Emilia Dunaj
Emilia Dunaj
Head of Technology Insights
March 2024, 11 min. read

Customers are doing everything digitally. They book flights, sign contracts, and manage daily tasks with a few clicks or taps. Your stakeholders expect the same level of simplicity and convenience from your business.

Automation is the future of many industries.

The high costs of managing the back office with legacy systems make embracing automation essential in modernizing operations.

In this article, we’re explaining the essential software solutions that are reshaping back office processes. So, let’s discover how advanced digital toolkits unlock seamless back office operations.

Legacy vs modern back office process

Legacy systems are deeply ingrained in many businesses. Their complexity is not just in their architecture but also in their integration into daily operations. Modernizing legacy systems is a delicate task, requiring careful planning to avoid disrupting established workflows. 

Yet, their limitations are increasingly evident: human errors, slow processing, tracking issues, and inconsistencies are just a few drawbacks. These inefficiencies burden staff and ultimately affect customer satisfaction due to delays and oversights.

In contrast, modern digital back office solutions offer streamlined, error-reducing processes that significantly uplift efficiency. Automating routine tasks eliminates human errors and improves the consistency of outputs. Faster processing and real-time tracking capabilities ensure customers receive timely and accurate services. 

Moreover, improved communication tools within these systems enable ample team collaboration and coordination.

To picture the power of this back office transformation, consider a manufacturing company struggling with a legacy system in supply chain management. The outdated system causes miscommunications, inventory mismatches, and errors in manual data entry, leading to production delays and unhappy customers.

By switching to a modern digital solution, the company automates data entry, integrates real-time tracking, and improves team communication. This shift significantly reduces errors and delays. Efficient inventory management and accurate, timely order fulfillment result in boosting internal efficiency and customer satisfaction.

legacy vs modern back office

6 Top back office software solutions for automating back office functions

Within back office operations, several digital solutions stand out for their ability to automate and smooth processes across various departments. 

Let’s discover what they are.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for improved client interactions

Once you’ve seen how much a CRM system helps, you can’t imagine working without it. Primarily, these systems centralize customer data, but their benefits extend far beyond. They simplify communication, ensuring customer-facing teams always have the latest, most accurate information. CRMs excel in coordinating efforts across departments, significantly improving customer interactions, and smoothing out operational processes.

CRM in action 📟

In sales, management software systems help sales teams by tracking customer interactions and managing leads, which simplifies order processing and customer account management. In marketing, CRM tools assist in segmenting audiences and personalizing campaigns, improving the effectiveness of back-end market analysis. 

For customer support, CRM systems efficiently log issues, track resolution progress, and facilitate effective follow-ups, thereby enhancing service quality and customer feedback analysis.

CRM back office systems can integrate financial data with customer information, helping in revenue tracking and forecasting. This integration allows for more accurate financial reporting and budget planning.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for integrated operations 

ERP systems are comprehensive platforms that bring together multiple functions like finance, HR, procurement, and supply chain management into a unified system. These systems enhance coordination and data sharing across different departments, leading to more organized and efficient operations. This integration helps your entire business work together smoothly, boosting productivity and simplifying decision-making.

ERP in action 📊

In finance, ERP software automates and standardizes financial operations, ensuring accurate budgeting and reporting. 

For HR, these systems manage employee data, payroll, and benefits, integrating these aspects seamlessly with other business operations. 

In procurement and supply chain management, ERP platforms provide real-time data on inventory levels, supplier interactions, and logistics. This critical information enables managers to make timely and informed decisions, optimizing their supply chain operations.

For businesses involved in R&D, ERP back office software enables easy management of research projects, resources, and budgets. The system helps to ensure all your actions align with overall business objectives and market demands.

Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) for employee lifecycle management

HRMS software modernizes the management of employee lifecycle within organizations. These advanced systems automate and streamline many HR processes, from recruitment to retirement. HRMS solutions offer a centralized platform for managing employee information, and simplifying tasks like payroll, benefits administration, performance evaluation, and more.

HRMS in action 📈

During recruitment, HRMS tools can manage job postings, applicant tracking, and interview scheduling, making the hiring process more efficient and effective. 

For employee onboarding, these systems ensure a smooth transition for new hires by automating necessary paperwork and training schedules. 

In performance management, HRMS provides tools for tracking employee progress, setting goals, and conducting evaluations. They allow for a transparent and structured approach to employee development.

In managing employee benefits and leave, HRMS platforms offer easy access and management options, ensuring compliance and accuracy. 

Additionally, these tools are essential for maintaining accurate records and complying with legal requirements. They minimize errors and ensure businesses follow employment laws and regulations.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) software for operational resilience

Supply chain management automation tools, like SCM software, are key in making an organization’s operations more resilient and efficient. It provides an integrated approach to managing the flow of goods and materials, from procurement to production and distribution. This advanced software gives you better visibility and control over your supply chain activities, improving coordination and reducing operational risks.

SCM in action 🚚

SCM platform enables real-time tracking of inventory levels and shipments, allowing your managers to respond promptly to changes in demand or supply chain disruptions. 

In production, it assists in planning and scheduling, ensuring you use your resources optimally and fulfill orders timely. The right software supports environmental sustainability by minimizing resource wastage and emissions.

For procurement, SCM tools can automate ordering processes, manage supplier relationships, and analyze spending patterns to identify cost-saving opportunities.

In logistics, SCM software optimizes routes and manages transportation resources. It enables effective communication between all parties involved in the supply chain. 

Document Management Systems (DMS) for efficient record keeping

DMS solutions modernize record and documentation handling. These systems provide a digital platform for storing, organizing, and managing business documents. By transitioning to DMS, you can enhance accessibility, security, and control over your documents, making record-keeping more efficient and less prone to errors.

DMS in action 💻

In legal and compliance departments, a DMS can securely manage sensitive documents such as contracts and compliance records, ensuring they are securely stored and easily retrievable.

In accounting, DMS platforms help organize and find financial documents like invoices and receipts. This makes audits and financial reporting more streamlined.

In HR, DMS helps manage employee records efficiently, from onboarding documents to performance reviews. It improves the HR workflow and ensures data privacy.

Communication and collaboration tools for enhanced teamwork

Communication and collaboration tools are essential for fostering teamwork and boosting productivity. Only 11% of workers say that poor communication doesn’t affect them. For the vast majority, ineffective communication significantly impacts various aspects of their work. 

Many online tools have features like instant messaging, video calls, file sharing, and working together in real-time. These tools work regardless of team members’ locations or time zones. 

Collaboration tools in action 📩

In project management, these tools enable teams to stay connected and updated on project progress, share documents, and collaborate on tasks in actual time. They ensure everyone is on the same page for more efficient project execution and timely completion.

For remote or hybrid work environments, communication tools are vital in maintaining team cohesion and ensuring that all members feel connected and engaged. They provide a virtual space where teams can interact as if they were in the same office, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

In customer service departments, collaboration tools allow for quick internal communication and knowledge sharing, which is crucial for providing timely and accurate responses to customer inquiries. 

Meanwhile, modern businesses are increasingly adopting custom-developed back office systems that integrate all these features with other advanced functionalities. These custom software solutions are designed to cover a wide range of back office needs and beyond, all within a single platform.

Advanced technologies empowering back office automation

The right tech stack can reshape your back office operations. Let’s explore how integrating advanced automation enables back office digital transformation of your business processes.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for streamlining repetitive tasks

RPA automates mundane, repetitive tasks traditionally performed by humans. It employs software bots to replicate actions like clicking, typing, and data extraction. The key advantages of RPA are its simplicity and compatibility with existing IT systems. This means you can automate processes without overhauling their existing infrastructure.

In accounting, RPA back office bots can extract data from invoices and input it into financial systems, reducing manual effort and the risk of errors. 

Similarly, in HR, this technology can automate the process of employee data management and benefits administration, streamlining operations and enhancing accuracy. 

In the insurance industry, RPA is used for processing claims–a process that typically involves gathering information from various sources, checking policy details, and updating systems. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) for smart process automation

AI transforms back-office operations by adding intelligent decision-making to routine tasks. It upgrades RPA with its capability to learn, analyze, and adapt. 

Here’s how it works.

IDP uses machine learning (ML) to extract information from invoices, purchase orders, contracts, and other documents with superhuman accuracy. It ensures that all data matches your predefined formats. 

AI models support decision-making. For example, an AI model can analyze loan applications, recommend approval or denial, or automate fraud detection based on complex criteria.

Predictive analytics models study historical data to anticipate future trends and potential issues. They can predict equipment failures before they happen, streamlining preventive maintenance and maximizing uptime. Or forecast customer churn and proactively tailor retention strategies.

Intelligent AI agents, like chatbots and virtual assistants, can answer FAQs, resolve simple issues, and even perform complex tasks like booking appointments or resetting passwords. This frees up human agents for more personalized interactions.

Above all, AI models continuously evolve, learning from past performance to optimize processes continually.

→ Read more about How AI & Automation Are Revolutionizing Back Office Management.

Cloud computing for scalable back office infrastructure

Scalable cloud computing has redefined the landscape of back office infrastructure. Thanks to the cloud, we can access data from anywhere, anytime, on any device. Cloud-based back office solutions connect stakeholders, boosting collaboration and enabling remote work. 

The cloud also allows you to scale your infrastructure up or down in response to changing workload demands. This eliminates the need to over-provision or under-utilize resources.

For data storage and management, cloud services provide a secure and accessible platform, enabling teams to access information from anywhere. 

Cloud-based analytics platforms enable real-time data analysis, offering insights that drive strategic decisions and effective planning.

Business intelligence (BI) and analytics for data-driven decisions

Business intelligence and analytics enable businesses to collect, process, and analyze vast amounts of data generated by your business. BI involves numerous processes and technologies, including data mining, process analysis, performance benchmarking, and descriptive analytics. They turn it into actionable insights so you can make informed, data-driven decisions.

In back-end operations, like market research, analytics tools can identify trends and consumer behaviors. The insights allow you to tailor your strategies accordingly. 

In finance, business intelligence systems can track performance metrics and financial trends, aiding in budget planning and risk management. 

For operations, analytics can optimize supply chain processes by predicting demand patterns and identifying potential bottlenecks.

How to choose the right back office software for your needs?

Replacing old systems with new digital solutions can transform your back office into a dynamic, responsive, and customer-centric operation.

When choosing software for back office processes, it’s important to consider that not every feature will be essential for your business. Data suggests that clients typically utilize about 55% of the functionality provided by off-the-shelf solutions. The remaining features may simply complicate the workflow and slow down operations. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to pinpoint the most important features for your specific business needs. Additionally, different departments may prioritize different aspects of a system. 

Partnering with an experienced software development company can customize a solution that perfectly fits your specific needs. Right Information has been helping to modernize business operations for over 20 years. We specialize in crafting bespoke software solutions that streamline and automate many business processes, including back office. 

Ready to automate your back office processes? Schedule a call with our experts to find your starting point for automation.