Everything You Need To Know About Digital Process Automation

Sindhu Bharathi

Senior Writer:

green tickReading Time: 9 Minutes
green tickPublished : January 27, 2023

With an increase in the penetration of digital technologies, organizations are leveraging automation abilities to enhance their efficiency and minimize operating costs. As a result, there is a huge scope for automating workflow patterns and business processes. Businesses can no longer afford to spend on mundane, time-consuming tasks in the highly competitive landscape. A Mckinsey study shows how CEOs spend 20% of their time performing tasks that could otherwise be automated. 

In this era, ideally, no business can optimize or streamline its processes without automating them. Digital process automation is a successor to Business Process Management (BPM).  In this blog, we will discuss in detail the following: 

  • What is digital process automation?
  • Why do businesses need digital process automation?
  • Digital Process Automation (DPA) vs. Business Process Management(BPM) 
  • Digital Process Automation (DPA) vs. Robotic Process automation(RPA) 
  • Benefits of digital process automation
  • How to implement digital process automation?

What is Digital Process Automation?

Digital process automation refers to the approach of automating the menial parts of the business processes using digital technologies. It helps improve business efficiency by reducing the time and effort invested in manual tasks. 

Digital process automation essentially reduces human errors, improves accuracy, and speeds up the workflow in sales, marketing, IT, manufacturing, etc. Beyond, it can also optimize customer journeys. This way, the manual workforce can be employed to perform other core functions. It also minimizes employee burnout that results from doing repetitive, manial tasks to a greater extent.

 What is Digital Process Automation?Source

Following are some of the important features of digital process automation. 

  • Automates customer journeys and tasks
  • Ensure that there is transparency throughout
  • Triggers notifications and periodic reminders
  • Results in a collaborative environment 

When Do You Need Digital Process Automation?

Product development journeys are dictated by iterative exploration and experimentation steps. Automation helps accelerate these steps while also helping product teams save on cost and time. 

For example, if a company launches a new product and the digital process automation shows that the product is well received by the customers, the team shall accelerate its efforts. Otherwise, if the product is not gaining the desired traction, the team shall quickly work on the next iteration or abandon the product. 

When do you need Digital Process Automation?Source

As companies can read customer responses faster, their responsiveness to customer feedback can be aligned better. Furthermore, it lets such companies work on building features and functionalities from the lens of the customer. This enhances their odds of success and businesses are naturally motivated to take greater risks regarding product innovation, design, and development. 

Digital Process Automation Vs. Business Process Management (DPA Vs. BPM)

Way back in the ’90s, enterprises increasingly depended on Business Process Management (BPM) to streamline their workflow and keep their operating costs in check. Digital process automation is the successor of Business Process Management, and both use similar technologies and implementation strategies. 

The key difference lies in the fact that Business Process Management helps organizations cut down their costs and enhance employee productivity. It sheds focus on processes in the back end. On the other hand, digital process automation is aimed at enhancing customer experiences and bringing about digital transformation and technology-led innovations. 

As organizations increasingly leveraged BPM strategies and functionalities to reduce costs, it became natural for them to focus on enhancing customer experience and so DPM gained attention. 

DPA vs. BPMSource

The former focuses more on automating just the back-end processes, while Digital process automation focuses on end-to-end automation and work transformation. With the latter, even a not-so-technically sound employee gets to enjoy the fruits of automation. 

In terms of features, the following differentiates the two: 

  • DPA uses low-code application platforms than BPM
  • AI and tech-led innovation is the key component of DPA
  • There is a greater emphasis on customer experiences and response. 

So, to ensure sustainability and relevance in the competitive landscape, it is important that businesses focus on incorporating digital process automation on a broad scale. 

Digital Process Automation Vs. Robotic Process Automation (DPA Vs. RPA)

Beyond BPM, digital Process Automation is also used in exchange for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Both RPA and DPA are used to enhance customer experiences. 

As the name suggests, Robotic Process Automation leverages the abilities of software robots to automate repeatable tasks. RPA essentially imitates the way we human beings use software applications and intends to replace human intervention in workflows and business processes.  On the other hand, the objective of DPA is not to replace humans fully. 

DPA vs. RPASource

RPA can be put to use for the above listed applications that are currently being used by organizations. On the other hand, DPA should is coded. The process of integrating the low-code development platform also takes longer than RPA. 

Benefits of Digital Process Automation (DPA)

Digital process automation can help organizations streamline workflows and gain an instant competitive advantage. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Achieve digital transformation 

Digital process automation is the key to transforming your business and reaping the real fruits of innovation and creativity. You might have the best website in the industry in terms of features and functionalities. But, when it does not respond well to a customer request, you are at risk of losing a valuable customer. 

Digital process automation is the key to achieving digital transformation in a business, thereby personalized customer experiences. Low code platforms that are a key feature of DPA help organizations bring about their digital transformation at an accelerated pace. This way, organizations can move ahead from their traditional means of engaging customers and instead explore multiple channels to reach them.

Benefits of DPASource

2. Saves time 

DPA automates hundreds of manual tasks performed in an organization. This way, the employees get more time to spend that they can invest in performing other innovative tasks, valuable activities, and core tasks. For example, when you automate customer onboarding, the employee can work on enhancing the customer onboarding journey instead of spending time actually onboarding the customer. 

3. Reduce operational costs

With improved customer experiences, businesses can achieve cost reduction on a significant scale. Automating workflows and business processes enhance employee productivity which in turn helps the business save more. A Mckinsey study shows that around 60% to 80% of tasks in finance and HR are automatable, and this helps businesses save at least 30% of the costs. 

4. Better accuracy 

No matter what, human activities are highly probable to errors. More so when they do menial jobs repeatedly. As digital process automation helps automate several repetitive tasks, businesses can minimize errors and achieve higher accuracy.  

Accuracy in DPASource

5. Add a layer of agility to legacy systems.

A lot of times, organizations postpone digital transformation in fear of replacing legacy systems. Digital process automation helps such businesses by adding a process-centric layer over the legacy systems to enhance employee productivity. This empowers them with the ability and time to focus on enhancing the customer journey and satisfaction. 

When it comes to Digital process automation, businesses add a layer of agility to the legacy systems without essentially replacing or losing any of them. 

6. Adaptability 

To stay relevant in the highly competitive market scape, organizations must have the ability to decipher customer journeys, design, develop, and launch new solutions, and scale them to solve the pain points of the customers. By undertaking Digital process automation, businesses shall minimize the time they invest in not-so-critical tasks and instead focus on scaling their solutions at a greater speed.

7. Technological evolutions

Today, technology is evolving at a pace greater than ever. By undertaking Digital process automation, businesses get the cost and time to invest in accelerating their evolution and gaining a competitive advantage to stay ahead of others in the industry.

Features To Look at While Choosing a Digital Process Automation Software

When it comes to Digital process automation, choosing the right Digital process automation software tool is the key. They deliver automation solutions to help organizations build desirable applications to streamline their workflow. 

Following are some of the features that you must check for when it comes to choosing a Digital process automation software. 

  • Ability to deliver robotic and automation abilities.
  • Undertake comprehensive, end-end application and case management abilities
  • Offer low code application platform and related features
  • Intuitiveness and configurability of the visual interface and dashboard. 
  • Level of technical know-how needed to use the interface effectively
  • Scale and level of intelligent process automation abilities. 
  • Ability to define and change rules that control business processes. 

How To Successfully Implement DPA in 4 Steps?

The following section presents an outline of steps that organizations commonly pursue to achieve a successful implementation of DPA. 

 How to implement DPA?Source

Step 1: Identify scope for automation

The first step in implementing Digital process automation is to understand the opportunities that exist in the system for automation. The managers and team leaders should spend their time and effort on spotting processes that have a higher scope for automation. 

Step 2: Coordinate with IT 

After identifying the opportunities to automate, the finance, sales, and production teams should coordinate with the IT team. This would help them evaluate whether the process demands using DPA or RPA

Step 3:Ensure governance 

A lot of times, organizations are reluctant to put forth automation due to the fear of security breaches and compliance issues. So, when it comes to DPA, the IT teams should work alongside the security, privacy, and compliance management teams to identify risks and work out mitigation strategies. 

Step 4: Start small and scale. 

Initially, it is recommended that the teams undertake DPA on a small scale to automate simple processes and steps. This way, they get more space to experiment and explore to understand the real potential of DPA. Once they deliver ROI and businesses gain confidence in the system, they shall work on a broader scope to scale DPA across the organization. 

Digital Process Automation Examples

A lot of business processes that require human interaction with users and customers can be automated for a greater experience. Following are some Digital process automation examples

1. Customer Onboarding 

Onboarding customers through manual methods exhaust both the employees and the customers as they have to go through an extensive process of collecting their information, documentation, orientation, etc.

 Customer onboarding processSource

With DPA, businesses can automate a majority of these steps, making onboarding an exciting journey for both customers and employees. Automation improves workflows and removes bottlenecks in the process while ensuring accuracy and quicker onboarding than otherwise. 

2. Loan and Credit Approval 

When it comes to loans and credit approvals, documenting customer information and evaluating their creditworthiness is a cumbersome task. This consumes a significant portion of business time and cost when performed manually. With greater chances for delays and inaccuracies in manual processes, lending institutions are at a relatively greater risk. 

Loan and credit approval processSource

By automating and streamlining the end-to-end lending process, such institutions can mitigate the overall risk while also improving their overall efficiency and accuracy. Automated credit scoring helps automate the process of evaluating the financial status and health of the borrower. Automation also helps organizations accelerate the process, so they get to evaluate high volumes of applications in a shorter time span. 

Timely approvals and continuous compliance monitoring reduce business costs and the risk involved. As approvals become more efficient, borrowers get the best of deals, and for lending institutions, loan applications are processed at greater speeds, and credit is offered to borrowers with a healthy financial status. 

3. Purchase Orders 

Preparing and processing purchase orders are time-consuming as they have to go through multiple approvals. Delays impact the productivity and efficiency of businesses. Using DPA, purchase order processing can be streamlined and accelerated. Upon submission of a purchase order, the DPA notifies the relevant authority. Once approved, it also notifies the person who placed the request. Timely approvals achieved through DPA reduce the delay in the process and enhance overall business productivity. 

 Purchase Order Process FlowsSource

4. Transportation and Logistics 

A majority of tasks handled by logistics companies are time-consuming, repetitive, and labor-intensive. From invoice generation and shipment tracking to scheduling deliveries and solving disputes, there exists a huge scope for automation. When these processes are performed manually, there exists room for errors and inefficiencies, which in turn impacts the business revenue and sustainability. 

DPA helps optimize such repetitive tasks and streamline the process flows. Beyond, it enhances customer satisfaction and accelerates business growth

Transport and logistics DPASource

Final Notes

To achieve a digital transformation for your business, Digital process automation is the key. As explained earlier, you don’t have to start automating on a massive scale or replace legacy systems. An effective approach would be to start working on data automation to enhance efficiency. 

Choose the right software to automate that process and set KPIs. This helps managers understand the potential of DPA, and once they witness the RoI, they shall work on automating other processes with greater confidence. Identifying and picking the right Digital process automation software is the key. When DPA tools are combined with AI, ML, or RPA, businesses can build more sophisticated business flows. 

Digital Process Automation FAQ's

An effective approach to automating your digital process would be to go one step at a time. Start off with a single, critical process. Pick the right automation software to achieve your goals. Set KPIs and evaluate the results. Once you start seeing results, you can scale automation across other processes in the organization.

Digital Process Automation (DPA) is a logical extension of the BPM. While Business Process Management (BPM) helps organizations streamline employee workflows, Digital process automation extends the focus to cover customer journeys.

When software testing is done manually, it requires a human to enter test data and execute steps. Automating the process helps automate the entire testing, from entering the data to comparing results and generating reports.

Power Automate is used in applications through API connectors. Beyond the API connectors, software experts can also create custom connectors. When you use DPA in Power Automate, you get the opportunity to access data using connectors without writing the code.

Digital process automation strategy is about identifying critical processes for automation, determining the KPIs, picking up the right Digital process automation software solutions, and measuring the effectiveness of the process so you can make changes if needed.

Updated : January 27, 2023

subscribe image
Let’s Stay in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter & never miss our latest news and promotions.

people subscribed +21K people have already subscribed
Share This