The pandemic has driven organizations to assess their business processes—and the people, systems and technology that support them—with magnifying-glass intensity. Abrupt shifts in operations have impacted everything from employee productivity and customer engagement to manufacturing and sales. And these shifts are leading businesses to identify opportunities for transformation powered by new, automated ways of working.
These new ways of working let organizations conduct business digitally, end to end, without relying on human steps to close the gaps.
A trillion-dollar transformation
Digital transformation remains a top strategic priority for organizations. Their focus is on adopting emerging digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes to boost operational excellence and create more engaging customer experiences. And the commitment to achieve these objectives is steadfast: worldwide digital transformation technology investments are expected to reach $7.4 trillion by 2023—more than half of all information and communication technology spending, according to IDC.
At the center of digital transformation is digital process automation (DPA). DPA focuses on digitizing and automating systems and recurrent processes to automate repetitive tasks and turn businesses into data-driven organizations. By connecting and integrating enterprise information, and automating how it flows across business applications, organizations can present information when and how it’s needed. This empowers employees and puts customers at the center of every transaction.
Spelling it out: DPA, BPA and BPM
When it comes to process automation, there are varying definitions and promises. And some terms are used interchangeably, which can add to the confusion.
Traditionally, business process automation (BPA) has been used as the umbrella term for a multitude of technologies and methods used to streamline business processes through automation. Meanwhile, business process management (BPM) describes not a specific method but rather a discipline to improve the efficiency and management of everyday processes.
Some say that DPA is the new, digitized and automated form of BPM. Others refer to DPA as an iteration of BPA. At OpenText™, we define DPA as the comprehensive approach to enable broad digital transformation with information and automation at the core.
The shift from cost to customers
Over the years, process automation initiatives have focused primarily on large, time-consuming and expensive enterprise processes. The market is now shifting and putting more power in the hands of business owners who are closer to where the work gets done. They can now prototype and collaborate with developers, which speeds up development.
In addition, automation and process changes previously happened within silos—within finance or supply chain, for example. Today, organizations have come to realize that the customer journey crosses silos, creating a need for widespread digitization and automation and making the customer experience the driving priority.
Forrester Research (Traditional BPM Gives Way to Digital Process Automation, 2017) summarizes this move perfectly:
“As organizations undertake digital transformation efforts, an important realization emerges: process matters. Investments in beautifully designed web and mobile experiences won’t move the needle unless application development and delivery professionals ensure that the processes on the back end align to support a true end-to-end customer experience.”
DPA creates opportunities to prioritize processes around customer needs, creating smart, engaging and digital experiences in response to shifting market and customer demands. When organizations optimize processes with insight and automation, the benefits are broad.
Automating for outcomes
With DPA as part of a digital transformation strategy, the focus often shifts to re-engineering processes to reap the benefits that come with increasing the efficiency, transparency and use of information. DPA delivers a huge information advantage by automating both business tasks and data management. This connects enterprise information to intelligently automate the business and deliver competitive advantages and tangible outcomes. By doing so, your organization can:
- Engage better and smarter with customers, partners and employees
- Automate routine system-to-system and straight-through processes to boost employee productivity and customer satisfaction
- Improve ad hoc processes by gathering all the information needed to make informed decisions
- Enable data-driven workflows and decision making across the organization
- Quickly adapt to shifting business requirements, particularly during pandemic operations, to improve stability and minimize disruptions
- Advance innovation and resource utilization with AI-driven insights
DPA at digital speed
Rethink process automation and its role in your organization’s digital transformation. To learn more, visit our website or contact us today.