Automating Your Business

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New To Business Automation? Start Here

By DAVID Jenness posted Wed August 17, 2022 09:55 AM


If you’re new to the term "Business Automation" and you’re not sure what it means, read on.

Business Automation is a set of software tools that automate many of the processes and decisions that a company makes - such as receiving and paying invoices for materials, entering sales orders, onboarding new customers, processing claims and disputes, determining eligibility for loans and financial services, and many more "back office" procedures that companies do every day. 

Many of these activities used to be manual and paper-based, but now are core processes in the worldwide business trend, known as “Digital Transformation.” As organizations automate processes across the enterprise, they gain cost savings from faster, more efficient processes and reduction of paper and manual processes, employees are relieved of tedious chores and given more time to do high value work, and AI monitoring tools can add insight and visibility for operations professionals. 

Business Automation is actually a confluence of several software categories, which you may have heard of, such as:

  • Document capture to digitize documents and extract information to use in a business system (to pay an invoice, for example)
  • Content management (or ECM) to store digitized documents for the legally-required duration, but also make them available in an instant for decisions and cases (do we approve this customer for a loan? Let's look at their history with our company)
  • Decision management to automate simple If-then business rules (Does the customer have more than $10,000 in their savings account? Then there's no monthly fee)
  • Workflow which connects teams of people, documents, and the steps to achieve an outcome (like approve a mortgage, where there is a reviewer, a property inspector, a fraud specialist, an appraiser, and an approver).
  • Robotic Process Automation to quickly automate small tasks (like cut-and-paste from a document, or open a business system with a password to trigger a transaction)

Many Business Automation applications use several, if not all, of the above tools to automate a process end to end.  IBM Business Automation has infused artificial intelligence and machine learning into many of the components, which increase efficiency further, such as document classification, transcription, and translation, as well as suggest a next best action in a process based on historical data about that process.  AI is also applied across the platform for operational intelligence, which provides oversight and visibility into all processes running on the platform to identify bottlenecks, monitor productivity, and preemptively solve performance issues before they impact the business.

IBM offers the Cloud Pak for Business Automation as a single product that packages all of the above capabilities into a single purchase, where the customer uses only the elements they need as they automate their enterprise.

                                                                                  The IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation

The Cloud Pak for Business Automation also offers Process Mining and Process Modeling tools to help identify new opportunities for automation, determine cost savings and map the steps in a process. As you can see, IBM’s strategy is to offer all the tools needed for the full life-cycle of Business Automation.

Maybe the best way to understand Business Automation is to see it in action.  The video below shares the workings of an automated application used by the United States Veteran's Benefit Administration to automate the input of claims and documents to speed benefits to U.S. Veterans.  Here is a 6 minute demonstration of the application.

To go behind the scenes and understand why and how it was built, this one hour conversation with the architect who built it will provide a lot of perspective. You will discover that Business automation positively impacts people and systems and ultimately helps to transform the business, if you do it right.

Finally, a good next step on your learning journey would be to read the COO's Buyer's Guide to Business Automation.   You can find it here.




Sun April 30, 2023 01:08 AM

Yas please

Mon December 12, 2022 02:06 AM

Hi, Please suggest me tutorial of IBM BAW. For hands on practice.