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As this article says: "Dr Rosemann pointed out that we are coming to the end of the age of automation. This was the period that gave power to the corporation; we drove out inefficiencies in our processes and looked for standardisation and conformity in dealing with our customers. The focus was on the cost per transaction. But a new age is upon us: the age of digitisation. This puts the power in the hands of the people." What do you think?

Tuesday, May 05 2015, 09:48 AM
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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 09:59 AM - #Permalink
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    If the blog author's paraphrasing of Dr. Rosemann is correct, I think the good doctor's definitions for "the age(s) of" are pretty subjective. Assuming I were to agree with those definitions though, the short answer is "no." Even in their straightforward definitions automation and digitisation aren't mutually exclusive.

    Not sure what exactly that article is trying to convince me of. More "gobbledygook."

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    Ian Gotts
    Ian Gotts
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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 10:01 AM - #Permalink
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    What a strange question. The "age of digitisation."means that consistent service needs to delivered at scale 24 x 7. Sure the power is with the people (customers) in terms of how they research, decide and ultimately choose to buy. They want to interact with the supplier on their terms, through their chosen device, and will source the best price possible. So for the supplier, elegant back office processes must be simplified and then automated, and the systens determine where a sales agent should intervene - by exception. No other approach is cost effective.

    Simplifed, elegant automated processes with exception-based interaction with customers by employees is the new digital company.

     

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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 10:02 AM - #Permalink
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    The term Age of Digitization is hilariously associated with the power of people, when in fact it implies that everything will be processed by computing machines.

    In the future, the world will be split in two: those who tell computers what to do, and those who are told by computers what to do. And most intelligent people will migrate in and out of either world on a daily basis.

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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 10:19 AM - #Permalink
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    Quite the opposite, we seem to be only starting out, unless the Internet of Things is a mirage. The need to automate and simplify seems to be an innate human characteristic.

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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 10:40 AM - #Permalink
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    Digitisation certainly will place more power for self determination in hands of people BUT not at the cost of "automation"? Certainly the old thinking of standardization will be demoted as customisation and intelligent processes which of course will include automation become easily delivered. Sounds like the good doctor making something simple to understand unnecessarily complex?

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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 12:59 PM - #Permalink
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    In my oppinion, anybody who has seen this video showing how Amazon fulfills orders, should agree with me that it is not the end of the automation era. It is the beggining, when automation and people based business processess are joint together.

    I know, it is Amazon. A leader, and innovator, bla bla bla. But in the bottom line, isn't it a typical BPM study case to receive an order and send the package to the customer ? Well, it is. The Amazon's way, well, it is amazing. But I think there is a lot of space to improve automation, integrating it with business processes and people.

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    Amy Barth
    Amy Barth
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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 01:24 PM - #Permalink
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    No, we are not coming to the end of automation unless you want to split hairs about what "automation" actually means...will it be highly informed and drenched in data and intelligence? Yes, but it's still automation. And digitization just brings the data/intelligence to inform automation that much harder and faster.

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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 03:44 PM - #Permalink
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    Digitalization may well be on the rise, but judging from the number of business processes still powered by spreadsheets, paper, email, and frantic phone calls, seems to me that automation may still have plenty of foes yet to conquer.

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    Maria Paz
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    Tuesday, May 05 2015, 07:00 PM - #Permalink
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    On the contrary!

    Automation is now everywhere and available for everyone. It's becoming more and more important and it's no longer an advantage that only larger corporations can afford. Many tools, websites, apps and so on can help us automate daily activities in our lives: we can automate an e-mail response, a reminder, etc.

    That's why now everybody, including smaller corporations and SMEs can afford to automate their processes. In the past, automation was a benefit that only a few could take advantage of and smaller companies didn't have a budget to invest in the required technology to automate (which used to be quite expensive). Nowadays, all companies can automate and what's more important, they should. For anyone looking for advice on how to use BPM in their SME,here is an article with useful tips. I agree that the individuals are becoming the focus and that's a good thing. The beauty of automating is that individuals can use their time to do productive tasks that only humans can (at the moment, at least) and use automation to increase the efficiency of daily tasks.

    Citizens are starting to know the true meaning of automation. For example, in Latin America many countries are starting to use a digital ID with a microchip with enables all kinds of digital tasks. (More information about the IDs here, in Spanish). These will boost all activities related to an e-Government. For these citizens, automation is just starting and it will have a huge impact in their lives.

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    Wednesday, May 06 2015, 06:04 AM - #Permalink
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    Obviously, it is not possible to handle “digitalisation” without “automation” and to carry out “automation” it is necessary to use “digital” formats. So, they are inter-related and mutually enhancing. Maybe the word “automation” is misused in the referred article?

    I see huge synergy between BPM-based automation, digitalisation (see the ref), IoT (delegating some activities to devices), microservices (flexibility) and security (thanks to BPM, security gets the business context).

    Thanks,

    AS

    • Dr Alexander Samarin
      more than a month ago
      As synergy between these domains will not happen automagically (because of the complexity and silos - as we see that people treat automation and digitalisation separately), synergy and reduction of complexity must be architectured.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, May 06 2015, 01:40 PM - #Permalink
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    How is the age of "digitization" any different from the "age of steam" in terms of the "relations of production"? Are the concepts of "the corporation", "automation" and "transactional efficienices" now obsolete?If we get rid of these fundamental terms of business discourse, why not get rid of the idea of "money" as well? It makes as much sense.

    The writer covering Dr. Rosemann's talk seems to be suggesting that for several reasons, e.g. extreme granularity of service provisioning (e.g. parking), and the erosion of artificial barriers to public goods, that the rules of economic organization have somehow changed - which is silly. Corporations specifically exist to organize resources efficiently, around repetitive processes (Coase et. al.), which in turn implies automation. (In fairness to the "good Doctor" I am interested to learn more, only having his views second hand. But I recommend caution in adopting these views as the basis of any startup business model.)

    The more I think about the original comment though, the more the comment appears as a kind of techno-futurist magical thinking. We aren't at the robot-utopia yet. "Power-to-the-people"? My suspicions are raised whenever I see the idea.

     

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    Andy Jones
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    Thursday, May 07 2015, 05:01 PM - #Permalink
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    Peter – Like many who commented before me, I disagree with Dr. Rosemann’s thoughts on coming to the end of business process automation. Process automation is alive and well in 2015, and it’s getting much smarter thanks to digitization and advances in cloud, mobile, social and analytics tools. In fact, Forrester released a study earlier this year that found automation delivered a productivity gain of $1.47 million over three years, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in the time needed to automate processes and a 20 percent cut in time for managing and supporting those processes. Our own case studies show similar results of increased efficiency and collaboration, in addition to time, cost and productivity savings. The bottom line is, workflow automation results in more job capacity, shorter delivery times and optimized business operations – creating room for new market opportunities and business growth. Digitization has further enabled this with faster, more intelligent and accurate processing, which can lead to reduced costs, improved processes, and ultimately, a better customer experience. With that being said, solutions are not one size fits all so organizations need to consider their strategy from the top down and choose flexible solutions that align with their long-term goals. Thanks.

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