Sometimes process automation can seem like a paradox. Businesses want to save time, so they decide to automate. But before they do that, they need to map out existing processes thoroughly, which takes time.
While it’s worth it in the long run, finding the time to initiate process discovery and begin process automation can be tricky. If only you could reap the benefits of process discovery without the time investment, then get on with autonomizing the processes that count, right? Well, it turns out you can.
What is automated process discovery?
Automated process discovery is an approach that greatly reduces the time and effort it takes to find and map out business processes. It is also known as Automated Business Process Discovery (ABPD). It uses existing data from audit logs, messages, transactions and more to determine where process patterns lie.
This is much faster than manual process mapping and can uncover ‘invisible’ processes that might have been missed otherwise. It’s all about using real-life data to determine weaknesses, bottlenecks, and variances within business processes.
Automated process discovery benefits
The benefits of process discovery automation are far-reaching. As with many workload reducing tools, there is often a domino effect once a business begins using ABPD. Here are some of the positive changes you can expect to see throughout your organization:
- Easy start – ABPD uses existing data; it doesn’t require anything else. This saves you time and effort expended on manual approaches which often require extensive user input. Simply give your process discovery automation software access to the data sources it requires, and it will begin to highlight patterns in the way your organization works.
- Silo busting – ABPD can identify unseen processes that might be hidden within other systems. It does this by collecting all audit log data from the different software that your organization uses and displaying it in one central dashboard. By bringing the process data out of siloes, you have better visibility over processes that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
- Power to your people – IT admins and network engineers are the employees that are usually tasked with running automation projects. If your IT team already runs manual process discovery tasks, ABPD will allow them to turn their hands to other valuable and empowering IT projects instead. If they haven’t yet found the time to engage in process discovery, this could be the time-saving component they need to get started.
- Continuous improvement – ABPD is ongoing. As processes change, so too will the automation you require to continue working at an optimum level. ABPD allows you to run process discovery more frequently, or even continuously, ensuring that you stay agile and can adjust to changing environments.
How automated process discovery aids process excellence
Process excellence occurs when all processes are fully optimized, and your organization’s efficiency is as high as it can be. This is obviously the goal for all organizations, but achieving it is rare. It requires absolute focus and dedication to process automation and optimization, and often a lot of time and effort.
Although one of the benefits of process discovery automation is speed, you shouldn’t see it as a fast and loose shortcut. On the contrary, ABPD is more thorough than manual processes, finding patterns that manual processes often miss.
To achieve process excellence then, you should strive to combine both automated discovery and manual mapping with employee interviews and activity recording. This will provide you with a comprehensive roadmap of your current process landscape.
The importance of choosing the right process discovery software
Choosing the right process discovery vendor is crucial. Reliable discovery software will be a long-term companion in your journey to process excellence, so finding one that complements your organization’s goals is a must.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when looking for an automated process discovery platform:
- Integrations – Most process discovery software integrates with almost all CRMs and other business platforms, but it’s worth double-checking that any new process discovery software will be compatible.
- Your market sector – Most discovery software is designed to be universal, but some vendors may have more experience in a specific sector or offer specialist tools and compliance for some sectors.
- Your level of cloud adoption – Depending on whether your organization is entirely in the cloud or is still working out of an on-premises legacy system, you’ll need different deployment options – make sure the vendor is compatible with your set up.
- ROI – Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a process discovery platform is the return on investment. The whole point of investing in this tool is to save time, resources and ultimately money. The projected savings you make should be comfortably more than the cost of the platform itself.
- Support – Does the platform include a comprehensive support package? Even the most user-friendly process automation software can sometimes require a professional eye. Quality, timely support offerings ensure that you get the best out of your software.
With all of this in mind, you will likely encounter numerous other important factors that are specific to your organization. Remember to discuss all of these with potential vendors to see how they can accommodate your needs.
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