3 things to consider before implementing business process automation

The COVID epidemic forced companies to automate business processes much faster than they had planned. How are they doing?

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Image: iStock / NicoElNino

With the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, many companies have moved to digital operations and adopted business automation. Even in the face of a major epidemic, companies are moving forward, implementing new technologies and automated operations, as they can no longer rely on on-site staff.

“Time value, time savings, controlled cost management, business agility, excellent customer experience and breakaway growth are all outcomes that can be expected from business process automation if it is done in the most optimal way,” said Jan Arendtz, CEO and founder of Celigo. , Which provides automatic integration.

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Arendtsz points out these business process automation success stories:

  • One company has reportedly halved its workload, allowing its resources to focus on moving products forward rather than integrating applications.
  • Another company saw the implementation of 5% additional payments after implementing automatic cash application manager.
  • The third company saved hundreds of hours of manual work and got the right finances on time; And
  • The CDC Foundation saw a fivefold increase in transactions after implementing automation solutions between its ERP and CRM systems. The organization experienced time savings which allowed it to focus on its mission-critical work in supporting disease control and prevention centers.

From an IT perspective, making these efforts a success was the ability to quickly integrate a diverse set of applications by automating large parts of the integration effort. It was enabled by pre-built integration into popular systems such as ERP, CRM, Salesforce, Excel and others.

“This is an important point,” Erendtz said, “because many people use the word ‘automatic’ when they are simply integrating one application into another in a point-to-point fashion. [integration] The process can be connected, it still leaves the data silo and manual work or coding to connect to other parts of the business. With automation, the process goes a step further by connecting multiple applications using pre-built integrations in a ‘hub’ and using embedded business logic to influence downstream flows. “

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Utilizing the power of automated integration will enable IT to break down silos, build and modify business processes, and gain more insights across the enterprise.

But at the same time, there are important caveats to using software tools that affect automated application integration during business process design.

  1. No automation tool can replace users and IT work hand in hand In the business process design or redesign before any applications are integrated or changed.
    Business process modeling, design and (where possible) testing and projection of results should be first and foremost, after the determined efforts of all before the project starts.
  2. IT should play an integral role in software integration as business processes change.
    “Many companies choose ‘no-code’ recipes when looking for solutions because they do not have the technical resources to integrate custom code,” Arendtz said. “Simplicity is important to allow business users to implement their own automations. It is equally important that IT teams maintain some oversight throughout the business and have the ability to customize integrations as needed. Enabling you to create your own automations. “
  3. The human role in automating the business process must be planned.
    Data integration and business process automation do not replace people in the workplace. Instead, they will redirect people to actions of great strategic importance in the business. For an accounting staff, this means that system integration failures can manually move invoices and other types of data back between systems and become financial analysts instead.

The most important thing is to synchronize the re-tooling of the workforce with the re-tooling of systems. Employees should be ready for the new work they do. They need to know that the company has a future for them.

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