If you’re looking to amplify your business productivity while simultaneously cutting costs, you might find your answer in Digital Process Automation (DPA). Imagine a powerful tool that can automate multiple tasks involving diverse applications with the magic of low-code development. DPA is transformed workspaces from traditional human interaction to more automated, streamlined processes. Ignited by Forrester Research in 2017, the concept of DPA has steadily gained momentum and is now utilized in a multitude of business functions such as sales, marketing, management, IT, and production. With its ability to boost efficiency, enhance customer experience, and save valuable time and money, DPA has rapidly evolved from Business Process Management (BPM) and has been adopted by companies worldwide for common processes like customer onboarding, procurement, and more. So, prepare to redefine the contours of your business operations with DPA.
Understanding Digital Process Automation (DPA)
What is Digital Process Automation?
Digital Process Automation or DPA is a framework aimed at automating business processes to enhance efficiencies and output quality. At its core, it’s a type of low-code development tool that helps streamline tasks across various applications. It’s an effective system that embraces digital transformation to optimize workflows. DPA is closely tied to the concept of Business Process Management (BPM) and is often regarded as its evolution, designed to overcome BPM’s shortcomings.
Evolution from Business Process Management (BPM)
Remember the time when workflows were managed by BPM? DPA was conceived out of BPM’s ashes, relieving you from time-consuming manual tasks and streamlining your operational workflow. The seeds for DPA were sown by Forrester Research, which in 2017, redefined BPM as DPA, recognizing the need for a more effective approach toward enhancing digital transformation in businesses.
Differences between DPA, RPA and IPA
Confused about DPA, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)? Here’s a quick breakdown. RPA is designed to emulate human actions and are vital for repetitive tasks, while DPA leverages low-code platforms integrated with applications to automate complex processes. So, while RPA does the work, DPA manages it. Now, if you add the concept of artificial intelligence and machine learning to this mix, the result is IPA.
Types of Digital Process Automation
Distinguishing DPA Deep from DPA Wide
Forrester Research further classified DPA into DPA Deep and DPA Wide. Where DPA Deep represents the evolved, sophisticated tools of BPMS, suitable for complex process automation, DPA Wide refers to lighter tools, ideal for simple process automation.
Role of low-code development tools in DPA
Low-code platforms rest at the heart of DPA. These platforms enable developers to create applications with minimum hand-coding, thereby reducing the cost, complexity, and time taken for production. Moreover, these platforms integrate seamlessly with your existing applications, enabling you to automate business processes effectively.
Selecting the right type of DPA for your business
Selecting the right DPA for your business depends on the complexity and the variety of business processes you intend to automate. If you’re dealing with intricate workflows, DPA Deep may be a match for you. If not, DPA Wide might be just the tool you need for simpler process automation.
Applications of Digital Process Automation
DPA in Sales
Streamlining sales operations can be complex, but with DPA, you can automate several sales-related workflows, ranging from order processing to customer management.
DPA in Marketing
In marketing, DPA can help you automate customized email responses, manage customer data, or even track customer journeys, allowing you to foster better relationships with your customers.
DPA in Management
From automating employee onboarding processes to monitoring employee performance, DPA can play a key role in driving your management functions.
DPA in IT
In the IT industry, DPA can help you manage software development process, track bugs, or even automate test case generation to improve productivity and reduce time-to-market.
DPA in Production
While you manage inventory or plan production schedules, DPA can come in handy to automate these repetitive jobs, saving your valuable time.
Key Benefits of Digital Process Automation
Automating your workflow with DPA saves you from investing labor and resources in manual tasks, leading to significant cost savings.
Fewer errors and less manual intervention mean higher process efficiency and smoother operations.
Improved Customer Experience
With more accurate and timely responses, DPA can help you deliver a superior customer experience, boosting your customer satisfaction levels.
By freeing your staff from mundane tasks, DPA allows them to focus on core business activities, saving their valuable time and improving productivity.
Examples of DPA in Common Business Processes
DPA can speed up the customer onboarding process by automating data entry and validation, account setup, and other processes, ensuring a smooth start to your customer relationships.
From raising purchase orders to managing vendor contracts, DPA can be used to automate the entire procurement process, reducing errors and shortening cycle times.
DPA can help automate order entries, inventory checks, and shipment processes, making your order fulfillment process faster and more efficient.
The Shift Towards More Enterprise-centric Terminology
The legacy of Business Process Automation (BPA) and Business Process Management (BPM)
The BPM and BPA have played their parts in the business world, striving to improve efficiencies in the business processes. However, with digital transformation gaining traction, there’s a shift in their legacy, transitioning toward more enterprise automation-focused terminology like DPA.
The emergence of DPA
DPA emerged as an evolved form of BPM and BPA, capturing a broader context of automating and managing workflows that span multiple applications, signaling a shift in business process management.
Why the terminology is changing and what it means for businesses
This shift in terminology from BPM and BPA to DPA reflects the need for more sophisticated tools for today’s dynamic, digital-centric business world. This enterprise-centric language resonates the automation needs of modern businesses and signifies the era where automation rules lay the foundation for business success.
Distinguishing DPA from Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Comparing human replication in RPA and low-code integration in DPA
RPA is all about replicating human actions for simple, repeatable tasks, whereas DPA makes use of low-code integrated platforms to automate complex tasks across multiple applications.
When to use RPA versus DPA
Every business has different automation needs. Choose RPA when you’re looking to automate routine, formulaic tasks. DPA is the go-to solution for automating complex, end-to-end workflows.
Combining RPA and DPA for optimal business practices
While RPA and DPA have different applications, when combined, they can drive optimal efficiencies across all business areas. From BPM to handling complex workflows, merging RPA and DPA is the way forward in automation.
Implementing Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) with DPA and RPA
Assessing the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in IPA
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning play a decisive part in IPA. AI and ML bring intelligence into the mix, learning from past data to make future decisions, thereby boosting the efficiency of your process automation.
How DPA and RPA contribute to intelligent automation
DPA and RPA, when combined with AI and ML, lead to Intelligent Process Automation that can handle complicated business scenarios, making decision-making a breeze. In essence, DPA manages the workflows, RPA does the work, and AI and ML make them smarter.
The impact of IPA on digital transformation
IPA is reshaping digital transformation by adding intelligence to automation. It’s enabling businesses to re-imagine their process management, driving efficiencies and setting the stage for a future dominated by intelligent automation.
Steps to Successfully Implement DPA
Identifying suitable processes for automation
Begin by identifying the business processes you wish to automate. Look for repetitive tasks or processes with a high error rate that need streamlining.
Collaborating with IT
Onboarding your IT team from day one will ensure smooth implementation and better integration with your existing systems.
Establish governance measures to manage risk and ensure compliance. Identify ownership for each step of the process and map out a clear escalation process for any issues that may arise.
Starting simple and scaling up processes
Starting with simple processes will help you understand what works best for your organization. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can gradually scale up to more complex processes.
Exploring DPA Tools and Vendors
Traditional BPMS vendors like Appian and IBM
Traditional vendors like Appian and IBM offer a range of DPA tools that cater to complex processes. They provide excellent integration capabilities and offer dedicated support.
DPA Wide vendors like AgilePoint and Nintex
Vendors like AgilePoint and Nintex provide a suite of DPA Wide tools, aimed at automating simple tasks. They offer a user-friendly interface and are known for their ease of use.
Features of DPA tools: automation capabilities, notifications and application development tools
DPA tools come with a range of features. Core features include automation capabilities, notifications to keep you updated on task progress, and application development tools that enable easy customization. Select the right tool based on your automation needs and start your journey towards successful digital process automation.