TMCnews Featured Article
August 17, 2010
Interactive Intelligence White Paper Outlines Success in Business Process Automation
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Over the years, a number of different work processes were created and put in place to try and help drive efficient operations within the enterprise. One contemporary approach is that of business process automation (BPA). This approach employs technology to execute business processes in real-time to achieve efficiencies as a result of automating specific parts of that process.
The key to driving success with business process automation is to select the right solution to fit the unique needs of a specific business. To make the right choice for the business, the successful BPA initiative relies on the strategic focus on five key considerations: alignment with clear business objectives, getting the right people involved; automating the right processes; using the right technology; and supporting the quick win and continuous improvement initiatives.
A recent Interactive Intelligence white paper, A Practical Guide to Automating Key Business Processes, focuses on these five considerations. Let’s take a closer look at each one and how you can make BPA work within your environment.
An ideal business process automation implementation should be driven by well-defined business objectives. High level objects could easily focus exclusively on cost reduction or cost containment. Under the right circumstances, these objectives may also focus on increasing the potential of generating revenue. In all, the improvements in process efficiency should translate into a quantifiable return on investment (ROI).
The successful BPA deployment also relies on getting the right people involved. A process change is likely to fail if stakeholders do not support the changes. It is essential to have IT management on board with the BPA technology, as well as business owner buy-in. An executive sponsor for the business process automation implementation is also an important move, as is the involvement of the end-users.
Making an implementation that will automate processes requires the correct identification of the processes that should be automated. The real challenge in today’s business environment is improving the processes that involve people, making it important to identify the good fit to ensure the promised efficiency gains are actually realized. Industry-specific processes are ideal for BPA, as well as multi-step, people-centric processes.
In BPA implementation, it is important to start small and grow over time. BPA can have such a significant impact on process efficiencies that it may be important to focus on specific, mission-critical business processes. It is important to remember that the more complex the process, the more complex, costly and time-consuming the implementation. More manageable processes are a better place to start.
Finally, selecting the right technology is essential for the successful BPA implementation. It is no longer viable to take several years to implement and realize a return on investment in technology. To truly drive success, the BPA technology should support the other key considerations discussed here and offer proven capabilities that make people more effective in their jobs and the way their tasks interact with other people, processes and the enterprise as a whole.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard