3 things to consider before implementing business process automation

The COVID pandemic forced companies to automate business processes far faster than they had planned. How are they doing?

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies shifted to digital operations and adopted business automation. Even in the face of a major pandemic, companies moved forward, implementing new technologies and automating operations, because they could no longer depend upon staff being on site.

“Time to value, time savings, controlled cost management, business agility, superior customer experiences and breakaway growth are all results one can expect from business process automation if it’s done in the most optimal way,” said Jan Arendtsz, CEO and founder of Celigo, which provides automated integration.

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Arendtsz points to these business process automation success stories:

One company reported cutting its workload in half, allowing its resources to focus on advancing the product rather than integrating applications.Another company saw an uptick of 5% more payments being applied after implementing an automated cash application manager. A third company saved hundreds of hours of manual work and gained timely, accurate financials; and The CDC Foundation saw a five-fold increase in transactions after implementing an automation solution between its ERP and CRM systems. The organization experienced time savings that allow it to focus on its mission-critical work to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

From an IT standpoint, what made these efforts successful was the ability to rapidly integrate a diverse set of applications by automating large portions of the integration effort. This was enabled by pre-built integrations to popular systems such as ERP, CRM, Salesforce, Excel and others.

“It’s an important point,” Arendtsz said, “Because many people use the word ‘automation’ when really they are merely integrating one application to another in a point-to-point fashion. While that singular [integration] process may be connected, it still leaves data silos and manual work or coding to connect to other parts of the business. With automation, the process goes a step further by connecting multiple applications using pre-built integrations to one ‘hub’ and by using embedded business logic to impact flows that are happening downstream.”

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Leveraging the power of automated integration will help IT break down silos, build and revise business processes, and avail more information to everyone across the enterprise.

But at the same time, there are important caveats for using software tools that affect automated application integrations during business process designs

No automation tool can replace users and IT working hand in hand in business process design or redesign before any applications get…

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