Inside the business process automation trend

Inside the business process automation trend

Automation has had a profound impact on the average organization in the past few years. Many businesses have strived to improve their operational performances, specifically in terms of productivity and efficiency, using advanced tools that reduce the amount of resources and budget that need to be directed toward everyday tasks. In the modern workplace, there are a wealth of processes and core functions that are well-suited to automation, and many aim to tackle record-keeping, invoicing and other data entry-heavy responsibilities. 

New technologies have made it easier for businesses to begin automating their processes, while the increased reliance upon digital frameworks has almost demanded that decision-makers begin to get on board with these types of projects. Those firms that avoid or push back IT modernization efforts might quickly begin to see their competitive edge start to deteriorate, especially considering the myriad benefits that come along with some of the more advanced tools, solutions and techniques in these areas. 

Business process automation (BPA) can be a relatively complex matter to understand when a company is first beginning to create plans and strategies that will guide the entirety of the project. However, there are plenty of tools and solutions out there to ease the strain of these initiatives, including software that can eliminate the need to spend thousands of dollars on customization and development efforts using internal or external resources. 

Different approaches to business process overhauls
Wall Street and Technology, a subsidiary of InformationWeek, recently explained some of the ways in which financial services providers can begin adjusting and refining their business process management programs, affirming these types of organizations might stand to gain a significant advantage through automation. According to the news provider, banks that automate some of their core business processes might begin to enjoy greater transparency, visibility and security, while revenues and profit margins will likewise move in the right direction. 

The first step toward a modernized business process management framework that includes automation is the internal evaluation of current procedures, identification of areas that could be improved and more. 

"Though most large banks do have pockets of BPM implementations that are adding or beginning to add significant business value, an enterprise-wide re-look at the core revenue-producing activities is called for, as is a deeper examination of driving competitive advantage," author Vamsi Chemitiganti explained. "BPM circa 2014 has evolved into more than just pure process management. Meanwhile, other disciplines have been added to BPM – which has now become an umbrella term. These include business rules management, event processing and business resource planning."

The source went on to affirm that business process management platforms that are meant to be used in various environments, including mobile and cloud computing, as well as those that help to create synergy between corporate requirements and complex event processing, can be especially advantageous for banks. 

Many industries stand to benefit
The financial services sector has certainly been at the forefront of technological advances in recent years, but other industries such as health care and manufacturing have experienced likewise revolutions in their BPA capabilities. Across all industries, applications for back office processes like accounts payable invoice automation, procurement, sales order automation and expense report automation are now more out of the box using third party applications which are designed to work in front end or parallel with ERP systems. 

Logic and functionality that used to require custom development are now as simple as a check box to turn on or off. This accelerates the implementation of these types of solutions and can significantly decrease the amount of money spent using workflow tools built into ERP systems. Even software behemoth Oracle has started using a common external BPA engine – Oracle Business Process Management (BPM) – for all of its ERP and middleware applications.

As such, organizations can leverage the benefits of business process automation tools (which are primarily point and click configurable) to cost-effectively streamline their business process management frameworks, reduce the strain placed on IT departments in the modern era and boost operational productivity across a variety of functions and activities. So long as decision-makers have diligently assessed their needs and researched the available options for BPA software, the BPA of today can be far more effective and less costly to implement than that of the past.

ACCELERATING Business Processes