Business Process Automation (BPA) is a critical component of every organization’s digital transformation strategy. Executives want it done faster, with less errors and at a lower cost. Employees don’t want to spend their time shuffling paper and working on administrative tasks. As if those aren’t enough challenges, the technology used to automate processes must align with the mobile 21st century workforce.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, working remotely has increased 103% since 2005. Offices and processes are being reengineered with an understanding that 50-60% of work time will take place outside of the traditional office. Smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices have replaced PCs so people expect to initiate or participate in workflows on any device in the office, at home or while traveling. The Consumerization of IT and the rapid growth of cloud technologies has forever changed expectations about software used at work. Lengthy training and implementations along with cumbersome user interfaces are no longer acceptable.
There is no debating that automating business processes contributes to an organization’s success, people and processes are the foundation of every company. Process automation in accounts payable, marketing, sales, customer service and human resources are essential if a business wants to grow and succeed versus just surviving. Automation reduces human intervention so workflows are streamlined and standardized. In addition, errors are reduced, costs are lowered and the business becomes more agile.
Organizations have a wide variety of process automation technologies to choose from including Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS), Workflow platforms and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems. The correct solution for an organization will be dependent on business needs and budget. Regardless of the technology selected proper information governance (IG) must be considered.
Information governance incorporates records management, information security and compliance. It should balance extracting value from information and reducing the potential risk of information. Business process automation aids in the efficient and effective use of information, but the potential risk is often overlooked when solutions are selected.
There must be a convergence of the needs of process automation and information governance. The good news is a number of companies who provide business process outsourcing and business process automation technology see this need in the market and are responding. Competition, the rapid adoption of cloud technologies and the low cost of digital storage are making these solutions more affordable. As organizations consider the business process automation that fits their needs consider these points.
Business process automation and proper information governance are equally important and must coexist. A digital transformation strategy that does not incorporate both is not complete.
By BJ Johnson, Senior Solutions Specialist at Access