Rethinking business processes in the digital age - Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayBusiness goals have changed little over the last decade. What has changed since the beginning of the pandemic is how organisations can achieve those goals. Organisations are looking to transform their businesses using digital technology. Core to these changes is process transformation, optimisation and personalisation. But how can companies deliver that and what does good look like? Gregor Joeris, CTO of SER Group, explores the potential.

All organisations need to keep reviewing, refining and even reinventing their business processes as the world changes. Customers’ needs are changing all the time, requiring an agile response from the companies that serve them. Businesses must adapt to other broader changes in the market, such as the pandemic’s impact on supply/demand and buyer behaviour. Disruptive forces are never far away, either. Somewhere, right now, a rival could be setting a higher bar for employee or customer experiences, raising market expectations.

This strategic perspective, alongside operational considerations linked to cost efficiency, productivity and compliance, is a major factor in enterprise digital transformation initiatives today. But it can be difficult to deliver the desired outcomes if business processes and supporting content are not managed in a seamlessly interlinked and intelligent way. When it comes to information and processes, companies must evolve from operating a system of records to creating a system of understanding if they are to keep pace with change.

Taking the pain out of insurance claims handling

Take insurance claims handling. It is both a resource-intensive activity and needs to be managed efficiently to ensure a positive customer experience. It’s also the kind of activity that service providers would love to automate. How? They need to find a way to more seamlessly sort routine from more complex claims. This would enable them to treat each case in the most effective and efficient way.

As long as users have to switch between different IT systems and screens to inform their next action, the scope for bold new process efficiencies and for better experiences will be restricted. Being able to manage business processes and supporting content together via the same platform would enable teams to innovate in a range of ways. This might involve using content sentiment analysis to help prioritise responses to angry or anxious customers, for instance. Another innovation would be to provide facilities for clients to upload their own claims forms, photos and other evidence to accelerate processing.

The teams currently handling claims workloads will have a strong grasp of relative case complexity, who the subject experts are, and how those people’s time is best spent. It follows that these users are the ideal people to adapt and hone case management processes.

It’s this kind of adaptive scenario businesses should be aiming for – rather than one in which they try to specify the ultimate new process up front, and build this rigidly into everyday operations for the next five years. In such a situation, needs will undoubtedly change, and new service options will come to the fore.

The ideal is to stay flexible. Provide strong but malleable parameters that the business can adapt as needed, because there will always be change.

Transforming contract management & compliance

Consider current approaches to contract management. A more integrated and intelligent approach to managing processes and content makes it possible both to tighten and streamline compliance, security and information governance, and to manage contracts and supplier relationships in a smarter and more strategic way. This involves linking contracts to supplier records, timelines and cost/value analytics, to inform process automation/contact prioritisation/business planning.

Banks and financial services providers also recognise the potential to combine agreements with their own customisable intelligence to manage new and enhanced regulations around the retention and management of data. These requirements might otherwise tie up teams for months. Using intelligent content analytics and extraction would allow financial organisations to perform automated analysis. This could be of their loan agreements, for instance, storing a set of metadata for each one – as stipulated by regulators.

Laying the groundwork

Laying the foundations for next-generation business process management must start with a platform that can link processes and relevant content and deliver them to the right person, in the right context, at the right time. Such a platform means users can complete tasks promptly, confidently and efficiently.

Where legacy investments are holding back transformation, consider a solution that preserves the value of ERP or CRM systems via direct integration. This will enable the rich data in these systems to be put to extended business use. Content federation (using virtual/external information objects to create a 360° view of diverse information stored across ERP, CRM systems and more) and intelligent information management provide a path forward here. Such an approach allows content from other line-of-business applications to be brought into play. It could even provide an initial step to eventual system consolidation, keeping the business’s options open.

Whichever way businesses look at it, a bold new future demands a fresh and more holistic approach to process transformation.

For a fuller discussion of the opportunities for holistic BPM/ECM transformation, SER Group has produced a comprehensive guide which is available for download from its web site.

Ser Group LogoThe SER Group is a leading software vendor for intelligent information management solutions based on its content services platform, Doxis4. Over five million users work every day with Doxis4. Based on unified ECM, BPM, collaboration and cognitive services, large companies, corporations, public authorities and organizations design digital solutions for intelligent information and process management. With 35 years of experience, the SER Group’s team of 550 employees works from 22 locations around the globe.


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