Strategy tends to be eaten for breakfast, by culture – but also by a lack of operational execution. Organizational aspirations simply “blah blah blah” without any ability to turn insight into action, quickly respond to events, overcome business silos, or go with whatever flow the corporate purpose supposes. And all that goodness must be delivered against a scarcity of skilled human resources and a need to reduce travel and energy consumption. This is where Process on the Fly comes to the fore and shines ever brighter. Having been consistently less in the spotlight than its complementary container, Thriving on Data (ever heard of “Big Process”?), breakthroughs within intelligent automation and a taste of touchless execution have firmly placed this container center stage. Quit talking and start doing.

In many ways, a process is really just another “thing.” When equipped with “sensors,” it can provide a continuous flow of data points about its status and whereabouts, not unlike the concept of a Digital Twin in the Intelligent Industry domain. With this digital twin process available, it opens up a full spectrum of possibilities to not only better understand processes, but also to experiment risk-free with alternative scenarios and options, and predict – or even prescribe – how processes will run and be managed in the future. Then, software robots come to the aid as dependable, digital companions, automating the interaction between humans and their technology-enabled processes. This Robotic Process Automation gives us the time and freedom to think, plan and focus – while

the more mundane, repeatable activities are done for us, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Without compromise. It also helps to relieve the pressure on organizations that need to deliver more, with less. Similar technologies act as a certified Silo Buster, bridging the gaps between corporate – or intercorporate – processes and systems, without intruding upon them. It’s one of the most straightforward, resource-saving ways to bring innovation to organizations: through up-cycling what is already there, rather than buying or building solutions from scratch. Add some next generation application services to the mix (see for example Mesh Up Your Applications), and any process is just an API call away.

Finally, as a pièce de résistance, the powerful cognitive capabilities of artificial intelligence increasingly enter the arena of process automation and management. They challenge what we used to consider as a given, replacing inflexible, human-dependent processes with powerful reasoning systems. These systems adjust to whatever situation occurs, anticipating next best actions and resources required in real-time. And while learning from what works, they increasingly become hands- and care-free, bringing organizations – and its people – on the road towards a no-touch, frictionless enterprise. Pretty fly, no?

Manuel Sevilla Expert in Residence

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