Process automation solutions are software applications that are built to automate business workflows and tasks. These solutions help businesses improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.

There are many different types of process automation solutions available. Some are designed for specific industries, such as healthcare or manufacturing, while other solutions are more general-purpose and can be used in a variety of industries.

Here are the top five key capabilities that Process Automation solutions should address:

#1 – The ability to automate diverse processes

Some process automation solutions are designed to manage specific types of workflows, such as customer onboarding, claim management, order processing or customer service. Other solutions are more flexible and can automate wider range of business processes that support Linear (structured), Dynamic (semi-structured) or Ad-hoc (unstructured) workflows. A typical example of an ad-hoc/non-linear workflow could be an investigation type use case, where the major milestones are the same but individual tasks depend on the unique needs of the investigation. In these situations a simple (non-dynamic) workflow engine cannot be an effective solution.

#2 – The level and sophistication of automation 

Certain solutions automate only the most basic/simple tasks, while others can automate more complex processes. More complex business processes may require processing dynamic data inputs and complicated variables to advance the workflow, as is often required in real-time decision-making.

#3 – The degree and openness of integration

Process automation solutions are designed to integrate with existing systems and processes, while others are more standalone. In many cases, automation solutions require real-time integrations with multiple source systems to fetch or push data through standard APIs. The flexibility and ease of use of these APIs could make the system more productive. A clear sign of a great platform is one that can support integrations to both popular systems and custom ones.

#4 – The level of support

Deploying and adopting a Process Automation system is just the first step. Business processes change frequently (to follow customer demands and new product developments), so your system must be flexible to support these changes without heavy IT involvement. If you can implement these changes by yourself, you can significantly reduce cost by avoiding both vendor lock-in and dependency on your IT department.

#5 – The total cost of ownership

Process automation solutions can range in price from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, some of them are also available through a subscription model that allows you to pay as you grow. Public Cloud hosted solutions that also include support and maintenance can give you the flexibility to jumpstart with the lowest possible entry cost while also supporting your dynamic scaling needs.  

The best process automation solution for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you are not sure which solution is right for you, it is a good idea to consult with a process automation expert.

Tibor Vass CMO of Eccentex