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The Enterprisers Project: Assistant Vice President in Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work Shares Advice on Unlocking the True Value of Process Automation

“Robotic automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things—so many buzzwords surround business process automation,” writes Robert H. Brown. “On closer examination, they all point to the same theme: knowledge-rich processes. Whether they involve insurance claims, mortgage approvals or clinical studies, they are all becoming digital, instrumented, analyzed and increasingly operated by smart machines and code.” Excerpts:

“Rather than just automating rote tasks, organizations can harness the rich data and metadata that accumulates around process value chains, extending the capabilities and talents of human workers, and making their smart processes even smarter.

For instance, organizations can use process intelligence to get immediate feedback on what’s happening within the process itself, and act on those insights in real time. An example is in automated claims management: when insurers use the data from their daily audit logs to detect hidden fraud patterns that could never be discovered in a manual process, they can move beyond incremental efficiency improvements to competitive advantage.

To get started with this more transformative approach to business process automation, organizations should take the following steps to work better and differently:

- Pick your pressure points.

- Calibrate where, how, and when process automation complements the workforce.

- Fuel “meaning-making” with process data. 

- Go beyond “simple” automation.

The real benefits of business process automation will happen only if organizations master the rich data insights about their processes, unlocked by the powerful tools of digital automation.  The end game of process automation isn’t automation itself but the intelligence it can unlock to drive meaningful insights, value, and business outcomes.”

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