Digitization - start with process automation

Targeted and consistent process automation is a critical success factor if a company is not to fall behind.

Digitalisation is unstoppable and is changing the market situation in many industries. Time-consuming manual internal workflows, based on e-mail or Excel etc., hinder many companies. They threaten to lose the connection. Targeted and consistent process automation is therefore a critical success factor.

Digital ecosystems

Digital ecosystems are emerging in the context of digitisation. Services and products are offered via digital channels (web portals and APIs for mobile phones, etc.). The customer becomes the focus of the value creation process. Traditional value chains are broken up, new ones are created: In the so-called app economy, start-ups combine digital services with new offerings. Competition is intensifying. Data is the new raw material.

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Figure 2: Digital ecosystems (Source: Forrester)

The music industry serves as a good example: CDs are a thing of the past. Today we get music «on-demand» from the cloud. The music apps on mobile phones have put an end to the portable CD player. Instead, we now obtain music by subscription. The two or three most popular apps dominate the market. The winners are those who can react to changing customer needs within hours or days.

Four initiatives for sustainable digitisation

Digitisation is developing rapidly. In order to be competitive in the long term, the following measures are crucial:

  • Offering products and services via digital channels
  • Differentiate yourself through customer orientation
  • Quickly adapt to changing customer needs and market conditions
  • Improve internal cost structures in order to keep up with prices

Many companies are therefore pursuing one or more of the following initiatives:

  • Web portals and APIs - expanding
  • User Experience - improve
  • Time-to-Market - shorten
  • Cost reduction - enforce

In the following we show that by means of process automation all four initiatives are supported simultaneously and that synergies between these initiatives can also be exploited.

What is process automation?

A process consists of a defined sequence of individual work steps. By process automation, we mean the automation of those work processes that were previously carried out partially or completely manually. Process automation differentiates between the following procedures:

  • Workflow Management: Form-based workflows to support manually executed work steps. This increases the efficiency and quality of employees' work.
  • Automation: Repetitive work steps should be automated as far as possible by means of IT. This guarantees the shortest possible response times and relieves employees of routine tasks.
  • Process control: All work steps of a process should be coordinated and monitored by an IT system. The user or customer can thus influence the process via a web portal or mobile app.

The automation of each individual workflow seems unimportant, because it can be done without. So why should you put in the effort of automation? We at ipt are convinced that automation is the basis for survival in a digitalised world!

Start with process automation

The following table shows how the above-mentioned digitisation initiatives can be sustainably supported by a targeted and consistent automation of manual workflows.

Web portals and APIs  

  • Offer complete instead of reduced online offer

User experience    

  • Kurze Antwortzeiten garantieren
  • Bearbeitungsfehler reduzieren
  • Kunde jederzeit über aktuellen Prozesszustand informieren

Time-to-market    

  • Immediately recognize changing customer behavior
  • Adjustments to internal processes take immediate effect

Cost reduction    

  • Reduce coordination efforts between internal teams
  • Making internal processes mobile-ready and gaining efficiency

Read in our next blog post how process automation will help each of these initiatives succeed!