Business Process Automation: A high-level introduction.

January 9, 2013

The Process in Business “Process” Automation

At their core, businesses are comprised of a set or series of processes. Products and services are created to take something in an undesirable state and transform it to a more desirable state. An input and an output. A process. Whether it is an invoice, a server, a list of offers, an IP address, or any other thing that needs to go through some type of change, a process facilitates that change. You can call it workflow, process, business process, or whatever you like, these change events or business processes make up a business.

The Automation in Business Process “Automation”

If something is automated then it should just be click and walk away right? Well, that is not too far off, it really depends on the complexity of your process. For simple process, it may not even require a click. A process might be triggered off of some other event, internal or external. “If the temperature is above 75 degrees in Los Angeles then email drink coupons to customers who have transacted with us in the last 7 days” is one example of an external trigger. You might call a trigger a business rule in some cases.

For more complex or larger processes you may need to involve some people. Hold on, I thought we were talking about automation, isn’t automation supposed to eliminate the need for people? On the contrary, including people in the process can be extremely powerful. Business process automation or workflow automation isn’t just about eliminating the need for people, it is about increasing the efficiency of a business, of people. While some tasks can be people free, and completely observable, trackable, auditable, graphically editable, etc. Some should include people. People are usually involved in business process automation in a couple of ways. Within a given process people can approve or deny a request, or people can select or input data. Can you think of another way people can interact? Sound off at our Google+ community about Business Process Management here.

So that is an introduction as to what business process automation is… now why?

The Why? in Business Process Automation

Hopefully the ‘why?’ in business process automation is apparent. If a business is a set or series of processes, and if it takes people and resources to complete a process, then wouldn’t automating a part or all of those processes free up people and resources to accomplish other tasks?

Follow-up with us to learn about specific ways we have implemented business process automation (aka workflow automation) for our customers. You can contact us here.

Would you like more high-level information regarding business process automation (aka workflow automation)? Sound off in the comments below and we will respond with comments of our own, or if you have an especially good question we can follow it up with another blog post!

Kevin Lindquist
A Crocker Innovation Fellow with a degree from Brigham Young University, Kevin has a rich history in identifying pains and applying technology solutions. He has worked with a number of startups and success stories in the software and hardware space from Silicon Valley, The Silicon Slopes, and abroad including: Square, ASUS, and Fundly along with consultative roles at other Utah technology startups. He has been mentored by a number of highly successful individuals, including an Entrepreneur in Residence at Disney, multiple venture capitalists, and thought leaders in the world of technology and entrepreneurship. Kevin has a deep appreciation for entrepreneurship and a passion for internet technology. He is constantly seeking ways to contribute to the next generation of web enabled tools, a primary reason for his involvement with Decisions.

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