While process orchestration can be an essential element in any industry, industries such as insurance, financial services and telecommunications are leading the way in implementing this practice to embrace their digital transformation initiatives. Here’s why, explains Amy Johnston, principal product marketing manager at Camunda.
People, processes and technology. While these three terms are key to a successful digital transformation, the process part of the equation has often been given a lower priority than investing in shiny new systems and essential workplace skills.
But this is changing. More and more organizations are taking steps to automate the processes that have hindered their overall efficiency, along with their ability to deliver more valuable customer experiences. In the2022 State of process automationreport, nearly nine in ten organizations plan to invest more in process automation over the next two years. More than 80% say technology is higher on their organization’s priority list than a year ago.
Why is the interest in process automation increasing? Part of the reason lies in the processes themselves. Processes are becoming increasingly complex. As industries evolve and transformations become more sophisticated, one business process invariably influences many others. Processes span many different endpoints, from business rules to RPA bots, microservices, human work, and various types of legacy and homegrown systems.
This poses a challenge to today’s businesses. To maintain control over complex and interrelated processes, they must embrace an emerging concept called process orchestration. Process orchestration unifies and coordinates individual tasks into end-to-end processes. It enables organizations to move forward with business transformations without replacing the people, systems and devices they already have.
While process orchestration can be an essential element in any industry, a few industries play a leading role in implementing the practice. These include insurance, financial services and telecommunications.
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Insurance has arguably taken a longer path to digital transformation than any of its industry peers. It has struggled with aging legacy systems and homegrown automation software that wasn’t built for scaling. Couple that with the industry’s inherent lack of visibility and strategic oversight, the risks of key process outages, a complex regulatory landscape, and a growing demand for seamless customer experiences, and insurance becomes a ripe candidate for process orchestration.
Use cases such as customer onboarding, claims processing, and underwriting are complex and complicated. Failures are usually based on the fact that these processes bring together a wide variety of people who work in different departments. These software systems have been mixed and matched over the years, and physical devices that input and manage data as they go.
An auto insurance claim illustrates the complex nature of an end-to-end process that many of us take for granted. After a car accident, you first call your insurance agent and explain the situation. You take a set of photos yourself. Then an insurer comes out to photograph the cars and assess the damage. You fill out a police report and upload data via a mobile app. Back at the insurance company, a team enters data into a software application and sends the claim to be processed.
Each of these steps is part of a process chain that can easily break down at any time and delay the payment of the claim. By applying process orchestration, the automation chain stays together and the claim moves forward.
View more: How Big Data, Analytics and ML can transform your insurance business
Financial services face many of the same challenges that insurance is trying to develop
operations to succeed in an increasingly on-demand world. These challenges include moving away from outdated technologies, responding to the rise of cryptocurrencies, and implementing practices to cope with a complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape.
End-to-end process orchestration solutions can help financial services companies perform basic functions faster and with fewer human cycles. These include designing, managing, automating and improving customer onboarding, loan processing, payment processing, SDLC review management, ATM processing, fraud management, fund services, model reviews, trade reviews, Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, trade reviews, loan decision making and end of day financials closings.
The execution of a loan application is a good example of a complex process in the financial services industry that needs to be automated. A person starts by applying for a loan on a bank’s website. If they are already a customer of the bank, they will be asked to log in so that certain information can be filled in automatically. This may trigger an automated credit check. Based on the credit score, the application may be automatically approved or automatically rejected, or there may be a “middle ground” that marks the application for review by a loan officer. The loan officer reviews and may decide to approve the loan with different terms. The person will be notified and asked to sign some paperwork through a service such as DocuSign. The final paperwork will be sent and a paper copy will be mailed.
Disconnected processes create the following problems along an automation chain:
- Lack of end-to-end automation: Local tasks are not strung together, leading to process failures.
- Confusion: Stakeholders have no insight into the entire end-to-end process, making it difficult to manage the project and keep track of statistics.
- Flexibility issues: Changing the process in the middle is difficult because one change causes failures in other systems.
Telecom is evolving rapidly due to increasing consumer demand for digitization and competitive pressure from new, disruptive providers and business models. To streamline business practices, providers automate a wide variety of processes, including customer onboarding, order management, payment processing, complaint handling, equipment replacement, network management, customer service, and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.
For an example of process orchestration in action, consider the provision of bandwidth for cable, Internet, or telephone services. Consumers expect services to be allocated quickly, but a lot needs to happen at the back end to determine how to provide media service availability. There are credit checks, security checks, technical tasks and billing. Each requires access to databases and services and navigation through complex workflows to perform what may at first appear to be a simple transaction. Payment systems must be connected to third-party processes and steps must be added to handle transactions where a credit card is declined.
Setting up automated, orchestrated processes can provide additional benefits. For example, telecom providers can run campaigns and micro-offers. Through insight into processes, providers can see in which periods the demand will be less than the supply. If they can provide bandwidth quickly, they can run marketing campaigns to sell services, maximizing their ability to generate revenue.
While the technological and human aspects of a digital transformation are still critical to its success, organizations are starting to pay more attention to processes. By investing in automation – and coordinating the automated processes – they can improve their efficiency and adapt to new challenges.
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