What is the Current State of Process Automation?

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Editor & Founder, DBizInstitute.org, BPMInstitute.org & BAInstitute.org
With over 25 years experience building and creating professional communities, Gregg Rock is recognized as an industry leader in professional training and education vital to helping enterprise organizations support their transformation initiatives. His work has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Financial Times, CIO Magazine, and New York Times. Throughout his career Gregg has developed communities, hosted executive networking forums and the formation of advisory boards on topics ranging from IT security and outsourcing to multimedia and Y2K, but is most widely associated with his accomplishments in the areas of Business Process Management (BPM), Digital Business (DBiz), Business Architecture (BA), and Cloud Computing. BPM in particular is a widely accepted approach for designing enterprise organizational and information systems. This focus on process-related skills is creating demand for BPM content, collaboration, and training resources by corporations—a niche Gregg has spent years to fill. In 1997, Gregg founded BrainStorm Group and the network of BrainStorm Communities, consisting of discipline-specific web portals for BPM, BA, and SOA practitioners to network and receive education, professional training online and through live in-person events. This has enabled over 100,000 practitioners from over 125 countries to collaborate and share best practices, online and face-to-face. BrainStorm Communities feature a comprehensive suite of member services including newsletters, discussion groups, blogs, virtual and live events, live and online training, certificate programs, and professional certification. During his tenure, Gregg has produced more than 100 industry events in North America, South America, EMEA, and Australia attended by over 300,000 professionals. He led the development of the Certified Business Process Management Professional program. Harnessing the collective intelligence of leading BPM subject matter experts, this certification establishes an objective evaluation of a BPM professional’s knowledge, skill, and ability. He recently led the launch of BrainStorm's newest Community, focused on Digital Business and Transformation - DBizInstitute.org. Gregg also earned his private pilot license in 1991 and remains an active member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). When not flying, he’s active in his community and enjoys coaching little league, soccer, and lacrosse for his children.
Faculty Member BPMInstitute.org, Founder/CEO of Stratiza, Stratiza
George Barlow is currently Founder and CEO at Stratiza, a strategic and creative services company. Previous roles include Chief Sales Officer at Trisotech, a global leader in digital enterprise solutions, Vice President of BPM and Cloud Solutions for AgilePoint, Director of Sales at Bosch Software Innovations, CEO at Cloud Harbor, Inc. and seven years at Appian Corporation. Prior to joining Appian Mr. Barlow held posts as Senior VP, Technology and Operations at iBeacon.com and as Sr. VP, Healthcare Information Technology at ProVantage Health Services, Inc. He has been part of many successful major projects at organizations such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Telus, Concur Technologies, Manulife Financial/John Hancock, Merck & Co., CVS Caremark and Walgreens. Mr. Barlow is a Faculty Member of BPMInstitute.org and DBIZInstitute.org and holds the Certified Business Process Management Professional Certification as well as the Business and Technical Professional Advanced OMG Certified Expert in BPM certifications. Mr. Barlow is also a frequent speaker at industry events and has published numerous articles, white papers and blogs about BPM and Cloud Computing.

Gregg Rock interviews George Barlow.

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.

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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