Business Process Automation or BPA is a technology-enabled automation of various business processes in an organization. The term is also used to define the software that enables this transition. Business process automation is done to achieve digital transformation across an organization. It is also done to bring about improvements in the service quality and service delivery of various processes.
As part of this, a company needs to integrate its tools and applications, restructure its workforce alignment, and deploy software applications throughout the organization. Business process automation can be tailored to the needs of the company that deploys it. These days, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also being used by vendors to create and bring in sophisticated tools that are purpose-built for deployment of business process automation.
To begin with automation, a company needs to analyse, measure, and evaluate its current procedures. Knowing what changes are required within the company will help the organization choose the correct set of processes that need to undergo automation and also choose the right automation tools that are required to implement the change.
Business process automation can create immense value for an organization, but it can thrive only when it is deployed and integrated the way it should be. There are some roadblocks to its implementation in organizations. However, with foresight and planning, all these roadblocks can be done away with. Some of these roadblocks are as mentioned below:
Lack of clear roles and hierarchy
Once a company deploys business process automation, there will be major changes for many of its employees. It is critical that they are made aware of the changes that will happen to their roles and the expectations that the company would have from them after the automation. They need clear goals to achieve and also need to know their place in the new hierarchy. A person stuck in old roles will not be conducive for the organization, no matter how productive he was before the automation. Proper implementation and clarity on the new role and hierarchy will ensure that the automation achieves its purpose and does not lag behind due to lack of clarity among the workforce.
Lack of follow-up
While several organizations understand the value that business process automation brings to the table, and they set it up with thorough planning, many of them consider themselves done once the physical integration of infrastructure happens. Like any process, this activity also needs some finetuning. It’s important to not only get quality feedback but to also review the whole setup and its functioning by comparing it to the company goals and the baseline metrics that define the success of the business process automation. A company should remember that automation is not a one-time process, but rather a series of continuous improvements. Without continuous monitoring, it will never reach its optimum efficiency levels.
Non-integration of workforce
Often the reason behind the lack of integration of the workforce into the newly implemented business process automation is a manager who is not willing to leave behind the non-automated days. It is imperative that the employees are in sync with the organizational reasons behind the change. Business process automation will not only change the tools, it will also change the way the employees are supposed to work. This will require their buy-in from the very beginning. They should be informed, updated regularly, and asked for their views on a frequent basis. The smooth and quick adoption of the changes will happen once the employees also believe in the need of that process.
They also require technical orientation and training in new processes, so that they are able to use the new tools that will replace the legacy systems.
Business process automation is a journey in self-improvement for an organization. If the changes are not visible in due time, it is often due to the above-mentioned roadblocks. Remember, business process automation is a process that needs the support of the people in the organization to be successful, along with continuous monitoring and review. As exciting as it is, business process automation is a responsibility that needs dedication from senior management for it to deliver the desired results.