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Transformer

Issue 18 2018

For all the talk of digital transformation, the focus is often around the technology components - cloud, IoT, AI - and how it will enable all manner of business benefits.
Sometimes there might be mention of the importance of culture in this whole journey.
But it seems the conversation rarely talks about business processes, and their management and integration into the digital world. And that needs addressing.

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Business process management is an established field, which sprang up to improve efficiencies and profitability. It's an area most CIOs will have had some interaction with before. But it's an area that the CIO will need to get a lot more in touch with as we travel the journey of digital transformation. Business processes are a vital component to get to grips with on this journey. The CIO, who's playing a leading role in guiding their organisation through digital transformation, will need to become a lot more familiar with business processes.

How does the CIO integrate traditional processes into the cloud environment? And how does the CIO align with the business to guide business process creation, management and automation in a digital world? How important is enabling certain parts of the business to automate their own processes?

But business processes are already undergoing their own digital transformation as automation and AI start to make their presence felt. There's a whole wealth of terms, and supporting acronyms, from digital process automation to robotic process automation and intelligent process automation.

Many business processes traverse an organisation, often leaving IT as the best placed function to map them and automate them. However, this raises an age-old issue, namely IT and business alignment. How does the CIO engage with the business to ensure that processes in the new digital world work for the business' requirements? Collaboration and, of course, constant improvement are key.

In this edition of Transformer, we look at the field of business process management and its intersection with digital transformation. One aspect that crops up repeatedly is the place of the customer when designing and improving business processes. As I mentioned earlier, digital transformation also impacts an organisation's culture, and customer-centricity is a core principle of that. This becomes increasingly evident, and should be kept in mind.

I hope you find the stories in this edition interesting and useful.





Ulrike Weitz
Editor
uweitz@microsoft.com


Ulrike Weitz
Editor

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