What is Digital Process Automation? (DPA)

‘Digital Process Automation’ (DPA) is fast emerging as an important evolution of the traditional category of ‘Business Process Management’ or ‘BPM’. Behind this change is the growing need for businesses to automate processes as part of wider digital transformation initiatives.

Forrester Research states: “As organizations undertake digital transformation efforts, an important realization emerges: process matters. Investments in beautifully designed web and mobile experiences won’t move the needle unless application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals ensure that the processes on the back-end align to support a true end-to-end customer experience.”

What’s changed over the last few years are the goals of projects that used to come under the umbrella of ‘BPM’. In the past, the business cases for these initiatives would have been built on cost reduction and profitability. But they are now built on the competitive requirement to improve the customer experience.

It loops back to revenue in the end, of course. Afterall, the net result of improved customer experience is that organization can increase revenues through more effective acquisition and retention of customers.

Examples for using digital process automation

Typical examples of processes that require digital process automation include areas such as customer onboarding and loan, credit, quotation, pricing approvals. When thesee processes are automated effectively, and in a way that can be constantly improved, it creates an opportunity for competitive advantage.

CIO Connect defines the wider business benefits of Digital Process Automation in these terms:

“It is not just processes related to low level employees that can be automated. There is opportunity to improve the productivity of high level executives and knowledge workers. The free time generated could be used on more innovative and creative projects, generating more value for the organisation as well as improving employee satisfaction.”

Here’s how Fortune 500 company, ManpowerGroup Portugal puts DPA at the heart of its digital transformation strategy:

How does digital process automation impact the customer experience?

Improving the customer experience is one of the critical pillars of almost every digital transformation project. Read this report by Rob Koplowitz of Forrester Research on ‘Why Digital Business Automation is Vital to the Customer Experience‘.

Rob talks through this area and offers advice for businesses looking at process automation as a foundation for success in the digital age.

How to get started with digital process automation 

DPA is like many other modern technologies in that the best way to get started is to think big, but to start small and then, when you’re ready – scale fast.

Starting small gives you the opportunity to adopt an agile approach, to fail fast and learn even faster, reducing the overall risk of any program.  Most importantly, this approach allows you to demonstrate results fast. This makes it easier for you to gain buy-in for the larger initiatives that you have in mind.

Here’s how travel commerce platform, Travelport put that approach to the test:

Do I need a platform to deploy digital process automation in my organization?

Having a DPA platform in place is a great way to establish end-to-end automation of processes across your organization. It unites the business and IT departments in the business for better collaboaration. The platform also acts as an orchestrator that brings together siloed data to give a better view of all customer information.

Forrester divides DPA platforms into two categories: wide and deep. DPA wide platformas are designed to for automating processes of moderate complexity using low-code platforms, while DPA deep platforms handle the more highly complex processes.

Bizagi was named by Forrester as a leader in the Forrester Wave: Software for Digital Process Automation for Deep Deployments, 2019. The report states that, “Bizagi balances deep DPA functionality with a platform designed to go wide… [falling] somewhere between the wide and deep process automation models, and it likes to describe itself as “the widest of the deep.”

You can read The Forrester Wave: Software for Digital Process Automation for Deep Deployments, Q2 2019 here.