Applications, APIs, and workflows are indispensable components of today’s digital economy. They perform the crucial role of connecting systems, devices, and data sets to deliver unparalleled business value. Complex API-adoption processes and increased workflows call for automation and integration. Implementing business process automation (BPA) in this context, without enterprise readiness assessment, is self-defeating. It is akin to putting in compliance controls without an accompanying risk management strategy.
Scaling BPA by implementing the right integration strategy
Business leaders are faced with the conundrum of how to achieve scale to support their business process automation. This can be illustrated by the need for indexing sales orders when companies are faced with an exponential increase in transaction volumes. The typical response is to augment team size, a process that is time and effort-intensive and can become riddled with errors. The problem is compounded when extra hires perform the same onerous manual tasks with little gain in efficiencies. A scalable automation of back office functions ties into a comprehensive data integration strategy that straddles application and information needs across the enterprise.
A robust and agile integration infrastructure addresses the needs of business users as well as the cross-functional, overarching issues of a centralized IT team. As such, enterprises must strive to achieve the three Ses, two Es, and one R – the six essential maxims to accomplish BPA success:
- Scalability is the key for enterprises to implement automation across business operations, and a robust integration strategy enables them to achieve it.
- The simplicity of solutions can be achieved with tools that resolve problems for business users and are low maintenance.
- Security ensures that the core apps are compliant with global standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2, and can be achieved through SaaS and vendor-based offerings.
- Reusability allows the recycling of components for use in the same business process or mapped to others.
- Empowerment is a game-changing parameter that is key to upskilling business users through visualization and resolution of pain points on a unified dashboard and a low-code or no-code platform.
- EmbarkmentEmbarkment is a culmination of the previous five factors that give users the freedom and confidence to adopt a new solution without constantly viewing it under the lens of risk.
A natural progression from these maxims is a set of composable, agile, and customized integrations for BPA that can be aligned with business objectives for optimal benefit.
The business objectives that can be met by integration-led BPA
An integration strategy for workflows must be an orchestrator of nimble solutions and allow for easy real-time deployment and rollback. Tightly coupled integrations should be avoided at all costs. Outdated P2P custom code approaches demand the injection of costly resources and adversely affect agility and scalability. The following are some integration essentials:
- Event-driven architecture: This is an example of a highly decoupled integration model that allows for real-time responses to micro-events.
- Hybrid integrations: This supports apps that can run in different environments including on-prem, SaaS, cloud, and edge. Real-time integrations enable faster decision-making with data-driven insights as opposed to batch-driven tasks
- Orchestration:Orchestration: It is a crucial component of integration that presents all the automated workflows into a single viewing pane.
- Modularity: It is key in tackling tasks in a decoupled and composable mode for easy rollout.
Initiating a successful integration strategy
Mapping the integration strategy to a tiered maturity model is prudent for enterprises to make effective use of resources. A botched implementation can often be traced to inadequate gap analysis. Solution providers use three levels – zero to two – to grade the digital maturity of prospective clients. Companies at Level 0 use basic data-entry models; level 1 indicates a developer-led use of code to connect apps; and level 2 is the most mature, tech-first model that facilitates a greater degree of self-service and independence. Here are some use cases for BPA integration:
- Invoice processing in account payables
- Cash applications
- Collections in account receivables
The HCLTech approach: Assessment, Evaluation, and Recommendation
HCLTech’s process-first approach and a comprehensive integration-led automation (ILA) strategy help companies to invest in the right technologies and solutions to expedite their BPA initiatives. We carefully consider various business processes and interactions, handoffs, and integration requirements, and assess the scope of BPA. Post evaluation of operations through our integration maturity model, which is an important part of HCLTech’s ILA framework, we recommend the best fit to clients so that they can focus on growth and scaling.
A few of the key factors that our experts consider are the total cost of ownership, time to market, rapid development and deployment, active support, process variations, transaction volume, intuitive dashboards for real-time insights, and robustness of automation. Comprehensive due diligence is performed to achieve end-to-end automation of business processes and enable clients to create a clear operational roadmap.