processautomationThe smart home is certainly a hot topic, yet the unsung—arguably geeky—hero behind it all is process automation. This is the actual programming within devices that allows user input to automatically spur an action within the device. (You can find a great explanation of the differences between IoT, connected devices, and automation here.)

In order to make smart devices more mainstream, developers need to keep the excitement strong and hold the consumer’s attention by using automated processes, including automated updates and troubleshooting. Customers will demand a balance of control between the user and device. They want easy setup (think “plug and play”) and intuitive customization. So how do you do that? You start with developing your process automation roadmap. Here are the top questions to get you started on the right path:

Why should I bother with process automation?

While the answer will be different for everyone, automation will free up your resources, reduce downtime with errors, improve customer satisfaction, streamline internal processes, and ensure standards are being met.

When you start delving into the IoT, the data it produces can quickly become overwhelming. It’ll be difficult to determine what’s important, and you’ll need a lot more storage and analysis capabilities to handle it all. By using out-of-the-box platforms like DADO, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re using your space and data wisely. You’ll be able to seamlessly integrate automation into your product, and all of its benefits, while maintaining your product’s awesomeness/integrity.

Where do I start?

To be smart about process automation, you’ll want to develop a roadmap for it. And just like eating an apple, don’t shove the whole thing in your mouth—take off small bites at a time. Create small steps to build into your larger strategy. Start with low hanging fruit—what will bring the most value to your customer? Being able to accomplish small tasks first will keep you motivated to build more automation into your product later.

How can I measure ROI for process automation?

As with all new business ventures, make sure you can measure your success. Don’t automate willy-nilly. Identify 1-3 key performance indicators (KPIs) and match metrics with these. Are you looking to reduce time it takes to get updates to all of your devices? Track manual hours before and after you implement your automated process. Are you mostly concerned with response time for customer service? Start tracking the difference in time before and after you’ve automated processes. For extra credit, you can associate revenue with these improvements.

Still looking for more helpful tips? Take a look at some mistakes to avoid.

Each device comes with its own set of requirements and wish lists for process automation. Being able to develop and deploy automation can be tricky. Give us a shout if you’d like to start brainstorming how to navigate it (we actually get super pumped talking about it!).