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.
Our series on business transformation for CIOs covers what you need to know to take advantage of process automation to transform your business.
Overcoming the BPM Stereotype: Move Past the Ideas of Traditional BPM to Business Process Automation
Traditional business process management was about defining business processes to the nth degree and then implementing standardized workflows that fit 99% of situations. It was all about efficiency and cost-savings. Today’s approach to business process automation is much more flexible and agile, and brings many additional benefits to the business, including making employees more efficient and effective in their daily work. It also provides a number of benefits to IT.
“Front-office effectiveness and innovation are enhanced when CIOs and digital workplace leaders enable workers to situationally adapt their tasks, interactions, information needs and decisions in the “business moment” to deliver an optimal outcome.” (Gartner The Future of BPM: From Prescribed Actions to Improvisational Interactions)
Efficiency/Consistency/Time to Market
Time to market is critical. The competition in many markets is fierce, and the most successful companies are those that recognize and make changes, and get them out to the market as quickly as possible.
At the same time, it’s important to maintain consistency in how work is done. Consistency ensures that every customer is treated equally, not in the sense that the process is identical, but in the sense that they are listened to and supported to the best of the company’s ability. Consistency through process automation also ensures each process is conducted in a controlled manner, following corporate norms and best practices.
Business processes also need to continue to be efficient. By automating repeatable, routine tasks where appropriate and ensuring employees have the tools and information they need at their fingertips to get their work done, process automation provides the best of both worlds.
Connectivity with Both Internal/External Systems
No single system supports all the needs of a business or a single business process. Unfortunately, in many instances, employees spend significant time going from system to system to get the information they need to do their jobs. In some cases, they also need to access external systems or resources. Employees are forced to rely on outdated, time consuming methods of collaboration that delay their work and the outcome.
Process automation can provide the connectivity needed to bring together all the external and internal systems required to perform a particular business process. This connectivity gives employees one place to access the information and tools needed, while still performing proper security and auditing.
Visibility, transparency, and traceability go hand in hand with successful process automation. The right business process automation software provides the tools necessary to get full visibility into all the activities in a business process.
Analytics improve process visibility through consistent monitoring and reporting of all process activities not just when the process is complete, but throughout the period the process is performed.
Most business processes involve more than one person working on a vary of activities. This makes it critical to ensure all activities are traceable back to the person or system that did the work, as well as what exactly was done.
The key is to ensure that the right people can see the right information when they need it and the system tracks when and how activities are conducted.
You can’t set and forget a business process. Changing markets, increasing customer demands, changes to compliance rules and regulations (internally and externally) and many other factors force enterprises to continually monitor and improve how processes work.
This approach of continuous improvement can happen when business process automation is implemented strategically and with the right tools. The right process automation software helps enterprises introduce agile and adaptive approaches to deal with changing and complex business and market conditions and at the same time ensure the following of compliance rules, both internal and external.
Lower Costs / Higher Profit Growth
Process automation is certainly about lowering costs. Automating activities within a process where it is feasible ensures that routine work is done efficiently and reliably, reducing risks and removing the possibility of human error.
It also empowers business and IT to focus their attention on more important aspects of the process, such as integrating new innovative technologies and systems, adapting and enhancing critical activities and improving collaboration between employees and partners.
Ultimately, it’s about ensuring customers are getting the ongoing support they need when they need it. Customer loyalty and retention are critical to higher profit growth.
Read more tips for successfully powering business transformation in our white paper: “The CIO’s Guide to Business Transformation with Process Automation.” Then, check out the Everteam Business Process Management solution to learn how you can improve your processes today.