While process orchestration can serve as an essential element in any industry, sectors including insurance, financial services and telecommunications are taking a lead role in implementing this practice to embrace their digital transformation initiatives – here’s why, explains Amy Johnston, principal product marketing manager at Camunda .
People, process, and technology. While these three terms are the keys to a successful digital transformation, the process part of the equation has often taken on a lower priority than investments in shiny new systems and essential workplace skills.
But this is changing. More organizations are making moves to automate the processes that have been holding back their general efficiency along with their ability to deliver more worthwhile customer experiences. In the2022 State of Process Automationreport, nearly nine in 10 organizations plan to invest more in process automation over the next two years. More than 80% say the technology is higher on their organizations’ priority lists than it was a year ago.
Why is interest in process automation increasing? Part of the reason lies in the processes themselves. Processes are becoming more complex. As industries evolve and transformations become more sophisticated, one business process invariably influences and connects to many others. Processes span many different endpoints – everything from business rules to RPA bots, microservices, work done by people, and various types of legacy and homegrown systems.
This poses a challenge for today’s enterprises. To retain control over complex and interrelated processes, they need to 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 serve as an essential element in any industry, a few sectors are taking a lead role in implementing the practice. These include insurance, financial services and telecommunications.
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Insurance has arguably faced a longer road to digital transformation than any of its peers. It has struggled with outdated legacy systems and homegrown automation software that aren’t built for scale. Couple that with the industry’s inherent lack of visibility and strategic oversight, risks of key processes breaking down, a complex regulatory landscape and a growing demand for frictionless customer experiences, and insurance becomes a ripe candidate for process orchestration.
Use cases like customer onboarding, claims processing and underwriting are complex and involved. Breakdowns are commonly based on the fact that these processes bring together a wide assortment of people working in different departments. These software systems are mixed and matched over the years, and physical devices that input and manage data along the way.
An auto insurance claim illustrates the complex nature of an end-to-end process many of us take for granted. After a car accident, your first move is to call your insurance agent and explain the situation. You take a set of photos yourself. Then an underwriter comes out to photograph the cars and assess the damage. You fill out a police report and upload details through a mobile app. Back at the insurance company, a team inputs data into a software application and sends the claim out to be processed.
Each of these steps fits into a process chain that could easily break down at any point and delay the payout of the claim. Applying process orchestration, the automation chain holds together, and the claim moves along its track.
See More: How Big Data, Analytics and ML Can Transform Your Insurance Business
Financial services face many of the same challenges as insurance trying to evolve them
operations to succeed in an increasingly on-demand world. These challenges include moving off of legacy technologies, responding to the rise of cryptocurrencies, and implementing practices to deal with a complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape.
End-to-end process orchestration solutions can help financial services companies perform basic functions more quickly 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 closings of financial data.
The execution of a loan application serves as a good example of a complex financial services process in need of automation. A person starts by applying for a loan on a bank’s website. If they’re already a customer of the bank, they’re prompted to log in so that some data can be auto-filled. This could trigger an automated credit check. Based on the credit score, the application might get auto-approved or auto-rejected, or there might be a “middle road” that flags the application for review by a loan officer. The loan officer reviews and may decide to approve the loan with different conditions. The person is notified and prompted to sign some paperwork via a service like DocuSign. Final paperwork is sent, and a paper copy is sent by mail.
Disconnected processes create the following problems along an automation chain:
- Lack of end-to-end automation: Local tasks aren’t strung together, leading to breakdowns in the process.
- confusion: Stakeholders don’t have visibility into the whole end-to-end process, making it hard to manage the project and track metrics.
- Issues with flexibility: Altering the process midstream is hard to do because one change causes disruptions in other systems.
Telecom is evolving quickly as a result of consumers’ rising demand for digitization and competitive pressure from new, disruptive providers and business models. To streamline business practices, providers are automating 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 phone services. Consumers expect services to be allocated quickly, but at the back end, a lot needs to happen to identify how to provide media services’ availability. There are credit checks, security checks, engineering tasks and billing. Each requires access to databases and services and navigation through complex workflows to execute what, on the surface, may seem like a simple transaction. Payment systems need to be connected to third-party processes, and steps need to be added to handle transactions where a credit card gets declined.
Setting up automated, orchestrated processes can yield ancillary benefits. For example, telecom providers can run campaigns and micro offers. Visibility into processes enables providers to see periods where demand will fall short of supply. If they are able to provision bandwidth quickly, they can run marketing campaigns to sell services to maximize their ability to grow revenue.
While the technology and people aspects of a digital transformation are still critical to its success, organizations are starting to focus more attention on processes. Investing in automation – and coordinating the automated processes – will help them improve their efficiency and adapt to new challenges.
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