How CIOs Support Business in the “Age of the Customer”

Organizations everywhere are facing disruption. We’ve entered full steam into the age of the customer; growing expectations, new digital capabilities and increasing demands from employees to have more flexibility in how they work require major changes in how enterprises run their businesses. The disruption for IT is great, but there are ways you can move forward without throwing away everything you’ve built so far.

This series on business transformation for CIOs covers what you need to know to take advantage of process automation to transform your business.

Business in the Age of the Customer

As enterprises across the globe realize that success is directly tied to the customer experience, they struggle to adopt an outside-in perspective. For many, it’s a major business transformation, one that affects the way people, processes, and technology work together.

In today’s world, business transformation is digital transformation, and while technology may not be the principal driver of transformation, it plays a crucial role. This is why the CIO’s role in understanding and enabling business transformation is so critical.

Many enterprises are focusing on improvements in areas such as analytics and customer relationship management. These are key technologies for customer experience management. But there’s another focus that’s often left on the table – that of business process automation.

The Role of Process Automation in Business Transformation

Gartner defines business process automation as “…the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies.”

Simply stated, it is the automating of activities within business processes that are routine and repeatable, and don’t require human intervention. This is sometimes called robotic process automation, or RPA. Through the automation of these routine activities, enterprises gain efficiencies and cost savings.

But this is one component of the value process automation brings to business transformation.

Traditional approaches to BPM and process automation focused on creating standard automated workflows, but process automation also brings additional benefits to the organization.

It can:

•  Increase data centricity by connecting the internal and external applications and information necessary for employees to efficiently and effectively support customers.
•  Serve as a starting point for incorporating new business practices, compliance rules, and other business regulations, as well as new technology.
•  Increase and speed up collaboration among employees, partners, and other associates both within the office and on the road.
•  Improve process visibility and traceability, supporting continuous improvement.

A few examples of process automation include automating the onboarding of employees, customers and vendors; customer and employee self service; sending out automated notifications to employees involved with high risk financial transactions and regular reporting to executives of monthly sales and expenses.

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Read more tactical tips for successfully powering business transformation in our white paper: “The CIO’s Guide to Business Transformation with Process Automation