Business processes are the key
You’ve probably heard it many times before. Well-functioning processes are the be-all and end-all for smooth company operations. In other words, processes where everyone knows what needs to be done and when are critical.
Automated business processes increase efficiency and help to avoid errors.
Not to mention, they curb the frustration that arises among employees when they are confronted with mindless, repetitive tasks. These repetative tasks demotivate the workforce, reduce business efficiency, and make you lose out on opportunities in the form of untapped potential from your employees.
So we know about the many benefits of process automation. Nevertheless, let’s just review a few of the main arguments.
Advantages of business process automation
- Utilization of the employee’s full potential
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Structured communication – even in decentralized teams
- Cost and time savings
- Error prevention
There are many benefits to process automation, and we know how important it is. So why do companies so often still work with manual processes?
What business process automation barriers exist?
I am convinced that you, or the decision-makers in your company, have long since recognized and understood the importance of process automation and the associated benefits. As is so often the case, it is the step from realization to action, i.e. from theory to practice, that is difficult.
Often it's simply fear about the expected effort that makes some people shy away from automating business processes.Francisco Cruz
Regardless of the actual obstacles that have to be overcome in this regard, it is often simply fear of the expected effort that makes some people shy away — when it comes to implementation and to dealing with the matter in the first place. This is the result of an OTRS survey among 500 employees of different companies in Germany, USA, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore.
Aside from overcoming fear, one of the most important requirements needed for automating business processes is the targeted use of tools. This becomes another obstacle, as was also made clear in the OTRS survey. Many companies stated that they had not yet found the right tool for implementation.
Business process automation needs tools and experts
Using business process management software (BPMS), like OTRS, is the key. A process is about driving a task from its inception to its completion. To do this, the software uses work management tools such as ticketing, calendaring, knowledge base, resource management or a CMDB to document and track the task as it is completed.
Business process management software combines these tools with a process management engine. In process management, the previously documented workflows are added. The software then follows this workflow.
For each task, the next required step is already prepared. Whether someone needs to approve a request, update a date, or add notes, those looking at the requested work have all the information they need in one place. This makes it faster and easier to complete their part of the task.
When they are done, the process management engine takes over again and moves on to the next step in the task.
Successful process automation with experts
In a way, everything sounds quite simple. But of course, process automation doesn’t happen overnight. It should be well thought out and professionally implemented. To ensure that the project is a huge success, it pays to work with experts.
As the product manufacturer of OTRS business process management software, OTRS Group experts offer the following insight.
Process analysis and consulting
The first step is always to look at existing processes. Companies should definitely take the time to take a close look at theirs, document them and optimize them if necessary. Only the most detailed analysis will show where the pain points are and what works well. This is easier if you get professional support. The consultants at OTRS Group, for example, know what’s important. They advise on implementation and scrutinize the current situation so that processes are not simply automated, but are also optimized. Their experience helps customers take the right steps in automating business processes.
Process consulting is available for this purpose. This involves documenting and reviewing existing processes and then transferring them to OTRS Process Management. First, the current business process is mapped and reviewed in a BPMN diagram. Then, the experts create all the required fields, notifications and dialogs. The presented process is then reviewed with the customer and adapted if necessary. Finally, the transfer to the live system is carried out by the OTRS managed team.
Process Automation and ITIL®
If you have dealt with business processes or their automation in an IT environment, you have certainly “come across” the term ITIL®.
This abbreviation stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. And in principle, this already says it very clearly. ITIL is a library or collection of best practices, i.e. predefined processes, functions and roles that have been outlined to properly implement and execute ITSM in your company.
The OTRS ITSM software solution supports all requirements and best practices of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
This means that ITIL processes can be quickly established in your organization, and the implementation can also be modified later as needed. All of this is possible without a serious change to the software.
OTRS also offers predefined processes that can be used immediately. These are ITIL/ITSM processes (as well as processes for office, personnel and equipment management) that have already been built and which can be used right away.
ITIL is therefore an important point when it comes to automating IT processes. This means that it is advantageous for companies to be supported in their implementation by experts who are familiar with the subject matter.
Most of the experts at OTRS are ITIL-certified and are therefore competent contacts.
I myself, for example, have also attended a certification class and have been deeply immersed in the concepts and their application. This allows me to judge for myself how customers and potential customers benefit from this acquired knowledge. I recommend that every company that is at the beginning of automating business processes have at least some of the responsible employees complete the ITIL certification.
Think ahead – anticipate problems; offer support
Above all, one should not forget to think long-term and sustainably. If you look for a solution where no experts are available or no expert knowledge is available, you often end up paying a high cost — even if this path initially seems more favorable. It is not uncommon for less experienced companies to cause a lot of rework and have to learn from costly mistakes. And this is true both during the all-important implementation, where you naturally benefit from expert experience, and once a solution is up and running.
If you’re looking to implement service management software in your organization, real experts will tailor the solution to your specific needs.
Many products offer a wide range of configuration options. The service management solution OTRS, for example, has more than 2,500. To reliably assess which ones are really needed, you need the experience of having worked with many customers from different industries with individual use cases.
Sometimes a configuration is not even enough, but the development team has to adapt the entire software to the customer’s requirements. Without experts, companies can quickly incur additional costs in the process.
An expert will also always look further ahead and not just focus on implementation. He or she will provide both training and support, preventing you from ending up with software and processes you can’t use.
Plus, experts invest in documentation and knowledge bases that make their product easier to use.
Upgrades and security
Software is only safe and good if it is up to date. Moreover, needs and requirements change. So the time will surely come when the software needs to be upgraded. Experts with experience will consider the need for upgrades and updates during the customization process, so you won’t get into a situation that makes an update impossible, for example, because the code has been changed too much.
Also, when it comes to security, you are clearly in the best hands with experts, because they evaluate the latest security protocols and requirements. They integrate these into the product. And, they provide security-related updates. They work continuously to eliminate vulnerabilities.
An eye on the future
In most cases, experts belong to companies that have been around for a long time and, as a result, will continue to be available to you in the future. Therefore, experts will be at your side when your company grows and you need additional support.
Software manufacturers also invest time and money in observing trends and customer needs. Consequently, they’re inherently interested in making sure their product is up to date, creating a foundation for a roadmap that ensures your future needs can be addressed quickly and easily.
So put the automation of your business processes on solid and long-lasting feet by working with experts and their solutions.
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