The benefits of business process automation (BPA) are many, but careful planning is required to ensure proper implementation. Organizations that understand the automation culture are already achieving 389% ROI with the right platforms.
It is no longer an operational or financial differentiator to be a technology adopter. KPMG’s Head of IT recently said that “every industry wants to be associated with technology these days.” Currently, 92% of decision makers in companies mention process automation as a crucial factor of digital transformation in their business¹.
In a recent international study carried out by Camunda (one of the most efficient process automation tools in the world), 97% of organizations believe that business process orchestration and automation is crucial for digital transformation². They are right, business processes are often the most critical element to a company’s success. Amazon is a good example – they impact every market they enter by simply creating a better user experience through automating their workflows and business processes.
Even though process automation is more than necessary – it’s urgent – you also must be careful with it, since many organizations try to rush it and end up implementing automation without proper planning. In the end, what was supposed to be a major investment turns out to be just a cost.
In this article, we list 5 tips that will help make process automation a reality in your company, so that your business can be digitally transformed with orchestrated and automated processes.
1. Have a sense of urgency, but do not skip steps in process automation. You can start with a pilot project or proof of concept (POC)
Many organizations have found it difficult to implement automation – which is normal, as each company’s workflows tend to vary in complexity. After all, transformations take time and require above-average efforts. There is no way to implement them overnight. While many business leaders want to automate processes, they are intimidated by the challenge, as the size, complexity, and connections between tasks in their organizations tend to be challenging indeed.
Our tip is that you hire process automation companies that show they can deliver business results, not just implement technology, and let them present a proof of concept (POC). Process automation goals can and should be ambitious, but they don’t have to be achieved all at once.
Start with a pilot project which implements one of your workflows. Once you have a good sense of the positive impact of the work, focus on a larger project that is realistic in scope and designed to add business value. Never lose sight of how much added value automations are delivering to your business. From there, you can move on to larger-scale transformations, incorporating larger teams and more complex automations.
2. Make process automation a priority in the organization
It is important to see process automation as something that is not only “good for the business,” but necessary. However, it should not be rushed. As mentioned above, a study carried out by Camunda conducted in 2022 revealed surprising numbers – companies that properly implemented the process automation platform achieved up to 389% ROI. Such a result would never be achieved without the necessary planning and the right choice of best practices, tools and trained professionals. For more information on how your company can achieve this type of result, click here.
In the same study, companies who invest in process automation revealed that their efforts were applied to several initiatives, such as driving better customer service, reducing errors (reducing costs) and provide better visualization and tracking capabilities for governance and compliance, among many others.
3. IT and business leaders need to converge
It’s true that collaboration between business and IT has improved in recent years, but many still consider it one of the biggest challenges to business transformation. There is no other way: business and IT leaders need to be aligned and collaborative for process automation to be effective. One difficulty is that, in most cases, IT and business stakeholders do not speak the same “language”. For example, a business stakeholder might be concerned about whether a customer-facing process is working well, while an IT leader will pay more attention to the work involved with technical implementation.
In this case, we recommend starting with increasing the visibility of the processes, through mapping, to try to bring the two sides together and reach a consensus that is beneficial for the company. By visualizing and modeling processes in flowchart diagrams (we recommend the BPMN approach), both teams can understand how the processes work. Business leaders can make high-level changes while technical IT staff can use specifications to implement process automation through tools like Camunda and others.
4. Find qualified and certified IT partners on efficient and modern process automation platforms
Making process automation a reality in your business requires in-depth knowledge of technology, but that is not all. It also requires broad business expertise and a high capacity to combine automation tools with best practices, applied by high-performance professionals who have experience in this area.
Thus, we recommend that you look for companies who are certified in efficient and modern process automation platforms, who have teams of qualified professionals in this area who can work in an agile way, focusing on your core business.
5. Replace legacy systems gradually
According to the study cited, eight out of ten decision makers in companies reported that legacy systems and older technologies and processes make it considerably difficult to achieve goals. There is no surprise in that. Those systems are inflexible and often limited. Many companies understand that they need to replace them, but sometimes this objective becomes expensive, as building a new solution from scratch takes time and demands modern technology.
Therefore, gradual replacement is the best way. It is possible to replace legacy systems with a BPMS (Business Process Management System). The market is proving that the most agile way to get around the obstacles created by legacy systems is to replace them with another solution – but this doesn’t have to be immediate, it can be done gradually with modern technologies that leverage microservices and Open APIs.
To automate all your end-to-end processes, you need to start with the most urgent operations first, without immediately eliminating business-critical legacy technology. You can do this by orchestrating various local process automation, even using RPA bots (robotic process automation, or better said: task automation).
In conclusion: process automation is gaining momentum in organizations today, but many companies only see value in automation when they realize that competitors have already started automating their processes – they start the race always late. If you want your company to grow in a scalable way, with stability and high ROI, you need to adopt a business-focused automation culture as soon as possible.
At NTConsult, we have close to 20 years of experience in the digital solutions market, with clients in 8 countries. As we work with nearshore LATAM based IT Talents, we offer competitive pricing, with English speaking IT specialists that work in your time zone and are aligned with your country’s culture, which ensures real-time communication without language barriers and greater synergy with your other teams working on your projects. Nearshoring with Latin America based professionals is a great choice for North American companies.
In addition to our history developing customized systems for companies in all industries, we have become experts in the process automation world, helping automate thousands of workflows in companies in North and South America. We have enabled them to orchestrate and automate their processes thus accelerating their digital transformation. We set up agile teams managed by leaders experienced in our client’s core business who are powered by highly qualified teams skilled in the leading automation platforms. One of those platforms mentioned in this article, Camunda, is considered one of the most modern and agile tools. We implement Camunda in several clients around the world, ensuring successful cases that drive business forward which helped led to us winning the Camunda Partner of the Year award for North and South America.
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Author: Philippe Alencar
About: copywriter and marketing analyst, graduated in Business Administration with specializations in Marketing and IT Governance, has been working in the digital solutions market for the last 11 years.