Automate Your Way to Success

Meet changing demands and future-proof your technology investments with workflow automation.

By Patrick Dorsey, EVP Marketing, Impexium

Association leaders know that strategic investments in association management systems will afford them the scalability and resiliency needed to thrive in the post-pandemic landscape—and beyond.

But when shopping around, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the most important characteristics of an AMS. According to Gartner’s 2022 strategic trends report, one capability to add to your AMS checklist is hyper automation, which the research firm defines as “a disciplined, business-driven approach to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.”

A whopping 80 percent of participants in the Gartner 2021 Infrastructure and Operations Leaders Survey said they consider automation a top strategy for optimizing costs. Gartner also predicts that, by 2025, “70 percent of organizations will implement structured infrastructure automation to deliver flexibility and efficiency, up from 20 percent in 2021.”

Associations should look toward the for-profit world for guidance in this regard. As consumers themselves, association staff, members, and prospects have become accustomed to the personalized, frictionless, and efficient experiences brands provide them on a daily basis—and they expect their associations to mirror those conveniences.

As association leaders across the globe work to future-proof their associations, it is clear that the ability to automate repetitive tasks and paperless processes is an essential advantage. These AMS functionalities will not only enable leaders to keep pace with future demands as automation becomes even more central to business, but allow them to find continued success in the face of emerging challenges and trends.

A Better Way to Get Things Done

Most of us learned about the industrial revolutions in grade school. In the first, circa 1760, innovators mechanized production using tools like the steam engine. Almost a century later, the second was characterized by advancements in electric power and mass production. The third industrial revolution began in the late 1900s and was propelled by nuclear energy, electronics, and the invention of the internet.

Today, many agree that we are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, sometimes known as Industry 4.0, in which automation and interconnectivity are spurring rapid advancements in the way we live and work. In this era, innovations like machine learning, data analytics, and automated workflows are essential in driving business outcomes.

With an AMS with powerful workflow automation functionality, for example, association leaders can eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on their initiatives that drive member engagement, increase revenue and improve staff efficiency and effectiveness. Associations should look for an AMS with workflow automation to help minimize historically manual and people-intensive initiatives, such as member onboarding and renewal campaigns and data management initiatives, as well as tackling business obstacles like abandoned shopping carts.

Choose a Platform Built on Innovation

The key is to make sure the AMS platform you choose allows users to create automated workflows—both internally and when exchanging data between the platform and third-party applications, such as marketing automation platforms, learning management solutions, or an online community.

Some of the best solutions are built from the ground up to serve associations while leveraging the research and design investments of top technology leaders. Microsoft Power Automate, for example, enables users to build time-saving automated workflows via low-code, drag-and-drop functionality. Don’t know where to start? Power Automate even provides recommendations on opportunities to optimize business processes.

In a 2021 Forrester report examining the potential ROI of the Microsoft Power Platform, researchers found that organizations that invested in the platform reaped benefits such as faster development, streamlined business processes, and improved business outcomes, including increased revenue.

It’s easy to see why: Power Automate connects to more than 300 data sources, including Outlook, Twitter, and Excel, as well as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), to automate a variety of processes, reminders, and data management tasks. Users can set up flows to trigger tasks based on specific events, repeating schedules, or on-demand needs. Combined, these various automations can save significant time and reduce human error.

Remember, the beauty of the modern AMS lies in its ability to layer association-specific functionality on top of the research and design investments made by established technology companies. Make sure that the AMS solution you choose offers robust workflow automation, and you’ll be on your way to future-proofing your association.

To learn more about how Impexium’s Association Management Solution (AMS) empowers associations to innovate easily, do more with data, and expand possibilities, request a demo.

(Handout photo)