Ready to decode the transformation from business process management (BPM) to digital process automation (DPA)? You’re in the right place! This article covers how DPA, a term coined by Forrester Research in 2017, uses low-code development tools for automation across numerous applications. It’s predominantly used in enterprise digital transformation, beneficially impacting sales, marketing, management, IT, and production. With DPA tools categorized into DPA Deep and DPA Wide, we’ll also explore how it benefits from time savings, cost reductions, efficiency boosts and improved customer experience. So if you’re keen to understand how automation candidates are implemented and how leading tool providers like Appian, Bizagi, or IBM fit into the industry, this read is definitely for you.
Understanding Business Process Management
Definition and function of BPM
Business Process Management (BPM) can be defined as a systematic approach aimed at streamlining and optimizing business operations to make them more competent, more effective, and more capable of adopting changes in a new dynamic environment. Its functions include simplifying business processes, identifying potential areas of improvement, driving innovation and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Key principles of BPM
The key principles of BPM primarily include process visibility, continuous improvement, process-centric thinking, agility, and customer-focus. It emphasizes the understanding and improving of business processes for increased efficiency and business value. BPM ensures that businesses are adaptable, allowing them to manage and optimize their processes effectively.
Tools used in BPM
BPM incorporates the use of various tools for an effective and efficient execution of its functions. Some of these tools include process modellers, simulation tools, rules engines, and analytics tools. These tools play a critical role in process designing, modelling, executing, monitoring and optimizing.
Advantages and disadvantages of BPM
Like any management system, BPM also has its advantages and disadvantages. On the brighter side, BPM can revolutionize business efficiency by automating numerous time-consuming tasks and promoting process improvement. It provides visibility, flexibility and increased productivity. However, implementing BPM can be costly and time-consuming. The whole process can also lead to resistance from employees due to change, which may interfere with the smooth running of business operations.
Role of BPM in business operations
In business operations, BPM plays a substantial role in providing control over processes and a clear visualization of the current process state. This enables businesses to identify bottlenecks, unnecessary steps and areas where errors occur, leading to more efficient operations. It also facilitates better decision-making, increases operational efficiency and ensures regulatory compliance.
The evolution from BPM to Digital Process Automation
Historical development of DPA
Digital Process Automation (DPA) has evolved from the foundations laid by BPM, and is primarily used in enterprise digital transformation to streamline business processes and customer journeys. BPM’s focus on manual and semi-automated processes was expanded upon to include full automation with DPA.
The role of Forrester Research in coining the term DPA
The term “Digital Process Automation” was first coined by Forrester Research in 2017. They suggested it as a more appropriate term to replace BPM, focusing on the digital transformation and automation aspects that businesses are focusing on in the modern age.
Key factors that led to the evolution from BPM to DPA
Several key factors led to the evolution from BPM to DPA. These include technological advancements, the rise of digital transformation, the growth of business agility and digital customer experience, and the need for faster, seamless automated processes.
Comparative analysis between BPM and DPA
While BPM and DPA share some similarities, there are distinguishable differences. BPM primarily focuses on improving business processes that might still involve manual intervention whereas DPA places a greater emphasis on automation in order to achieve more efficient results. DPA also expands on BPM’s domains with low-code development tools for easier implementation and higher agility.
Understanding the transition phase from BPM to DPA
The transition phase from BPM to DPA usually involves understanding the current processes and the possibilities that exist for automation, determining the strategic approach for process automation, and selecting the most suitable DPA tools. The commitment to move from manual and semi-automated processes to full automation is realized.
Understanding Digital Process Automation
Definition and core function of DPA
Digital Process Automation (DPA) can be defined as the use of digital technology to perform a process to accomplish a workflow or function. The core function of DPA is to accelerate the execution of business processes by automating them and allowing businesses to manage processes efficiently while providing valuable insights for continuous improvement.
Importance of DPA in digital transformation
In digital transformation, DPA plays an essential role in streamlining and automating workflows. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also frees up resources, enabling companies to focus more on strategic initiatives rather than mundane tasks.
Key industries or areas where DPA is used
The realms where DPA is used include sales, marketing, management, IT and production. From facilitating faster sales cycles to promoting operational efficiency in production lines, DPA can be a game-changer in various fields.
Unique features of DPA versus traditional automation
DPA brings distinctive features as compared to traditional automation. These include powerful analytics, low-code development for rapid deployment, cross-functional capabilities for collaboration, support for complex business rules, and ability for continuous improvement.
Understanding the concept of low-code development in DPA
The concept of low-code development in DPA means creating applications through a graphical user interface instead of traditional hand-coded programming. This speeds up the process of application development and delivery, thus aiding the rapid implementation of digital process automation.
Process of Implementing DPA
Steps involved in implementing DPA
Implementing DPA involves several steps, such as understanding the current business processes, identifying key areas where automation can be beneficial, selecting the right tools, designing the workflows, developing the applications, and finally, testing, deploying, and continuously optimizing for improvement.
Guidelines for identifying automation candidates
Identifying automation candidates involves scrutinizing the business processes that are repetitive, time-consuming, and prone to errors. It is usually better to start with small, simple processes and gradually tackle more complex ones for automation.
Collaboration with IT for DPA implementation
Crucial collaboration with the IT department is necessary for successful DPA implementation. This involves working together in selecting the right tools, ensuring security, providing technical support, and ensuring seamless integration with existing systems.
The relevance of governance in DPA
Governance ensures that the DPA aligns with the business objectives and adheres to the business and regulatory standards. A robust governance structure provides a framework for decision-making and ensures that the DPA initiative stays on track and delivers the desired results.
Starting small and scaling with DPA
It is advisable to start small and gradually scale up with DPA. This allows an organization to learn from each step, make necessary adjustments, gain stakeholder buy-in and ultimately improve the chances of success.
Categories of DPA Tools
Understanding DPA Deep tools
DPA Deep tools are designed to handle long-running, complex processes involving multiple systems. These tools provide robust integration capabilities and flexibility for complex automation scenarios and are ideal for organizations with complex legacy systems and involved business rules.
Understanding DPA Wide tools
On the other hand, DPA Wide tools are designed for simpler, shorter processes. They are typically used for rapid development of automated process platforms and are often characterized by their ease of use and quick time to value.
How to choose between DPA Deep and DPA Wide
Choosing the right tool depends on your business requirements and how complex your processes are. While DPA Deep is ideal for complex, long-duration tasks, DPA Wide is better suited for simpler, quicker tasks.
Advantages of categorizing DPA tools
Categorizing DPA tools into Deep and Wide provides a framework for you to understand and evaluate the tools based on your specific needs. It helps businesses make an informed decision about the tools they need.
Role of DPA tools on process automation
DPA tools play a pivotal role in driving process automation. These tools provide functionalities for modelling, implementing, managing and optimizing workflows. They enable the integration of multiple systems, enhance visibility, monitor progress and facilitate seamless automation.
Notable DPA Tool Providers
Overview of leading DPA tool providers
There are various DPA tool providers present in the market that offer bespoke solutions to cater for different needs. Some of the key providers include Appian, Bizagi, Bonitasoft, Genpact, IBM, Kofax, OpenText, Pegasystems, AgilePoint, Axon Ivy, Creatio, JobRouter, K2, Newgen, Nintex and Ultimus.
Offerings of Appian in DPA
Appian is a leading DPA provider known for its low-code automation platform. It provides a user-friendly interface allowing for effective development and integration, thus enabling seamless automation of business processes.
Functions of Bizagi’s DPA tools
Bizagi is another top DPA tool provider. Its platform offers a comprehensive set of capabilities from modelling and automating processes to measuring performance. Bizagi’s tools enable a business to deliver digital process automation at scale quickly and efficiently.
Significance of Bonitasoft in DPA
Bonitasoft’s platform is geared towards optimizing business operations through its open-source, extensible architecture. It empowers businesses to develop, run, monitor and improve business applications that address highly specialized processes.
Introduction to other DPA tool providers such as Kofax, OpenText, Pegasystems
Other prominent DPA tool providers, like Kofax, OpenText and Pegasystems, offer sophisticated DPA tools. Kofax provides a broad range of capabilities aimed at empowering businesses to work today like the workplace of tomorrow. OpenText offers a comprehensive portfolio for developing business applications. Pegasystems provides a unified platform focusing on customer engagement and operational excellence.
Integration of DPA with other Technologies
Understanding Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that uses software robots or ‘bots’ to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks traditionally carried out by humans. It helps businesses streamline their operations, reduce costs and improve accuracy and efficiency.
Amalgamation of DPA and RPA
DPA and RPA, when combined, expand the scope of automation. While DPA helps streamline complex business processes, RPA can be used to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks, thus leading to a more comprehensive automation strategy.
Role of Artificial Intelligence in DPA
Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with Machine Learning (ML) plays a significant role in enhancing DPA efforts by introducing predictive insights, decision-making capabilities and cognitive automation, which allows for the handling of unstructured data and more complex tasks.
Towards Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), the combination of DPA, RPA, AI and ML, represents the future of business process automation, promising an overall automation strategy that can handle any type of process, whether strictly rule-based or requiring complex decision-making.
Challenges and solutions in integrating DPA with other technologies
Integrating DPA with other technologies can present challenges related to interoperability, security and data privacy. Working with a well-coordinated team, having a robust governance model, and choosing the right set of tools and technologies suitable for your business needs can help address these challenges.
Use Cases of DPA
DPA in customer onboarding
In customer onboarding, DPA can be used to automate processes like data capture, due diligence checks, and account activation. It enables faster, more efficient onboarding enhancing customer experience and freeing up employees to focus on value-added interactions.
Application of DPA in procurement
DPA can automate various procurement tasks such as purchase requisition, purchase order management, invoice processing and supplier management. It helps reduce procurement cycle times, mitigate risks, and increase operational efficiency.
Role of DPA in order fulfillment
In order fulfillment, DPA can be utilized to automate tasks like order capture, order processing, inventory checking and delivery scheduling. This leads to more accurate, faster order fulfillment and improved customer satisfaction.
DPA in sales and marketing
In sales and marketing, DPA can help streamline marketing campaign management, lead generation and tracking, sales forecasting, and customer tracking and support, leading to improved sales efficiency and effectiveness.
Case studies of successful DPA implementation
Several businesses have successfully implemented DPA and reaped its benefits. For instance, a financial service company used DPA to automate its customer onboarding process, reducing the process time by 60%. Similarly, a retail company used DPA to streamline its order fulfillment process and saw a 50% reduction in order errors.
Benefits of DPA
Time and cost savings with DPA
One of the key benefits of DPA is that it leads to significant time and cost savings. By automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, DPA allows businesses to save on labor costs and refocus human efforts on more strategic tasks.
Efficiency gains through DPA
By streamlining and automating processes, DPA dramatically increases operational efficiency. It eliminates manual errors, reduces process variation, and ensures smooth workflow.
Impact of DPA on customer experience
DPA can have a substantial positive impact on the customer experience. With faster response times, accurate handling of requests, and personalized interactions, DPA can significantly enhance the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Strategic advantages of DPA
Beyond cost and efficiency gains, DPA offers strategic advantages like agility, scalability and innovation. It facilitates rapid response to market changes, enables scaling of business operations and fosters an environment of continuous improvement and innovation.
Measuring the success of DPA
The success of DPA can be measured through key performance indicators like completion times, error rates, cost savings, revenues, customer satisfaction indices and many more. Continuous tracking of these metrics helps in assessing the effectiveness of DPA implementation and in identifying areas for further improvement.
Future of DPA
Emerging trends in DPA
Emerging trends in DPA include the integration of AI and ML for intelligent automation, the rise of low-code and no-code platforms, and the increasing use of DPA for digital transformation initiatives.
Influence of new technologies on DPA
New technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, blockchain and more are set to influence DPA. These technologies can introduce new capabilities like predictive analysis, cognitive automation, and real-time data analysis and decision making.
Predictions on the further evolution of DPA
As businesses continue to realize the benefits of DPA, it’s expected that the adoption of DPA will rise across all sectors. Furthermore, continuous advancements in technology will push DPA towards more intelligent, autonomous, and user-friendly heights.
Potential challenges and controversies
Like any evolving technology, DPA also brings potential challenges. These include issues related to privacy, security, job displacement, and resistance to change. Navigating these challenges requires careful planning, effective change management strategies and continuous learning and adaptation.
Preparing for the future of DPA
To be prepared for the future, organizations must keep abreast of emerging trends, continuously review and adjust their automation strategy, invest in new technologies and upskill their workforce to be ready for the upcoming transitions in the digital process automation landscape.