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Breaking the monotony cycle: How process automation is transforming work

Steven Shaw
Top view of woman shopping online holding a cell phone

Repetitive tasks can be frustrating and exhausting. But for many people in computer-based roles, they form the bulk of their workload. These kinds of tasks could be checking logs for a particular message, accessing a support email inbox to review contacts, or processing invoices sent by suppliers.

Enter process automation.

Process automation is a way of taking these types of tasks and automating them so that they can be done by machines without human intervention. This not only saves time, but it can also improve wellbeing, removing repetitive and boring tasks from the daily grind.

Backed by the power of the cloud

The rise of these automation platforms is possible because of the adoption of cloud technologies and the popularity of Software-as-a-Service licence models. Automation providers now come with their own marketplace containing hundreds of “connectors”.

Connectors are pre-built integrations for popular or common platforms that play nicely with the flows. These connectors can include email services, file shares, and communication tools such as MS Teams and Slack. This means organisations and individuals can build automations and connect complex systems without having to write custom API integrations - saving time and money.

Types of automation

Automation can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the scenario and the software or tools you are integrating with. Let’s take a look at the options in more detail.


Event-driven processes are one of the most popular types of automation. The process gets “triggered” by an external event - for example, an email from a customer, an order on a website, or someone entering a keyword into an online chat.

Once that event has happened, an automated process can work through defined steps and even include decision logic to take different actions depending on the type of event raised.


Automated events can also be scheduled. This triggers a process flow to start at a particular time. Common use cases for scheduled processes include regularly extracting data, such as sending orders to a CSV file after a defined time period or checking an email inbox every morning to allocate work to team members.


Manual processes are those that are set up and triggered by a click of a button. This could be done through a web portal or a mobile app to kick-start a flow and set it to work.

Manual process flows are useful if you have a task that has a lot of steps but can be done on a more ad-hoc basis (rather than being event or schedule-driven.)

Robotic (RPA)

Robotic process automation (RPA) is often used when an organisation needs to create a process that requires an interface or piece of legacy software that does not offer APIs or other integration options. Imagine a back-office system that is running on an old server or software that runs on a local desktop without connections to the outside world.

With RPA, you effectively record your interactions with software in a way that they can be repeated but with different inputs and outputs. For example, taking PDF inputs that come into an email inbox and then copying the data out of the PDF file into an accounting system.


There are a lot of tools now available for process automation, but the obvious big player at the moment is Microsoft. As part of its “Power Platform” offering, Microsoft has launched Power Automate.

Microsoft Power Platform creates automated processes through a low-code, web-based interface for most of the types of automation outlined above, with a desktop version for dealing with legacy platforms that don’t have any APIs or ways to integrate.

Appian is another of Kin + Carta’s partners who is innovating in the process and automation space. Appian is named as a leader by Gartner and regularly releases updates to the platform with new features such as extracting data from documents and emails or new integrations with other platforms.

Want to talk more about process automation?

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Process automation in practice

Getting started with process automation can seem daunting, but once you get started, you’re likely to find that use cases multiply. That’s when organisations start to really reap the benefits, as more and more of those repetitive tasks get automated.

Opposition to process automation is often centred around taking away work from humans. But the types of work that process automation replaces are those draining, monotonous tasks that add little value to individual experiences. Strategic automation provides space and time for meaningful human work, allowing people to stretch their skills and flex their creativity. Process automation isn’t a threat - it’s a catalyst for progress.

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