January 19, 2021
Business processes are complex and require meticulous tracking and analysis to gain important insights that hold great sway over operations. For instance, the delivery of goods to a store may seem like a simple operation, but what goes on behind it is far from simple. For the store management, staying abreast of every movement of the delivery is paramount as a delayed delivery will possibly see customers leave empty-handed, and perhaps not return. Similarly, ensuring that payments reach their destined account for goods that are ordered may again sound like a simple operation but there is considerable complexity involved especially when you consider that payments do not follow the same pathway.
With business process observability, operations can get a view of their end-to-end process flows to ensure that the complex flows are performing without technical glitches, delays and bottlenecks in order to meet their deadlines (e.g. expected delivery, clearing cutoffs for payments).
The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms now allows to predict trends allowing to better manage processes and the overall function. For example, volume anomalies based on trend allow pro-active management of the process to deal with inefficiencies and potential breaches. This also helps in better management of operational staff at various points of the processing cycle to improve efficiencies and operating costs.
This is why real-time process observability powered by AI is essential today and can be the differentiator that your business process is missing. Precise, real-time information on every minute aspect of your business processes is essential to regulate operations better and preempt bottlenecks, technical glitches, and other disruptions.
The AI/ML-powered end-to-end process flow observability across your value chain can ensure that customers receive the best service by proactively dealing with any issues and also to ensure that there are no breaches with external bodies such as regulators.
New-age businesses need future-ready process observability
Businesses have long thrived on processes that are not necessarily technological in nature. Despite the rapid expansion of the technological spectrum and the proliferation of the internet and smart devices, most business processes fail to meet the needs of the modern era. With enterprises increasingly deploying smart machines, the processes to run, regulate, and optimize them also have to keep pace with the technologies. Additionally, even for uncertainties arising from global contingencies such as the ongoing pandemic, businesses will have to stay abreast of the possible disruptions and plan resolutions before operations are impacted. Process observability offers not only steadfast monitoring and tracking but also facilitates proactive planning of contingency strategies.
For now, most enterprises struggle to either extract usable data from their touchpoints or are failing to utilize them to fine-tune their business processes. Another key process-related challenge for enterprises is siloed monitoring, which makes it very difficult for organizations to have a consolidated view of their operations. Most of the business functions have their local monitoring systems that generate localized intelligence; only that is not enough to deduce any impact that a potential breakdown might have on downstream applications. This is why end-to-end visibility of business observability is critical for all new-age enterprises.
More often than not, even if an organization is tapping into every possible touchpoint, they end up articulating the monitoring data in technical terminology only. That means you might know that an application is down but you would not know what the business impact of that inactive application is.
By leveraging AI and ML, you can now obtain a level of prediction from data to give early warnings. Automated, real-time information sharing and intelligence derived from both business and IT operations offer clarity on the exact state of the workflow and what you can do to improve it. AI and ML facilitate a standardized and accurate understanding of workflows and predict bottlenecks and challenges well in advance. This visibility enables companies to truly streamline their operations and subsequently unlock new business frontiers leveraging the efficiency gained.
What to look for?
As workforces continue to operate remotely, the importance of business process observability has grown manifold. A top-down view of the process flow and a clear focus on KPIs and SLAs are critical for real-time performance visualization. This helps in establishing the best practice for data-driven decision-making.
The business process observability solution you need should offer a granular view of process capabilities against the preset KPIs and SLAs. A future-facing business process observability and operational intelligence tool should ideally have the following distinctive features:
- Flow designs that create and store business flows and process steps
- Standardized target types that measure the impact of IT performance on business objectives
- Business schedules that set process cycles and custom calendars
- Flow performance visualization to measure real-time performances
- Real-time operational reporting and anomaly detection
- Real-time dashboard providing end-to-end visibility
- Impact drill-down and service intelligence for greater clarity on service breaks and business context
- ML-enabled algorithms to offer predictive analytics on trends
- Domain packs for templated process flows to accelerate creation and storage
- Widgets and customizable home screens for ease-of-use
Monitoring data is only one aspect of business process management tools, which, in isolation, makes data of little use. However, the key benefit of the business process observability tool is to offer context that vitalizes the collected data. When data is analyzed in context, the information you get becomes insights that you can apply to judge the health of your business and make informed decisions. Other key benefits of a comprehensive process flow observability tool include:
- Data-driven insights for business process optimization
- Timely identification of possible breaks
- Real-time, actionable insights for reduced subjectivity and manual errors
- Reduced unavailability of resources
- Improved process flow stability and service reliability
- Improved customer experience
- Improved productivity and efficiency
- Reduced cost of production and maintenance
A take on the future
The future of work and operational efficiency relies heavily on process flow observability. Opting for the right observability and intelligence tool today is the key to unlocking value tomorrow. That said, we understand your process management woes and have thus devised a process flow observability product that checks all the right boxes – DRYiCE iControl.
iControl delivers real-time business flow observability against business-relevant targets and leverages its ML engine to generate predictions based on historical data. Seven different algorithms are deployed by iControl to create data models and deploy them to identify any upcoming breaks in business processes.
To know more about iControl and to explore the value that it can create for your organization, drop us a line here.
Shakir Ladak is Chief Architect of DRYiCE iControl. He brings over 30 years of experience in investment banking having worked in Deutsche Bank, UBS, ING, NatWest and Commerzbank in various capacities up to senior management. His extensive business and technology experience allows him to combine a depth of technology with breath in business to architect and deliver solutions that are tailored to customer needs.
Shakir joined HCL Technologies in 2017 following the acquisition of Alpha Insight, a UK based Fintech company which he co-founded and was CTO for five years.