Both business and society are constantly evolving. As a result, companies have to anticipate changes before they happen or at least react to them appropriately in order to defend or further expand their market position. This applies in particular against the backdrop of digital transformation. Innovative companies have to focus their attention on digitalization and automation – only those who automate profitable processes and efficient workflows will remain competitive.
The first step on the path towards automating business processes is the process potential analysis (PPA), which is used to identify the processes with the greatest automation potential. The goal of the subsequent optimization is to then digitalize and prepare these processes to the greatest possible extent. There is a focus here on reducing lead times, using resources ideally and increasing productivity. Once automation is then established, companies are able to position themselves as forward-looking and remain competitive on the market.
A focus on internal workflows and structures
Given the rise of digitalization and automation, companies have to successfully transform their processes and business models in order to meet the challenges and utilize the opportunities associated with the digital transformation. Internal workflows and structures have to be closely analyzed here and silo-based thinking banished. Processes cannot stop as soon as they reach departmental or system borders – they have to be considered from beginning to end along the entire value chain. This paradigm shift focuses on internal networking and cross-system working, thus allowing staff to concentrate on their core tasks thanks to efficient workflows.
Business process management – a helping hand in business transformation
When putting an automation project into action, companies have to think beyond traditional application scenarios. Instead, there must be a focus on applications that support digitalized processes and the digital transformation of the company. The result is improved workflows with a focus on employee and customer satisfaction and new working methods, which in turn allows for the activities and interactions both within the company and with customers to reach new levels. Among others, this approach includes the intelligent connection of mobile devices for the sales process. However, as current business processes often cannot be mapped 1:1 on mobile devices, dedicated workflows have to be developed along the customer journey and explicitly for mobile applications. While thought must also be given to the integration of social media and cloud services, these require entirely new approaches and structures.
Social collaboration, big data and the Internet of Things
The automation of business processes also brings various additional benefits for companies. Bringing together employees and teams as part of social collaboration, for example, allows for more effective and intelligent partnerships. Networking allows knowledge to be shared optimally within the company and also made available regardless of time, location and who is using it. How big data is handled plays another important role. Taking a large volume of data, defined processes are used to extract, prepare and combine exactly the information that is relevant and necessary. This then gives concrete added value. Integrating the Internet of Things is also important in transforming a company. Networking machine and equipment data with business processes allows the systems to communicate with each other, meaning data and information can be exchanged and processed quickly and efficiently. Last but not least, the use of the right automation technology enables optimal case management. This is then used to structure highly complex processes in a flexible way. As a result, individual cases can be planned for and legal and regulatory guidelines complied with.
The bimodal approach
A bimodal approach is recommended in order to prevent the entire IT infrastructure from being turned upside down when implementing process automation. To do this, an additional level is introduced in the form of an automation platform, which brings together the existing IT systems seamlessly and ensures the new technology is integrated. In this way, all the associated benefits of the new technologies can be utilized immediately without necessarily having to migrate existing systems and technologies. Both the organization itself and its staff benefit from the use of an intelligent process automation platform. As a central hub for business processes, it allows for the following:
- Fast connection of existing interfaces
- Simple integration of various different systems
- Process monitoring and documentation
- Cost savings through the automation of manual tasks
- Intuitive operation using a variety of input devices
- Reduced risks and increased efficiency
The intelligent automation of business processes brings with it a great many advantages across a range of different areas. By implementing automation consistently and thoroughly, companies can achieve their long-term strategies and goals while also defending and expanding their market position.