IT process automation (ITPA) is often better known as business process automation (BPA) and is essentially a strategy that business organisations use to contain costs by integrating applications to make them less time consuming and more affordable to carry out, usually with the implementation of software solutions.
When business processes are automated they require less human intervention and become easier and faster to deliver, so the automation of business processes through the implementation of software solutions can be seen as the streamlining and optimising of business processes that drive value for a business organisation and its customer base.
The three fundamental principles of ITPA/BPA
ITPA/BPA is based on three fundamental principles; orchestration, integration and automated execution.
– Orchestration: Enables business organisations to create systems that provide them with centralised management capabilities through digital architecture.
– Integration: Business processes are combined and distributed across the organisation’s process-centric boundaries.
– Automated execution: Reduces the need for multiple tasks performed by human intervention.
When these three fundamental principles are in place, business organisations find their business processes are more efficient, productive and stable, and that they’re better able to utilise their workforce.
Which business processes should be automated?
Deciding which business processes should be automated is a decision many business organisations struggle with.
Whilst many business organisations wisely analyse business processes with the aim of identifying those most in need of automating, it’s often the case that they spend far too much time on analysis when they could cut to the chase and maximise their time, which is, paradoxically, the purpose of automating business processes in the first place.
To identify processes with automation potential, bear the following three points in mind.
– If the process in question requires manual duplication of data, for instance an item of information needs to be copied and transferred from one system to another, the business process has automation potential.
– If the process is a routine task that’s either time consuming to perform or has the potential to stop a larger process in its tracks if it isn’t performed on time, it should be considered for automation.
– If the process is ‘paper heavy’ and is either time consuming to perform or frequently becomes muddled because of human error, it has automation potential.
Keep in mind that every business organisation is different and that not every business will find the need to automate the same business processes.
Why it is advantageous to automate business processes?
There are a number of reasons why business organisations usually find it advantageous to automate their business processes, including the following.
– Reduce the cost and complexity of tasks
By automating business processes, and therefore simplifying them, they consequently become less costly to perform and less complex for staff. Business process automation, regardless of the process in question, will make the process faster and more efficient.
– Improve operational performance
When business processes are automated they’re more visible and business organisations are able to exercise greater control over them. Many programs provide features like automatic escalations and real-time monitoring that keep processes running constantly and on time. Automating business processes also empowers management to better analyse their organisation and identify areas that are in need of improvement.
– Make Employees Happy
Employees quickly become bored of repetitive tasks, so by automating business processes, business organisations can relieve their employees of these mundane tasks and apply their talents to other areas, areas in which their talents would be better utilised.
– Increase the quality and speed up performance of processes
The automation of business processes increases both the speed and quality in which processes are performed by reducing human intervention and therefore the possibility of human errors occurring.
– Improve collaboration between departments within an organisation
Automating business processes improves collaboration between departments within an organisation by, for instance, seamlessly connecting employees with each other.
– Enhance customer experience
Due to faster processing times, improved collaboration between departments and lower operational overheads, customer experiences are enhanced, thus providing the organisation with a competitive edge over its competitors. It’s important to understand that customers want consistency and that consistency is something that automating business processes empowers business organisations to provide.
– Reduce training costs
As a general rule, the more business processes that are automated the less need there is for training, or when training is required, it’s in areas where the talents of employees will be better utilised. This saves business organisations both time and money that could be used for much better purposes.
IT process automation or business process automation as it’s often better known, has a wide array of outstanding benefits to offer business organisations. The trick, however, lies in identifying the right software for their specific needs and implementing the software they decide on in the right manner.
Thomas Smith is a writer, digital marketing specialist and an amateur photographer who loves travelling and dogs. He owns a 5-yr old Golden Retriever named Sam. Currently, he works on a freelancebasis for Littlefish,a rapidly growing Managed IT Services provider ofrigid support solutions in the UK.