Automating information governance

Every organization’s digital transformation strategy must include business process automation (BPA). Executives want things completed more quickly, more accurately, and less costly. The majority of employees do not enjoy doing paperwork and other administrative labour. Not only that, but the process automation technology also needs to be compatible with the mobile workforce of the twenty-first century. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that over 40% now regularly work from home. With the knowledge that work time will be spent outside of the typical workplace, offices and processes are being redesigned. People now expect to begin or participate in processes on any device in the office, at home, or while travelling because smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices have supplanted PCs. The rapid development of cloud technologies and the consumerization of IT have permanently altered perceptions of the software used in the workplace. Long implementations and training processes, as well as complicated user interfaces, are no longer acceptable. 

There is no question that automating business processes helps an organisation succeed; after all, every business is built on its people and its processes. If a company wants to expand and prosper rather than merely get by, process automation in accounts payable, marketing, sales, customer support, and human resources is crucial. Automation lessens the need for human intervention, which streamlines and standardises procedures. Additionally, errors are decreased, expenses are decreased, and the company becomes more nimble. 

Organizations can choose from a wide range of process automation technologies, such as Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, workflow platforms, and Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS). Budgetary constraints and organisational needs will determine the best course of action. No matter whether technology is used, adequate information governance (IG) must be taken into account. 

Records management, information security, and compliance are all included in information governance. Extraction of value from information should be balanced with lowering information’s potential risks. Business process automation facilitates the effective and efficient use of information, but when solutions are chosen, the potential risk is frequently ignored. 

Key points to determine: 

  • Are information access and process audit logs available? 
  • Is sensitive data encrypted both in transit and at rest? 
  • Will the retention policy of your organisation be followed? 

The requirements of information governance and process automation must coincide. The good news is that there are a lot of businesses that offer business process outsourcing and business process automation technology, and they are reacting to this market need. These solutions are becoming more reasonably priced due to competition, the quick uptake of cloud technologies, and the low cost of digital storage. Consider these criteria when firms search for the best business process automation solution for their requirements:

  • Design that is intuitive – Adoption will suffer and rollout will be slow if a product is difficult to use. Businesses want to see a return on their investment as soon as feasible. 
  • Extensibility – Trying to implement a solution simultaneously across numerous departments can be costly and time-consuming. Start with the area that will benefit most from process automation, and make sure the platform is adaptable enough to handle various task streams. Business process automation is becoming more and more common in two areas: accounts payable and human resources. The requirements and procedures will, however, differ greatly. 
  • Mobile: Information cannot satisfy the needs of the modern workforce if it cannot be accessed on any device. 
  • Regular improvements – Technology is developing quickly. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the rise, and they have the potential to advance workflows. Without involving a human, documents can be categorised and routed, and data can be extracted and given to the right systems. 
  • Compliance – Data should be kept around in accordance with a company’s retention policy. All user activity must have audit logs. It shouldn’t be difficult to respond to an audit or to perform a self-audit. 
  • We’ve all read the news stories concerning security lapses. A security checklist should include encryption, two-factor authentication, single sign-on, password complexity, and expiration, to name just a few items. Any technology you choose needs to undergo a SOC or ISO audit every year. 

Automation of business processes and effective information governance are interdependent and must coexist. A strategy for digital transformation that excludes either is incomplete.