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
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.
Agility and Speed to Market to Compete in the “Age of the Customer.”
Business success today is directly related to an enterprise’s agility. How quickly and easily can it adapt to changes? The speed at which new technologies are coming to market and the speed at which customers and employees are adopting them and demanding the products and services they use to support them is increasing every day. In addition, new regulations regularly surface that must be addressed.
To compete in this “age of the customer” requires agility, the ability to react quickly to customer needs, new internal and external drivers, new opportunities and challenges and more. It requires the flexibility to change according to the situation and the customer.
Why Process Automation is Needed
You don’t have to look too far into the enterprise to understand why process automation is so important to business today.
Modernization of Legacy Systems
Modernizing legacy systems through “wrapping” them with an agile process layer and migrating the data to a less expensive records management platform takes a great burden off IT. It enables IT to shift its attention and efforts to new digital technologies such as mobile, cloud and Big Data, lowers risk to the organization and results in a more cost-effective IT environment. This is where process automation can help.
To achieve agility, customers will find operational performance increases if their workers collaborate in the context of “enabling service X for customer Y” rather than performing different transactions in their ERP, CRM and core systems. Process automation allows the operation to focus on business outcomes rather than putting together the support pieces.
Rigidity of Core Systems
Today’s systems need to support cross-organization collaboration as enterprise’s work to focus on the constantly changing demands of customers. Employees need the flexibility to change the way business processes work, empowering them to adapt to changing market conditions, new partners, and new compliance requirements.
Most organizations have dozens of processes that look like this: Receive an email. Get data from an application X. Copy information in a network available spreadsheet. Generate word document. Update system Y; etc… These kind of processes are expensive, people dependent, error prone and huge bottlenecks to achieve strategic business objectives.
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