Business Automation and COVID-19: How to Prepare for the New Normal

COVID-19 has disrupted the way all organizations operate. In fact, only 2% of organizations believe their business can continue as normal, according to Gartner. Businesses around the world have been forced to roll out their disaster recovery programs and look to business continuity plans to stabilize their operations. When we emerge out the other side, things will have changed for good. There will be a new normal. But none of us know what that looks like yet.

As soon as the new normal is established, you need to take advantage of it and get back to business as usual as fast as possible. One way to do that is with process modeling and business automation. COVID-19 has illustrated just how critical technology is to our businesses. Now we have an opportunity to help define ways which will accommodate that.

This blog talks through some of the highlights from our recent webinar, How to Accelerate Business Automation in the time of COVID-19. Hosts Rachel Brennan, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and Ed Gower, VP Solutions, discuss how to take advantage of the current opportunity and accelerate automation across your organization.

Establish an agile business foundation

“[Working from home has] really broken a lot of processes out there. A lot of existing processes probably had a manual aspect to them or required physical interaction. And that becomes a very big issue now that we’re all working from home for the foreseeable future,” said Brennan.

So how do you solve this problem while your employees are working remotely? Firstly, you’re going to need an agile business foundation because if you don’t know the outcome, you need to plan for more than one.

“That’s where business process modeling really comes into play,” said Brennan. “You’re going to be able to look at the current scenario and then maybe look at four or five different ones to actually see:  A) What’s going to do best, and B) Have a plan of action in place for any of the possibilities of what might eventually be the new normal.”

It takes a combination of people, processes, and technology to see successful digital transformation. Brennan explains that by using Bizagi Modeler, you can clearly see what your people are doing and how they’re working. Then you can see how processes flow across the organization and ask yourself: Where are the bottlenecks? Where can I cut resource times? Where can I decrease my cycle time?

“So, there are all these different things that can be done, but that agile foundation is 100% based on knowing how your business runs and what your processes are or should be.”

Business continuity with Bizagi Modeler

Business continuity is all about planning for future scenarios. For example, if you no longer had access to a data center, or if your call center suddenly only has half the number of workers available to answer phones. What effect is that going to have on your operations? Business Process Modeling (BPM) with Bizagi Modeler allows you to collaborate, map, refine and simulate your business processes. This can help you keep a digital version of standard operating procedures, and document how to continue working right now.

“This gives everyone a very clear way of how to get things done. It’s going to be something that you can collaborate on with all the different stakeholders, and then continue to develop it as you’re finding additional gaps. Then you start filling it out and then people still have access to the latest version,” said Brennan.

“And one of the benefits of Bizagi Modeler is that… the process itself becomes self-documenting as changes are updated,” added Gower. “As things adapt and evolve over time, you’re able to dynamically generate documentation and process information around how your business operates. This means that you limit those silos of institutional knowledge, so that intellectual property transfers across the organization as needed.”

Focus on the future

The disruption caused by COVID-19 will unveil broken processes within your business. You need to fix them. It may unveil problems where you didn’t even know there was an underlying issue. So firstly, you need to put those fires out to make sure your business continues to function.

You will also need to define new ways of working. “Now we have an opportunity to actually look at this new normal and help define ways which will accommodate that. We need to then look beyond that still, and look at implementing best practices,” said Gower. “So, what we need is something that is tactical, that can help us fix those initial issues, but also allows us to grow and build that foundation for us to be able to change…. Not just focusing on fighting fires initially, but thinking about where we want to be as a business, how do we get there, and what tools can we use to leverage that?”

And it shouldn’t just be down to the IT department to make those changes. The benefit of using an agile business platform is that it can be leveraged by business users. Bizagi Modeler is not a highly technical tool. It is specifically designed for business users so they can have the transparency that they need. It’s quick and easy to build out tactical processes (such as one to support working from home) test it, and deploy it without having too much IT intervention.

“[Your solution] doesn’t, or shouldn’t require IT integrations, or IT involvement. It should be browser-based and very simple to use,” said Gower. “We can’t just think in the here and now. Yes, we have to fix the here and now, but we also have to be able to adapt and change and grow over time. Adapt to that new normal and then implement best practices around that.”

Learn more…

If you’d like to find out more about how to prepare for the new normal and back up business continuity with process management and automation, listen to the webinar, How to Accelerate Business Automation in the time of COVID-19, on-demand.

In the webinar, you will also learn:

  • Why you shouldn’t automate everything
  • How to focus your efforts where they will count the most
  • Bizagi Modeler and Bizagi Live Process demos
Accelerate business automation webinar