In the latest episode of the Leadership Insights podcast, Nintex CEO Eric Johnson was joined by VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Rob Koplowitz. Rob’s research focuses on digital process automation (DPA) as well as artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.
Rob shared a ton of insights about what’s fueling process automation, how the market’s perception of standardization has shifted since the pandemic began, and why businesses are taking a comprehensive approach to process automation.
Check out the highlights below and feel free to listen along as you read.
What’s fueling process automation?
In a recent report that Rob and the Forrester team were working on, businesses were asked questions such as “What is the primary driver of process optimization in your organization?” and “What is it that’s fueling you to drive process optimization?”
Forrester Research noticed a shift in the market. They noted the need for automation that was traditionally driven by tactical reasons, is now more strategic reasoning.
Rob stated, “This has been a pattern that has been consistently growing over six years where we’ve moved from tactical reasons that people were optimizing; they were optimizing to reduce costs, maybe to comply with regulations. And increasingly, it’s now moving towards improving customer experience and driving an overall digital business strategy.”
“If we look at that data, and when we asked folks to project a couple of years out, it’s 69%, that are actually focusing on customer experience and digital transformation, which is really interesting. And what’s interesting about these topics is these are things that are coming from the C-level, from the board level,” he continued.
A comprehensive approach to automation
Where business decision-makers were traditionally grappling between RPA and DPA, now the decision is around how to combine multiple automation technologies for a comprehensive approach to automation.
Rob added, “But what’s gratifying to see, is folks are embracing a more comprehensive approach towards the overall process of Intelligent Automation, right? So I think we’re coming out of that era of, you know, well, it’s an RPA versus DPA war, can we embrace low code? Is low code, kind of the way to go? Where does our decisioning and where does our document generation–all these other pieces that make up an automation strategy—[come into the equation].”
He continued, “And I think we’ve now settled on this view that these things are complementary technologies and they need to be deeply integrated and that you have to think about them holistically.”
A shift in the market: businesses are embracing standardization
Standardization: a word that people used to see as daunting, or hard to achieve, is now being embraced widely in the market.
Rob explained, “This, again, is one that’s coming down from the board level. How do I do that? Well, I do have to start thinking about standardizing. I have to think about standardization from the perspective of IT diligence, right? How do I ensure that I’m governing the applications correctly? How do I ensure that I’m governing any kind of emerging citizen development programs appropriately? How do I drive, you know, hygienic data access to make sure that things are uncompromised? And how do I come up with this comprehensive view of a lot of different complementary technologies that need to be woven together effectively in order to drive an end-to-end process, and I don’t want to be in that integration business.”
“So standardization has been the primary conversation that we’ve been having with clients–probably for the last year now. And I think that’s gratifying. I think that’s good,” Rob said.
From reengineering to automation to optimization
Rob talks about the pattern moving forward which is an insight into reengineering then automation then optimization. To hear more about this, listen to the episode here.
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