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A modern and practical guide to Automation & Integration Part2

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

This is the second part to the article ‘Automation & Integration – A modern and practical guide’. For practical purposes we are going to focus on the Automation or Digital Process Modelling in this article and address the integration part in a subsequent article.

As we are all well aware that there are a number of low code / no code platforms available at one’s disposal in the 4th industrial revolution and competition is fierce, each platform come with it’s own set of strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately cost is a defining factor.

The question from business is essentially how to we make our process efficient and reduce cost utilizing digital process automation?

To answer this question lies in the following:

- Understanding of the Business Process

- Effective Modelling of the Business Process

- Efficient Reporting on the Business Process

The key is to understand the business process, end to end. In a lot of the cases business has a pseudo-collective understanding of the functional area they function in. To modernize and surface the lowest business processes in business proves to drive efficiency by unlocking business users doing mundane tasks daily to perform a wider set of functions within in a business process as business demands to get more ‘bang for their buck’.

If one understands the inner functional area’s and modernize the business from the smallest of the processes, one can easily start modelling these simple and, in most cases, the mundane tasks, to start realizing cost saving from the beginning. What starts happening here is you are strengthening the overall business process from the inside out. Working smarter and not harder, let the low code / no code platform do the mundane work.

This brings me to the next point of effective modelling of business processes. As mentioned before there are a lot of business process modelling platforms where do your start?

A simplistic yet effective rule to follow is to work with what you have in your organization. Understanding and modelling the business process also demands a solid understanding of the platforms and processes you have.

Organizations do have some form of business processes however these are not always clearly defined and documented due to their inherited simplicity. Some components on these platforms can be utilized to modernize and model content centric business processes for example in platforms that are available to one’s disposal.

To allow for modernizing of business process is to utilize cloud-based toolset that are cost effective and easy to learn. This is where a Nintex Promapp comes into play as an easy to use, secure and cost-effective cloud hosted digital process modelling platform. The Nintex Promapp tool allows to business analyst to take the business users on a journey to success and enables businesses to effectively model and collaborate on their business processes. Furthermore, this allows for collaborative process mapping and well documented business processes.

In order for business to start monitoring and reporting on business processes, one has to define some sort of measurable and tangible key performance metrics that speaks to your business process.

No low code platform has standard reports out of the box that will speak to the business process. Most of these out of the box reports simple show user performance, task allocation and duration, but do not speak to the effective monitoring and reporting on business process modelling.

Hence it is very important to allow a process to carry meta data points that can be tracked and linked to application specific data to produce reports that make business sense from the first design of the business process model.

An example would be to define a process and where users must perform a review or approval task to couple that to the duration and cost per user to get a monetary value representing the cost of a process end to end. These standard process metrics translates into duration in monetary terms which can be utilized to report back to business without doing complex analytical reports.

This approach provides the process experts the means to utilize meta data and key performance indicators to identify bottle necks in existing business processes and strengthen and optimize the business process model in different versions and provide a road map back to business to motivate for additional versions or releases.

This reporting can be done in various reporting platforms and can provide valuable data to business to seek additional modernization techniques to improve on business process performance and reduce cost in the long run, without buying new platforms and tooling, or spending excessively on technology.

If you have any business processes you would like to modernize to gain visibility, feel free to contact First Digital to assist you on the Automation & Integration journey.

Eckard Meyer

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