Sandy Kemsley’s Vlog - Future-Proofing Your Business With BPM
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Future-Proofing Your Business With BPM

By Sandy Kemsley

Video Time: 8 Minutes

Hi, I’m Sandy Kemsley of I’m here for the Trisotech blog with a new topic now that we’ve finished my series on best practices in business automation application development. Today, I’m going to talk about future proofing your business with process automation technologies such as BPM.

Now, a little over three years ago, everything was business as usual. Organizations were focused on new competitors, new business models, new regulations, but it wasn’t a particularly disruptive time. Then the pandemic happened, and that was disruptive! So, supply chains, customers, business models, everything changed dramatically in some cases.

Now, that’s not news of course not by now, but it’s become obvious that it’s not enough to have shifted to some new way of doing things in a response to a one-time event. Companies have to become more easily adaptable to frequent disruptions, whether they’re technological, societal or environmental, or they’re just not going to exist anymore. In many cases this means modernizing the very technological infrastructure that supports businesses.

So how is your business going to adopt a change? Both the changes that have already happened and the unknown changes in the future? There’s a lot that falls under the umbrella of modernization, and you need to look at whether you’re doing just enough to survive or if you’re taking advantage of this disruption to thrive and actually outgrow your competition.

I see three ways that companies have been reacting to disruption:


So you can support your existing business which is basically adding the minimum amount of technology to do the same things that you were doing before. This is purely a survival model, but if you have a unique product or service or very loyal customers, that might be enough for you.


You can improve your business by offering the same products or services but in a much better way. This will give you better resilience to future disruptions, it improves customer satisfaction and it shifts you from just surviving to thriving.


You can innovate to expand the products and services that you offer or move into completely new markets. This is going to let you LeapFrog your competition and truly thrive not just as we emerge from the pandemic, but in any sort of future disruption that we might have.

more than
managing your business processes

So I mentioned BPM, but this is about more than just managing your business processes. There’s a wide variety of technologies that come into play here and that really support future proofing of your business: process and decision automation, intelligent analysis with machine learning and AI, content and capture, customer interactions with intelligent chatbots, and Cloud infrastructure for Access anywhere anytime…

So you have to look at how to bring all of those together, and just understanding how all those fit, is like an entire day’s lecture all in one, but you probably have a bunch of those that you’re using already. Let’s look at a few kind of examples of this support/improve/innovate spectrum that I’ve been talking about though and we’re dealing with instruction and then just what it means for future proofing your business. So, supporting your existing business, a matter of just doing what you can to survive, and hoping that either you can keep up or that things will go back to normal. Now basically you’re doing the same business that you always were, but with maybe a bit of new technology to support some new ways of doing things:

  • Your employees might be working from home so you needed some new Cloud technology or Network Technology to help with this.
  • You probably also need some new management techniques, in order to stay productive and motivated even though your your Workforce is highly distributed geographically.
  • You also need to handle changing customer expectations. So you have to have some amount of digital interactions and if you’re dealing with physical goods you might be looking at new ways of handling delivery.
  • Your supply chain processes need to become flexible, this is one of the things that we really saw during the pandemic is there were a lot of broken supply chains, so you want to be able to change suppliers or change other channels in the event of disruption.

But let’s just go a little bit beyond surviving disruption that you might do by sort of mandating together something to support your existing model. The next step to is to look at disruption as an opportunity to thrive. So you want to still be in the same business but embrace new technologies and new ways of doing things. So this really pushes further into looking at customer expectations: adding in self-serve options if you don’t already have them, and then coupling that with intelligent automation of processes and decisions. So, once you’ve added intelligence to your business operations to let them be done mostly without human intervention, now a customer can kick off a transaction through self-service and see a complete almost immediately by intelligent automation, same business – better way to do it, more efficient, faster, more accurate, better customer satisfaction.

Now, this is also going to be helped by having proper business metrics that are oriented towards your business goals. With more automation data is going to be captured directly,, regarding how your operation is working, and then that’s going to feed directly into the metrics. Those metrics then you can use to guide knowledge workers so that they know what they should be doing next. Also to understand how customer satisfaction is and how you can improve it.

So this lets you move past your competition, while keeping your previous business focus. So given that there’s two companies, you and your competitors, who are offering the same products or Services if one does only that survival support that I talked about previously and one does more intelligent improvements focused on customer satisfaction, who do you think is going to win?

Now, the third stage of responding to disruption and adapting to change is innovation. You’ll continue to do process and operational improvements through performance monitoring, data-driven analytics, but also move into completely new business models. So maybe you repackage your products or services and then you sell them to completely different markets, so you might move from commercial to Consumer markets or vice versa or you sell into different geography or different industries because now you have more intelligent processes you have this always-on elastic infrastructure. Here again, you’re just moving past your competition by not only improving your business but actually expanding into new markets, taking on new business models that are supported by this technology-based Innovation.

So it’s the right application of technology that lets you do more types of business and more volume without increasing your employee headcount. Without automation and flexible processes you just couldn’t do that, and without data-driven analytics you wouldn’t have any understanding of the impact that such a change would have on your business or whether you should even try it. So you need to have all of that: you need to have the the data that supports the analytics and you need to have the right type of technology that you’re applying to have more intelligent operations business operations, and this was going to allow you to move from just surviving to thriving to innovation.

Now, a lot of change here. The question that all of you need to be asking yourself now is not is this the new normal but really why weren’t we doing things this way before? There’s just a lot of better ways that we could be doing things and we’re now being pushed to take those things on.

That’s all for today. Next month I’m going to be attending the academic BPM conference in the Netherlands, and there’s always some cool new ideas that come up so watch for my reports from over there!

You can find more of my writing and videos on the Trisotech blog or on my own blog at See you next time.

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