs. 

Okay, great! You now know everything about AI workflow automation. The only thing left…

Over to you

Oops! Watch out, seems like…

alt=""

Source: Giphy

That’s for finishing this article. 😁 But you can get another one if you start using Ceros today. 

What’s not to like? It’s got a no-code content editor. Plus, you can use MarkUp to optimize your feedback-and-review process to perfection. 

In short, Ceros is the game-changer you need to supercharge your content creation workflow and outperform your rivals. 

What are you waiting for? Schedule a demo now! 

aa

How to make an interactive website [Step-by-step guide]

Learn more
aa

The marketer's lifeline: How to use AI for content creation

Learn more