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Role of process mining in digital transformation

The importance of digital transformation has been acknowledged as being of immense importance in safeguarding an organization’s competitiveness and growth. Indeed, organizations have increasingly recognized the potential for streamlining their operations and enhancing efficiency.

Digital transformation involves the use of technology in creating new, and modifying current, business processes, customer experiences and cultures to meet the requirements of a dynamic market. Transformation goes beyond conventional roles such as customer service, sales, and marketing, but revolves around how entities perceive and engage with their customers. Businesses that are not prepared for or incapable of undertaking digital transformation are likely to become less competitive.

As with any form of change, digital transformation requires careful management to ensure the successful implementation of the change. The main challenge is determining where the new technologies can be deployed, what processes are ready for transformation, what needs to be automated, and which projects promise the highest RoI for the business.

Key among the resources that may be tapped for such endeavors is process mining, an analytical approach to discovering and enhancing business processes via the use of readily available event logs extracted from information systems, which results in a visual representation of the actual process. This comes in handy in helping organizations adapt quickly through persistent data analysis and the development of insights that can drive value. Processes are increasingly becoming a major differentiator in an environment where efficiency and speed of workflow will determine whether an entity survives, or secures new business. Process mining can assist an organization in discovering, improving, and monitoring processes. It enhances competitiveness through a better understanding of internal processes and applying the insights to identify process enhancement opportunities.

Process mining makes use of event data to gain insight into operations, check for conformance pertaining to predefined process models, and enhance models using information pertaining to resource usage, bottlenecks, and decisions. Process mining does not concentrate strictly on process management and instead provides a transparent, holistic perspective of all the organization’s activities, ultimately creating a dynamic system that could reflect modifications in real time. This ensures that businesses have the opportunity to incorporate data from other sources, proactively mitigating the risks from components in transit. When provided with the data, process mining could evolve into a laboratory to explore areas in which hypotheses are tested and forecasts are sharpened.

Process mining also assists in enhancing automation, especially via the Internet of Things (IoT), and intelligent automation (IA). Process analytics capabilities allow business users to prioritize IoT and IA solutions alongside their economic impacts through blending operational system data to offer full visibility of the actions that a user takes at every stage of the business process. Advanced process mining capabilities can capture real-time information from every other system within an entity and use the information in defining the activity. This ensures that the most repeatable patterns within a manual activity are detected and automated, decreasing dependency on labor-intensive processes and allowing robots to function in an efficient and effective manner.

Process maps could increase operational excellence by imbuing new techniques and approaches that maximize the current processes. Process maps effectively allow for process discovery, assisting organizations in visualizing the reality of their business processes. They can achieve this through an examination of the electronic footprint incorporated in various IT systems, with the process mining software using the structured data to generate process models that allow for more in-depth comprehension. This means that the data logged during the normal process execution would allow for the creation of process maps that incorporate the nuances pertaining to the process, its variants and statistical information. This ensures speedy and cost-effective process delivery that eliminates the need to use interviews to piece together the process. Process maps eliminate the potential for human error and assist in unearthing unusual transactions, as well as the identification of new opportunities that could enhance the operations of an enterprise.

Process maps could ensure full transparency, giving managers the ability to visualize actual process flows in real time. They support each of the workflow’s systems such as Salesforce, Oracle and SAP to deliver snapshots of variations in performance, capture digital footprints, and visualize processes. The digital workflow traces may then be examined and reconstructed, with source systems being connected, and data being transformed into event logs to allow for real-time connections. This ensures conformance, tracking of metrics, automation of tasks, and continuous benchmarking, allowing proactive process interventions.

In conclusion, process mining will be an effective way of allowing organizations to implement digital transformation. It would streamline processes, reduce errors, and allow for enhanced transparency of the processes through visualization, all for the organization’s benefit.

The views or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Isla Lipana & Co. The content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for specific advice.

Jan Brian Despi is a manager at the Digital Solutions Development of Isla Lipana & Co., the Philippine member firm of the PwC network.

+63 (2) 8845-2728

jan.brian.despi@pwc.com

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