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What is the Current State of Process Automation?

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Gregg Rock interviews George Barlow in April 2022. 

We are especially excited to let folks know that George is going to be presenting two of our newest courses that are part of the Digital Transformation Specialist series in our Summer Session 1 Training Event.

GR: Alright George, I'd like to pick your brain a little bit on the current state of process automation.

GB: It’s good to see you, Gregg, and talk a little bit about process automation, which is certainly one of the pillars of digital transformation. 

So that everyone is aware, we have a four-course base course offered at the BPM Institute for digital transformation, which includes an introduction to Digital Transformation, Low Code/No Code, Process Automation (which we're going to talk about here), and then Digital Customer Experience. Our Members should also be aware that there's a Digital Decision Automation offering by James Taylor offered at the BPM Institute that fits into this digital transformation environment as well.

Now, hyperautomation is a term that was coined by Gartner, and it's getting a lot of buzz lately, but really what it is, is this convergence of a bunch of different technologies, tools, and platforms, including things like RPA, Process Mining, Low Code/No Code. So, the automation world is rapidly changing, and much for the better for everybody that wants to be able to automate things, from things like model driven processes and so forth. So, this hyperautomation is a business-driven approach and includes even extensive things like DevOps in the IT department, so it's pretty pervasive.

And, as I said, we're going to look at all those technologies in this Process Automation course. Now, a lot of the membership here at the BPM Institute has experience with BPM and, after all, that's kind of where we all got started, and model driven automation is an important topic. Many people may not know that it's not possible to take those decades of models that you've created and transform them into automated applications, following a pretty formulaic methodology. This methodology was laid out by OMG, who is the organization behind BPMN, DMN (the decision management), and CMMN (for case management).

Now, building model driven apps that can scale vertically and horizontally, which is to say, to be able to add more servers and deploy across geographic locations and so forth, is important because that's where you get non-stop cloud infrastructure running and support for 24 by 7 operation. So, understanding the tools for automation isn't enough—you need to understand how to deploy them in a way that's going to allow your organization to meet the requirements of your users.

And then, finally, there is this whole idea of micro services. IT approaches with API four, as it's called, that will allow you to not only connect Low Code and even sometimes No Code applications, but you can also connect to your existing systems, and we take a look at how to do those kinds of things in this course as well.

So, this is kind of a state of the art “what's happened with process automation” with a little stronger slant toward BPMN and how you might be able to take advantage of a lot of the work that you've done that you didn't realize until now could be automated pretty well.

GR: I think for those of us in this community, the hype-wagon and hype-cycle from Gartner has always been an issue. A lot of folks are looking around and presenting some of these solutions as silver bullets. But, what I like about how you've laid out the course is explaining how it can help participants to understand the categories, helping them to understand the players, helping them with use cases. And then the cherry on top, I think, is that our Members have certainly invested a lot of time, money, and effort in building out BPMN models (in some cases, 100 models or more), and now there is a way to leverage that asset with BPMN automation.

Relevant Courses: Process Automation Approaches: Working with Hyperautomation, Process Mining, RPA, and BPMN Automation

Relevant Specialist Certificate: Digital Transformation Specialist Certificate

Relevant Training Event: Summer Session 1


Editor’s Note: This is a five-part article and video series.

Watch the entire Need to Know: Digital Transformation video series

Read the other articles in the series here: 

Article 1: What do BPM Practitioners Need to Know about Low Code/No Code?

Article 3: How Does AI and Machine Learning Fit Into Low Code/No Code and Process Automation Environments? 

Article 4: What is the Triple Crown of Modeling? BPMN, DMN, & CMMN Explained. 

Article 5: What Strikes You as Most Significant About the Migration to Cloud Computing?

 

Want to be featured in the next Need to Know series to share your expertise? Get in touch - we'd love to hear from you. 

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