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From Dr. Alexander Samarin: What do you think are the challenges of digital transformation and how does BPM address them?
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There are so many challenges with digital transformation journey. And in previous BPM question threads some of these have been discussed. However, to the point of the question above, I really center on the foundation issue. If you don't have a foundation you can't build anything long term. At the core of digital transformation is not just digitizing the business but encapsulating the processes for digital interaction. And more importantly, digital transformation really should be laying in an agile framework of the business to change as business and markets change. BPM provides insights, provides frameworks, and provides the ability for the business to align on the business. We can all argue the methods and approaches but for simplicity sake, BPM's discipline of 'design of the processes' enables many things to happen not just to build today but pivot as the business needs to pivot. Operating with out any design or articulation of the business of which the foundation is process, you operate on hope and a prayer.
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For most corporations, digital transformation is disruptive and requires significant advance strategic planning. Methods and tools are available.

The planning needs to address opportunities/problems, risks/rewards, taking care not to overly tax scarce resources/infrastructure or taking on an unbalanced mix of initiatives (low risk/high risk; low return/high return, short timeline/long timeline).

The goal is to evolve and prioritize a set of initiatives that will achieve digital transformation in such a way that it augments competitive advantage.

Formal ROI studies should be carried out with specific focus on clear identification of goals/objectives and set-up of non-subjective means for periodic assessment of progress.

Implementation comes after this. Here, BPM is core to workflow (its greatest impact is in the area of efficiency).

Case Management has a stronger impact on effectiveness, but only if the strategic planning phase is done properly and only if the corporation is able to uplink/downlink operational activity to/from strategy.

A run-time platform is essential for hosting BPM process templates and for managing workload across processes, across Cases.
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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The US Gov site (https://digital.gov) establishes the following challenges they identified through a survey by Digital IQ:

1. Lack of properly skilled teams – An existing barrier: 24 percent of respondents agree. An emerging barrier: 39 percent of respondents.
2. Lack of integration of new and existing technologies and data – Existing Barrier: 22 percent. Emerging Barrier: 37 percent.
3. Inflexible or slow processes – Existing Barrier: 21 percent. Emerging Barrier: 21 percent.
4. Outdated technologies – Existing Barrier: 19 percent. Emerging Barrier: 42 percent.
5. Lack of collaboration between IT and business – Existing Barrier: 12 percent. Emerging Barrier: 23 percent.

I full-heartedly agree with theses macro reasons above, but am sure that there are many other hindrances along the way to "Full Digital".
When it comes to where methodologies and technologies of Business Process Management, automation and in general and also RPA to a certain extend can contribute, I would point out the obvious: number 3. Of course there are benefits to be garnered through BPM when it comes to modernizing outdated technologies, integrations as well as interdepartemental collaboration.
It's very re-assuring to see how crucial a role BPM can actually play when it comes to DT.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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As previously stated in this blog post, Digital Transformation starts in the Board/Executives/CEO's minds.

The processes in the organization are the muscles to move it and to transform it. So, if you are really planning a Digital Transformation journey, and not just a digitization or robot-based automation of part of your business, you need to seriously look at your processes.

Once the decision is made and everybody is aligned with the Digital Transforming initiative (and this is the hardest to achieve), BPM and especially cloud-based BPM Suites are key enables to transform the processes (muscles) to become a truly Digital company.

Combining cloud-based BPM Suites with agile methodologies (i.e Scrum) are key to deliver quickly and iteratively, while you focus on your business instead of managing complex IT infrastructures. These are critical aspects for the success of the DT effort.

Best !
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
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Digital transformation can never be a thing on it's own as it will always also impact business processes and thus human behavior. If it does not touch any of the latter two, you cannot call it a transformation to begin with.

BPM is the overarching philosophy on how to deal with business process management and if you take a slightly broader approach, it also functions as a platform for business transformation.

To go short, BPM is a pre-requisite for any successful trasnformation effort.
BPM is all about mindset first and toolset later....much later
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All great points presented by my colleagues in this thread. From my perspective there are two major challenges. First is the definition of Digital Transformation and who is explaining it to the consumer. Many times, the emphasis is on technology rather than the business. Second is change management related in that the people are reluctant to accept the concept of digital transformation as it will seem like a threat to their employment. This is where a positive message must be delivered to the employees rather than another initiative/technology being pushed at them with no insight as to how it personally impacts them.

All of the principals of BPM - as I have taught them these past 15 years - include addressing the human element, automating workflow, and now implementing robotic automation. People, process, information and technology used to transform and automate critical business processes results in digital transformation. This is not easy and must be managed in ways that focus the organization as a whole with clarity on why it is needed, how it will take place, who will be impacted, and what opportunities this will provide for the employee population. Digital Transformation is a cross functional team sport.
Bob Larrivee
President and Founder
Bob Larrivee Consultancy
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The value of a digital transformation is delivered through new or transformed processes. According to an industry analyst study, only 1% of organizations have their processes enough under control to realize the full potential of digitalization. This is, a huge issues by itself - resolved through an appropriate BPM capability. Another research study shows that key challenges of digital transformations, such as prioritizing and identifying where to start, aligning business and technology or accelerating decisions making, are typical areas addressed by process management.

Hence, BPM is the value switch for digital transformations.

You can find the research mentioned as well as some related articles on http://www.bpm-d.com.
  1. http://www.bpm-d.com
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Digital transformation of any system is about rebuilding this system as a digital system. Digital system is a system which architects the life cycles of its major elements on the primacy of digital presentation of those elements. Digital presentation is explicit, formal, computer-readable and computer-executable-

For example, digital enterprise is an enterprise in which its business models, life-cycles, business processes are architected on the primacy of the digital presentation its primary products and services (as well as all supporting means – money, tools, etc.)

Digital Transformation is a daunting task which never truly ends; it is a necessity not luxury

The scope, depth, speed, risks, gains, etc. are scaled up dramatically

Digital systems are fragile; security and privacy are emergent characteristics of the whole enterprise

Why, what, when, who, where and how do next change(s) is a flow of puzzles to be solved perfectly each time (This is not low-risk continual improvements)

An objective and know-all-the-details “navigator” is mandatory
• Why to transform this next thing
• How to transform this next thing
• What is this next thing

Main secret of digital repeatable systems - easy to create various assemblies from digital repeatable elements (standard and unique) -- make them once and sell them many times.

BPM is a methodology, tools and practice to find digital repeatable elements and glue them into various assembles. Processes show how value is created and used.

Digital processes are system-forming elements of many digital systems. If you know digital processes of a system then you know can find how to change the system to achieve a desired outcome from the system.

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The first challenge is lack of understanding exactly what is involved in "Digital Transformation" any easy term but reality is it needs deep understanding before such transformation can start. Most business executives want the speed and meaningful interactions for users but there is great caution on seeing yet another big expensive IT project! I agree with Alexander "Digital transformation of any system is about rebuilding this system as a digital system" and this requires a software platform that can quickly deliver on all back office support for dynamic UIs. The next challenge lies in legacy which needs to be used as required which as this forum has discussed needs RPA as just one of many support capabilities.

The discipline of BPM can quickly establish what is required in business language and with a no low code platform ensure it remains in control of business not "old IT". Understanding this is a challenge in itself but once business and their users get it a new truly transformational journey can begin!

Digital represents the long overdue focus on putting priority focus on people and processes where all data is created. It needs to capable of supporting inevitable change and always remain in control of business even if the IT infrastructure is outsourced. In addition supporting in real time all users will encourage empowerment all of which is just part of the Digital Transformation. The challenge here will be the business cynicism of believing such capability can be actually delivered and of course the existing enterprise software supply chain not welcoming what is a "disruptive" software build approach.
Would RPA be considered as a container for legacy?
Hmm I see more as a facilitator? Important that any data collected can if required be "contained" within new digital system indeed could be important to allow retirement of some legacy systems. This is an extract of how we created might help...bit too techie for me!!
"Our Tag library with access direct to memory cache and a content handler can readily communicate with any database or file source and accept via HTTP csv files. There is a listening capability to trigger a process from external sources."

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