Business Process Automation: Choose the Right Tool for the Job

Some people get annoyed that today, whatever the question, digital transformation is the answer. Undeniably though, due to the global pandemic, companies around the world accelerated adoption of technology to ensure business continuity, and connectivity with the employees. Given the economic impact of global events, we can observe that entire industries are pivoting on priorities. In times of uncertainty, fundamentals come first.

Today, it once again became clear that business process automation is critical in ensuring operational efficiency, lowering costs, increasing margins, and reducing errors and risks. A progressive and well-thought implementation of a digital strategy is crucial not only in the day-to-day operations, but also in preparing the company for rapid changes in the business environment.

A holistic approach to business process automation and management requires more than just random task-oriented automations. The first thing to understand is that ‘business process’ comes before ‘automation’. You need to develop a strategic framework for end-to-end process governance, that takes into account the need for continuous evaluation and improvement. Task automation is just a part of a much broader perspective. Auditability, transparency, change and application lifecycle management, documentation, user adoption – they are all equally important. Having understood that, we are then ready to choose the right technology to support it.

What do we mean by saying the right technology? Here’s a short list of things to look for when selecting a Digital Process Automation platform (or Business Process Management platform, if you will).

If you already have some experience with task automation in Power Automate, we encourage you to jump straight into reading our whitepaper about Top 10 Reasons Why a Power Automate Builder Should Look at WEBCON BPS, where we explain the main differences between the two systems, and when to use one vs. when to use the other.

And if you’re at the beginning of your process automation journey, here are a few features and characteristics to look for when choosing the platform for your organization.

Quick & painless change implementation

Change is an inevitable part of process management. That’s why if you’re thinking about automating tasks that are a part of a business process, you need to remember that being able to easily evolve running applications is just as important (or more!) than the deployment itself. That’s why it’s necessary to make sure that the platform will support the power users in implementing changes, moving applications to the production environment, and providing a clear documentation. If the support is insufficient, and the changes are hard to implement, it will be impossible to provide the organization with the flexibility necessary for efficient change management.

Auditability & transparency

Managing business processes requires insight into the way the processes actually work. It’s only a matter of time when the need for audit trails appears in regards to business process applications you created. Make sure the platform provides audit trails for all workflows. It allows to gain deeper insights into business processes, helps to spot bottlenecks, and in result allows to implement necessary changes to achieve operational excellence.

Application lifecycle management

Business process automation often scales to company-wide deployments. If automation works for a specific department, it will either become a part of a larger end-to-end business process or will be replicated to serve other departments within the organization. Most probably both things will take place. And because of that, the automation can no longer be treated as a local and insignificant solution. As soon as you realize that, your game plan has to be supplemented with application lifecycle policy. Yes – it boils down to how your applications stage from development to test to production environments. Just make sure to broaden your perspective beyond the initial deployment and encompass thinking how staging behaves for ongoing change management.

If you’re curious about other features your Digital Process Automation platform should be equipped with, we encourage you to read about them in the whitepaper Top 10 Reasons Why a Power Automate Builder Should Look at WEBCON BPS.

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