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Business Process Management and IT Disruptions

Kovid Ranjan, Head IT, Ashok Leyland

Kovid is presently working as Global head IT for International Operations Ashok Leyland based out of Dubai. His previous experience has been with Reliance, Infosys and Tech Mahindra, graduation from NIT and PGPBM from IIM (Trichy).

A company always evolves. Processes evolve and companies do businesses. Processes may be simple or complex. However, what is a process? A process is a series of tasks that are completed in order to accomplish a goal. A business process, therefore, is a process that is directed towards achieving a goal for a business. There may be different goals for e.g. a simple juice supplier will focus on delivery of the ingredients and supply of juices and finally the revenue. If you have worked in a business setting, you have participated in a business process. Anything from a simple process for making a sandwich at home to building Chandrayaan utilizes one or more business processes.

The processes, which help company, reduce costs and make it competitively smarter, are always better. There are teams in large organizations who continuously work on improving the processes and documenting them.

BPM has been slow in adopting the IT bandwagon and that is why the BPM industry is going through a very hard phase.

Digital technologies including mobile, analytics, social media, IOT, robotic automation, machine learning, AI, natural language processing and generation, virtual data warehousing, digital security, intelligence augmentation, cloud, and SaaS combined with deep domain understanding of the business, is driving unprecedented disruption and transformation in nearly every industry. In Automotive industry itself the concept of a connected vehicle, GPS tracking, smart vehicle management system tracking the vehicle performance and driver behaviour. AI based system predicting failure and later failure analysis, self driven cars is changing the scenario of all vehicle segments including commercial vehicles which are managed by poorly paid manpower. Soon electric commercial vehicles managed by GPS and driver assist technology will put pressure on these drivers behaviour.

Not all of these factors are powerful enough to spur disruptive change on their own, but they can make a significant impact when they come together in the right proportions. The results can

range from the complete transformation of an existing product or service line to creating an entirely new industry. For e.g. in transport segment digital app based technology has changed the scenario and a new domain of IT has been created. In addition, the electrical vehicle concept has created a total new domain of knowledge experts and mechanical, electrical and electronics have to be merged.

BPM has been slow in adopting the IT bandwagon and that is why the BPM industry is going through a very hard phase

Although digital technology adoption across industries has been widely discussed, the business process management(BPM) industry has been slow to gain momentum in adapting to the full impact of digital transformation.

Moving Insurance to the Cloud:
•Leaders are bombarded with data which they are unable to interpret.
•BPM leaders are unable to grasp the newer technologies and unable to provide viable solutions to the leaders
•This leads to deterioration in the functions and serviceability of various departments
•The suggestions provided by BPM teams is not matching the current requirements
•There is a total lack of trained manpower
•Business wants quick returns as per the technology advancement which BPM teams are unable to deliver.

The solution to this lies in:
oUpgradation of skills of the existing BPM teams, get them tuned to digital technologies
oThe technical knowhow has to penetrate their applications, should not be paper based but should have data mining, Intelligence embedded into the output.
oIt should synchronize with the latest trends and the changes, which are happening in the outside world.
oThe BPM team should know what is he going to submit to improve, impact the business

If they do not upgrade then the existing leaders are picking up fast and they are more tech friendly and accustomed to app based outputs. They are using data mining effectively and now more into AI /BI techniques and they are able to change the processes by themselves rather than depending on BPM experts which is a job threat to many in the BPM field.

Some of the examples where BPM did not play any role are:
•LinkedIn and Facebook invented new processes to manage relationships and personal networks on the suggestions of business leaders themselves not on BPM teams.
•Traditional companies are also focusing on process innovation. For example, enterprises in the machinery industries offer more convenient and reliable service processes based on Internet connections to their clients or directly to the delivered equipment. Airlines have simplified the ticketing process to reduce cost and increase, or at least stabilize service levels through online ticketing. This is a process innovation that eventually became the standard and through inhouse efforts, hence an industry best practice. Railways introduced on line ticketing based on a suggestion by Indian Railways Officers. Banks reduce cost and improve their service levels through online banking that also through in house teams.

Companies in India are creating an environment that encourages and enables process innovation. Business process management(BPM)has to become the facilitator of innovation initiatives implemented through the discipline of value driven BPM else they will be an extinct force the way people in mainframe, COBOL and electronic typewriters are.

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