Delivering Business Value

Business Process Automation – Are we losing control?

The extensive capabilities of computers has allowed many business processes to be automated.  While automation may reduce manual labor costs, it can have a wide variety of unintended consequences.

A manual process can be observed, evaluated, determined to be efficient or flawed and easily changed or improved.  An automated process cannot easily be observed and evaluated.  Many of the documented business processes simply describe how a person interacts with a computer.  The people have no idea why or how the computer arrives at the decision or output and they have a limited understanding of the automated decision processes.  They become slaves to the computer and do not question the accuracy or logic of the automated processes.

Automating a business process should not shield the users from the process.   It is important for the users to understand the decision logic in their applications and even to question the results.  Just because a computer produced the output doesn’t make it accurate or true!

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