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Challenges to Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation (BPA) is the use of technology to complete business activities with little to no human intervention (Malak, 2022). BPA efficiently performs manual and repetitive tasks, enabling employees of a company to shift their focus to more skill-centred tasks. BPA is the stepping stone to an effective “digital transformation strategy” and is vital to remain competitive and flexible in the current market. However, many companies have not stepped up to the plate. 

78% of respondents state that BPA is presently not a top “priority” within their companies, even though there are a variety of factors that are hindering the successful adoption of BPA in companies (Camunda, 2022). 

We discuss the challenges companies are facing with the adoption of BPA:

1. Consolidating BPA with legacy systems

Malak (2023) explains that implementing BPA requires a successful integration between the automation software and a business’s programs in order to fulfill the “process cycle”. This often becomes a challenge with businesses that employ legacy systems as these applications are not capable of supporting the required integration. 

According to a study by Camunda (2022), 78% of respondents identify “outmoded technology” as a hindering factor for implementing BPA. 

Del Vecchio (2021) encourages businesses to make use of “cloud-based solutions” for their business applications, as this provides a “scalable” and “flexible infrastructure” for companies to integrate with BPA software. Malak (2023), however, warns IT leaders to wait before choosing a BPA solution and to first investigate which of their business’s current systems have the necessary capabilities to integrate with a BPA software.

2. Understanding where to begin

According to Freund (2022), 75% of IT leaders are unsure of how to start implementing BPA solutions. This can be caused by a company having a myriad of processes that could be automated, as well as conflicting “stakeholder opinions” that may lead to lengthy delays. Malak (2023) explains that the difficulty in selecting the right process to implement automation originates from organizations’ lack of understanding of their current manually driven processes.

3. Lack of budget

Insufficient funds can hinder companies from beginning their digital transformation journey with BPA, ultimately negatively impacting their ability to compete and remain flexible in the market (Malak, 2023). .According to a study by Camunda (2022), 75% of respondents state that many businesses often do not have the initial capital needed to invest in BPA. Malak (2023) explains that other than the cost associated with the implementation of BPA, companies also need to invest in training their staff to take advantage of the BPA software.

References:

Camunda (ed.) (2022) in State of Process Automation Report 2022. Camunda, pp. 6. Available at: https://camunda.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/WP-StateOfProcessAutomation2022-FIN-en.pdf. 

Del Vecchio, L. (2021) The Challenges of Business Process Automation And How To Face Them, Planergy. Planergy. Available at: https://planergy.com/blog/challenges-of-business-process-automation/. 

Freund, J. (2022) Top 3 Process Automation Challenges (and How to Solve Them), Dataversity. Dataversity. Available at: https://www.dataversity.net/top-3-process-automation-challenges-and-how-to-solve-them/. 

Malak, H.A. (2023) 11 Proven Business Process Automation Challenges, The ECM Consultant. The ECM Consultant. Available at: https://theecmconsultant.com/business-process-automation-challenges/. 

Malak, H.A. (2022) What is Business Process Automation? The Complete Guide, The ECM Consultant. The ECM Consultant. Available at: https://theecmconsultant.com/what-is-business-process-automation/.

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