BPA and IT: A Competitive Business Advantage

by Morgan Harvey, in Automation Strategy, posted 9/26/13
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As traditional IT roles expand to cover more business services, IT departments face unprecedented challenges to “do more with less and do it faster.” Increasing workloads and higher performance expectations often lack a corresponding increase in manpower or budgets. 

IT managers must constantly scramble to find ways to boost productivity without driving up costs. They must also meet the challenge of bridging the gap that often exists between the IT department and the business side of the organization by ensuring that IT workflow processes reflect the correct business logic to deliver maximum business value. 

In fact, delivering business value is more critical than ever before for IT shops, most of which are coming under increasing scrutiny as management seeks additional ways to cut costs.  While consolidating hardware is often viewed as the best way to reduce costs, the reality is that services, not hardware, make up the largest percentage of most IT budgets. Therefore, improving the delivery of services, in terms of both efficiency and response times, may deliver a greater ROI. 

As the lines between business and IT processes continue to blur, both sides need tools that allow them to collaborate in creating effective new workflow processes and re-engineering or abandoning inefficient ones. 

Business process automation (BPA) provides a key strategy for streamlining workflow processes and integrating business-side logic with IT tasks. For example, using BPA to automate error-prone manual processes enables IT to save time and reallocate resources to higher-value business targets. 

Automating manual tasks is just one of the many ways that BPA drives value for IT.  But by implementing a BPA-IT business model, you can also: 

  • Reduce the Impact of Human Error
  • Transform Data into Information
  • Improve Collaboration and Information Sharing
  • Optimize Workflow Processes
  • Improve IT Response Times
  • Seize Control of Service-Oriented Architecture 

A Competitive Business Advantage 

Today’s businesses are faced with an increasingly competitive marketplace and a need to adapt to fast-changing environments; in fact, the bar for delivering a wide array of highly optimized

IT services has never been higher. Responding to new business trends and changes in customer demands with precision and agility is a must. To ensure success, seamless interoperability to the extent possible between IT operations and the business side of the organization is essential. 

BPA opens up a whole new set of possibilities compared with non-BPA approaches. With BPA, you can create new processes in much shorter time and with better collaboration between IT and business managers. BPA lets you play out different scenarios that were not feasible in more traditional application development environments. It can improve existing processes by eliminating delays caused by human error/interaction and by improving the application development lifecycle. 

BPA transcends the traditional IT role of maintaining e-mail and servers and gives IT workers more time and resources to focus on strategic initiatives that span departments. This makes IT more valuable within the organization as the team manages and participates in more core business processes across the board. With more tasks centralized and automated, the IT department can refocus its time and resources on higher-value targets within the organization, thus better aligning IT services with strategic business goals. 

A properly planned and deployed BPA solution delivers benefits far beyond the mere automation of a given workflow process: It allows for orchestration of multiple, complex, interconnected business processes that span departments, applications, and computing resources. With enterprise-level orchestration, your organization can focus on the macro-level business processes that deliver value to your customers, partners, and employees.  You can leverage BPA to quickly and efficiently streamline business processes and gain a true competitive business advantage. 

This is an expert from the Business Process Automation eBook written by David Chernicoff and Susan Perschke as part of the ITPro series of eBooks by Windows IT Pro.

 

Bussiness process automation