Life in this world became so easy and convenient since the advent of computers and Information Technology. It seems like everything can be done in just a push of a button. Online shopping, email and instant messaging are just some of the few innovations that made a mark in people’s lives, which just goes to show people’s growing dependency in modern technology. This also became evident in business operations as the introduction of software applications to automate processes were introduced to the market to make work done in a more timely and efficient manner, thus minimizing inconsistencies and redundancies. Indeed, Business Process Automation or BPA clearly indicates the need to shift from human to computer systems and cut labor costs whenever possible. In delivering process automation, there are usually four main techniques to choose from:
(a) Extension of existing IT systems There is a need to extend functionality on most IT systems to enable desired automation. This will create customized linkages between application systems to tailor the automation specifically with the exact environment of the organization.
(b) Specialized BPA tool Many software vendors have sought the need to automate business processes and as a result, this led to the production of various software applications that promise to make life easier for both the company and its employees.
(c) Business Process Management (BPM) solution with BPA extensions Though BPM and BPA are two different business terms, it is still possible to build automation during a BPM implementation. Though BPM can provide a framework as to how processes should be carried out, this may also cause delay on process automation.
(d) Middleware solution The term middleware refers to putting various applications together to produce a more robust solution in automating business processes.