Automate a mess, get an automated mess

Summary:Or alternatively, "Outsource a mess, get an outsourced mess." Pegasystems has identified what it calls the "Nine Worst Business Processes,"  presumably based on their difficulty to capture and automate.

Or alternatively, "Outsource a mess, get an outsourced mess." 

Pegasystems has identified what it calls the "Nine Worst Business Processes,"  presumably based on their difficulty to capture and automate.  While Pegasystems says its candidates are in no particular order, they assigned "compliance" the number one spot, and this likely is the ugliest of the ugly when it comes to attempting to systemize and automate processes.  Here is the list:

1) Compliance: the government says everything has to be tracked and documented. An ideal opening for automation, but where to begin? The financial folks control this, and government regulations are constantly changing anyway.

2) Opening accounts: How many places is the same customer already in your systems?

3) Event-driven marketing: How many organizations are really aware when a customer is ready to jump, and why? How many can calculate whether it's worth trying to hang on to the customer?

4) Front-office applications: The first thing customers see.  They often have to bend to the needs of front-end processes, such as forms, rather than the company bending to the customer's needs.

5) Business process outsourcing: Pegasystems says bottlenecks and pitfalls in processes have simply been exported to countries with cheaper manpower which means that companies struggle to realize anticipated savings.

6) Contingency processes: the bane of every e-business system from early EDI to the latest service-oriented architecture. There's exceptions to every set of transactions that need manual overrides, which can wash out or narrow any margins of cost savings.

7) Product configuration: Customization is nice, economies of scale are nice, but few have been able to achieve both.

8) Complaints tracking: Some customers are just too hot to handle profitably.

9) Competitive response: Business intelligence, pure and simple.


Topics: CXO


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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