Business process automation (BPA) means automating the existing process with new technology so that the work efficiency can be enhanced. BPA is a combination of customized applications that is used to enhance all the business processes and provide the best utilization of available labor and different resources. It can also be treated as a strategy adopted to automate the daily business process, so that more productivity can be generated.
Bringing the automation in business process enables the organization to achieve the specific task very effectively and workflow can also be improved. Automation also bring more clarity in operational activities and increases the steadiness in the operations of a business. It emphasizes on improvising the functionality in different activities. With the automation the workflow of various business activities get improved. If process automation happens, better results can be achieved by various departments like sales and marketing, management, operations, supply chain, human resource, information technology, research & development etc.
Benefits of Business Process Automation
- In a business, process automation brings more accountability and minimizes the chance of happening errors. Automation works on integrated structure and designed to focus on the core business process. It makes the process more understandable for the employees where they can put more attention to bring more productivity in the work. Alongside if any error or difficulty is arising it can be easily identified without wasting time. The supervisor or the manager can easily understand nature of the problem and can make the strategies to deal with that task.
- Managing the documentation related to the clients about their details, placed orders, cancellation of orders needs too much documentation work. And many times protecting them also becomes an issue. If this whole process is automated then managing things related to the clients will become easy. Accessing their records from anywhere can be possible with an internet supporting device. Altering or adding new data can easily be managed and a systematic record can be prepared.
- Unlike manual based which require time and effort, automated processes are fast and efficient. They bring more standard in performance and aid in completing the task in a specified time. Particularly, product-centric businesses such as e-commerce have repetitive tasks to perform which are not scalable when performed manually. Such tasks require great deal of time and using manual effort is going to reduce effectiveness in productivity. Automated processes reduce the cycle time of different tasks and enhance the effectiveness of business processes.
- Business process automation works effectively to reduce various operational cost than a manually based task. In manual based work more attention and capital needed to be invested to generate the product. And desired results will not be achieved if the employee is not technically skilled. But an automated process require very less capital investment. It requires less employee resources to perform the tasks. With less time and effort organizations can regulate their business activities and achieve better results.
- Automation tool centralizes the data of an organization by which knowing the performance of every employee becomes easier. It increases the visibility of every single task and provides detailed analysis of operational activities. With the help of automation, businesses can plan and make strategies for increased productivity and can generate more revenues.
It has become common for many companies to deliver its marketing message about their products and services to consumers through online. As online advertising or Internet advertising has gained importance over the past few years, the traditional advertising methods are becoming less in practice. Placing ads online is widely used across all industrial verticals irrespective of the company size. Businesses are allocating approximately 40% of their marketing revenues for various forms of online ad methods like search advertising, display advertising (including web banner advertising), social media, mobile advertising etc. Many businesses have realized using online advertising method as highly beneficial when compared to traditional ones.
Online vs Traditional Advertisements
With internet ads, businesses are able to reach more number of customers in less time which is not possible in traditional methods. The improvement in digital technology has made online advertising cheaper and more effective, and hence even small budget companies are able implement it in their marketing strategies. Once the ad is placed, there is no restriction on the distribution of information over the internet. The ad many be viewed by thousand visitors or may even reach customers five times more than that based on how engaging & effective the ad is. The growth in mobile technology has further improved online advertising as more number of people are preferring mobiles for internet usage.
Benefits of using online ads for businesses
- Effective Targeting
Today it is more likely that people search Internets before they take any purchase decisions on products or services. Users are generally not interested to see each and every ad that comes online, unless they have requirement or need for the product or service. Displaying relevant ads based on the search or targeting customers based on the demographics is one of the effective ways to attain more potential customers.
- Improves Brand Image
It is easy for people to remember what they see rather than hear or read. An engaging ad at the right place with consistent layout easily builds brand image among customers. Sometimes, advertising through global networks like social media may be more beneficial than placing an ad in the email or website because they have users from all over the world. However, many small companies find it difficult to withstand the competition in global networks due to lack of good ad strategies.
- Provides Real Time Performance Tracking
Online advertising makes easy for businesses to analyze the performance of their ad campaigns. By using ad server ad platforms, businesses can track the clicks, impressions, and conversions that their ad campaigns have received. It requires no technical proficiency to implement and manage the ad campaigns. Some of the ad servers have friendly interface for ad management making it easy for businesses to run their ads without any complexity.
Sharing of hardware & software resources has become most common in companies to improve the work productivity. It takes lot of time and effort for the employees to switch from one system to another to get the data or take a print or even access any software or file. Resource sharing allows users to share the hardware (like printers, fax machines & modem), software and common data with other people in the organization. Generally companies allow their employees to share the resources through LAN (local area network) or an enterprise intranet. It supports multi user environment, where users can access the hardware device or data in their local machines through a remote network. Now, businesses depend on it to share important information within the organization as well as with other business channels. Some of the benefits and drawbacks of resource sharing is discussed below.
- Improves Productivity
It is highly beneficial when more number of users need to share the same information or work on the same software or device. Especially, in large companies where there is a difficulty to produce multiple resources for each employee. There is no need to use a disk or USB to carry files from one system to another instead it allows multiple people to work on the same resource by simply accessing from their local computers. It is easy to load software on one server, make changes or upgrades only once instead of doing it on every individual work station. Sharing not only saves time & effort but also improves productivity due to increased flexibility of access to the resources.
- Fast and Easy Access
Implementing technology for sharing of resources allows employees to access updated information easily and immediately. There is no need for the employees to be physically present at the business location. Through intranet and web server access, they can share the work related files and work from anywhere in the world. This integrated and flexible sharing of information through common resources improves workplace collaboration and employee work efficiency.
- Cost Savings
Typically businesses invest lot of money on hardware components & peripherals, buying software products and also on storage devices to store their companies data. When users share resources, there is no need buy hardware or software for individual computers and the overall cost will go down substantially. Instead of buying numerous inexpensive products for each individual, businesses can divert the same amount to purchasing high-end solutions which can be shared through company’s network.
- Security difficulty
As different people from the entire organization access the data or resource, security is always a big concern. Illegal activities might happen and hackers may intrude into the network to capture the company’s information or sensitive files. Hence, people who are sharing the resources need to be aware of these facts and understand the consequences.
- Virus threats
When resources are shared, there is a higher possibility of spreading of viruses and malwares to multiple systems in the company’s network. Since multiple users work from different systems, it becomes difficult to trace from which computer the virus or malware has been spread. Regular checks should be done to make sure the systems are safe and if a threat is identified it is better to remove the file from the network.
- High maintenance
One of the biggest drawbacks of resource sharing is the burden of maintenance. In case of hardware, businesses need to buy the required equipment and also hire employees who can efficiently maintain them. The company not only has to invest money on the equipment but also has to bear the additional salaries for the maintenance staff.
When it comes to using technology, small business owners always have a dilemma whether to use it for their business or not. Content delivery networks are typically meant for providing faster delivery of static and streaming content to the users from the network of servers located at the possible nearest geographical location. CDNs are equally important to SMEs as much as they do for big companies if they need to have better performing sites. Large companies often find it as cost effective solution for their businesses because they can save money on hosting by reducing the bandwidth. However, SMEs have to analyze whether it is viable for their websites, and work on the numbers based on their customer base and budget. SMEs who are typically habituated to traditional hosting think twice about CDN because they don’t realize the actual benefits of using it for their websites.
Here, we have mentioned some of the benefits of using CDN for small and medium businesses –
Increases Website Speed
For any internet business, speed and latency are very important to attract new customers as well as retain the existing ones. Especially internet sales based organizations have to ensure their sites are loading faster within few seconds to make the customer stay with the website. If pages do not load in a few seconds or downloads become hard, then customers less likely come back to that website in future. They would rather prefer to visit a well performing small website than stuck up with slow ones belonging to big companies. As long as the website is secure and convenient for shopping, customers barely care for the size of the company. CDN makes the websites available to the users without any delay eliminating speed & latency issues. This gives a better scope for SMEs to compete with big companies and grow their business through websites.
Keeps the Site Live During Outages
Sometimes, even the small business owners go through lot of stress when their websites are down resulting in lost business productivity. The outage could be planned by the hosting provider or it could be unplanned due to various reasons. The losses incurred during site downtimes depends on the nature and scale of the business. Even a couple of thousands of dollars in loss is a big amount for small businesses. No matter what the reason for outage might be, CDN keeps the site alive by serving the content from multiple server locations. CDN gives a competitive edge for SMEs because it ensures continuous availability of sites to the customers while their competitors are having downtime and performance issues.
Oftentimes, many companies try to establish their businesses in a specific region of the world, but fail to do so due to lack of services in these places to properly execute their strategies. SMEs that are planning to expand their business to wider extent using CDN will result in noticeable savings for their company. Instead of spending money on infrastructure and separate service providers across the globe, they can use a global content delivery network service that works in various regions. If businesses are using traditional hosting, then they can cut down their hosting costs by reducing their bandwidth usage implementing CDN. Either way it is beneficial for small and medium companies who work on tight budgets to run their businesses.
Helps in Improving Search Rankings
Website speed and performance are part of the metrics that Google usually considers while determining the search rankings. Even though these two are not the only ones that decide the search ranking, they both definitely are crucial to combat against competitors site. A site with good speed and faster delivery of content will likely rank well than a slow performing website. In fact, ranking well in search engines is specifically important to small and medium companies to get more online visibility of their products and services.
It happens with us very often that we come across different error pages while browsing on the web. Have you ever wondered what these errors exactly mean? Every error page that we see is the result of some specific request or action that we implement on the server. When we access the web server or application through a HTTP request, the server responds with specific three digit status codes. By reading these codes, we can easily determine whether the request made to the server has been successful or redirected, or any client or server errors exists. The HTTP client error status codes begin with digit ‘4’. So if you see any three digit error starting with 4 then it is clear that you have encountered an client side error.
There are many reasons that can cause a web server respond to a HTTP request with a specific error. It is important to note that error pages are displayed differently in different browsers. No matter what browser you are using (Firefox, Chrome or IE), the meaning of the error message would be the same.
In this article we will cover some of the error types and their common potential causes.
The SSL certificate error or security certificate error occurs only if there is a problem while browsing a website that has security encryption. In order to identify the websites as legitimate and protect users from visiting the wrong websites, many websites are given security certificates. When user tries to connect to the website through HTTPS request, the browser checks site certificate before connecting. There could be two possible reasons to encounter with certificate error – either the user is not connecting to the real, legitimate website or the website has not configured or renewed its certificate properly.
When you try to connect to the server, you may receive “Unable to connect to the server” or “Google Chrome could not connect to the website” message. This is one of the most common errors that we often see if the site is down for any reason. It may be possible that the server could not connect because of firewall, proxy, or network issues. Sometimes, even the anitvirus or anti-spyware programs restrict the browsers from connecting if the website is not trusted.
Phishing and Malware Warnings
The phishing or malware warnings tell users that the website they are about to browse may contain malware or the site may make an attempt to steal the personal information. Many people are likely to bypass these warnings if they are regular visitors of popular websites. Even the most popular or reputed websites can be malicious, or may con the users to give away their passwords, bank details or other sensitive information. Hence, it is not a good idea to proceed with the site if we come across this error message because we may get into unnecessary troubles by downloading these malwares.
All the client side errors start with ‘4’ as the first digit in the error status code. If we look at 400 status code, it represents ‘Bad Request’, 401 for ‘Unauthorized’, 403 for ‘Forbidden’, 404 for ‘Not found’ and so on. Among them 404 is the most common one that we generally come across when the client is unable to locate the requested file or resource on the server. It could be that the user might be trying to access the page that is not existing which means either the site is unavailable or the web address is wrong.
These errors occurs when the browser cannot link to the server or when the server cannot process the request due to issues with website, DNS, proxy or other reasons. The HTTP status codes for server errors start with digit ‘5’, where in 500 is meant for ‘Internal server error’ , 502 for ‘bad proxy’, 503 for ‘service unavailability’, 504 for ‘Proxy or Gateway timeout’ etc.
Many website owners are very particular in customizing their error pages because they want to convey the proper reason for the website unavailability in a courteous manner. Sometimes they redirect the error pages to their home page or display good graphics to entertain the user. No matter what image or design they use to display the errors, all these error messages represent the same meaning.