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Unlock the true value of Automation with Process Discovery

January 21, 2019 - Sateesh Seetharamiah Vice President and Global Product Head for AssistEdge, EdgeVerve

Doesn’t it feel time is just flying by? It was just yesterday when we welcomed 2019 and a month has already passed by. In today’s digital world, there is an ever increasing expectation to service a highly informed customer and an increased pressure to do things faster to stay relevant in a competitive marketplace. Be it launching new products, taking innovative services to market or deeper personalization to stay connected with the real needs of the customer. Enterprises are constantly striving to transform the way they do business leveraging a wide range of digital capabilities. Digital led transformation will have limited success unless enterprises are agile in transforming their internal processes.

AI and Automation, the two powerful digital enablers can shape this process transformation in a fundamental way. Remapping human-machine interaction and restructuring the possibilities of a process outcome. In other words, influencing both process acceleration and more importantly process value amplification. Having a deep understanding of the real process and low level data on human-system interaction are essential to craft an intelligent automation strategy.

Having executed over 200 large scale automation implementations, EdgeVerve sees a direct correlation between deep process understanding and automation success. One of the world’s largest fast food chains, has seen 99 percent success rate! They attribute this success to the deep process know how that existed within the business, a clear understanding of human-system interaction within the IT organization and a collective focus towards value amplification than just cost reduction.

While many enterprises around the world have initiated the automation journey, few have seen this kind of success. In some organizations, critical processes have been outsourced to BPO providers adding another level of complexity in the transformation journey. Industry studies indicate that over 50% of enterprise automation programs do not meet the intended outcome. Based on our experience with automation implementation across multiple industries and being part of client journey in expanding automation across hundred plus countries, we see lack of process understanding as a one of the top reasons for limited success with automation.

Enterprises have standard operating procedures, but they seldom reflect the reality as there are many variations or SOP’s become outdated as processes evolve through grass root innovations and shadow operations. Using manual knowledge that cannot be objectively validated or in combination with SOP, as a baseline to create automation blueprint leads to numerous issues during implementation. Over reliance on interviews conducted with people who are concerned about automation, automating based on a perceived happy path, not considering process execution related innovations, running change management which is coloured with human bias, not accommodating for process variations while designing automation are some of the characteristics of a sub optimally structured automation program.

Would it not be a lost opportunity if enterprises do not leverage intelligent automation, which has the potential to spear head the entire digital transformation as a lever to redesign processes and rewire operating models to maximise business outcome?

So how do we unlock the full potential of automation? Invest in “Process Discovery”. Process discovery that will uncover various tasks involved in a process, interlocking between tasks-actors, underlying nuances and subtle human-system interactions overlaid by human intelligence. Discipline to start from process discovery coupled with continuous improvement mind-set can lay a powerful foundation towards sustainable value creation. Insights from discovery can not only help establish the real value proposition (business case) with objectivity, but also assist in tracking and navigating the automation journey.

Empirical data based discovery without any human bias can be a potent answer to concerns surrounding change management and stakeholder engagement. Impact of insightful process discovery underpinned by rich empirical data on tasks (foundational element of enterprise operation), can go beyond the boundaries of automation as a corner stone enabler for enterprise digital transformation.

To enable enterprises in getting the maximum output from their Automation program, EdgeVerve Systems recently launched ‘AssistEdge Discover’, a non-intrusive product that leverages user key strokes and sophisticated neural network algorithms to create insightful business process maps. Using empirical data, AssistEdge Discover reveals crucial process nuances essential to create an effective automation blueprint and provides an ability to unlock the true value of automation. Free from human biases, the business process maps and insights generated by the analytics engine in AssistEdge Discover provide a powerful foundation for inter-functional collaboration, effective change management and continuous improvement.

Sateesh Seetharamiah

Vice President and Global Product Head for AssistEdge, EdgeVerve

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