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Automate Your Way to Business Agility, Speed, and . . . the Caribbean?

Tonya Severance, Sr. Manager, Product Marketing, Appian
July 21, 2022

So far, in Parts 1 and 2 of this blog series we’ve explored how building a unified and integrated vacation plan is a lot like moving your business through the phases of successful digital transformation. In Part 1, we talked about using process mining to know where your bottlenecks and potential obstacles are, and understanding how to resolve them. In Part 2,  we walked through the steps in designing smart, efficient, and optimized workflows  to accelerate your business…and setting yourself up for an amazing Caribbean vacation.

In the third and final installment in our series, we’re going to explore a number of automation tools and the importance of using the right tool for the right automation project. Just like with our vacation, there’s a distinct benefit to having access to the right tools to ensure you have the time of your life. For now, you can think of it as an all-inclusive resort but we’ll do a deeper dive into that later.

Complete business process automation and your Caribbean vacation.

You did it! You planned your dream vacation. You’ve done the research, mitigated obstacles, planned all of the logistics and crafted an amazing itinerary for your trip. And you made it! All you want to do now is kick back on the beach and put your toes in that crystal clear water. 

But you’re hungry. And eating is one of those manual, time-consuming, but necessary tasks that requires several steps and gets in the way of higher-value activities. In this case, you might have to decide what to cook, source the ingredients, cook, eat, and then clean! Even if you decide to dine out, you’ll need to review menus, choose restaurants, and make reservations three times a day, EVERYDAY. 

Packaging these types of activities together saves time and money. In the Caribbean, you might choose an all-inclusive resort where mealtimes are set, menus are pre-planned, and all you are required to do is show up. In business, this is where automation can have a major impact. 

The right automation tool for the right task.

There are likely many of life’s little chores that will get in the way of you enjoying your Caribbean vacation to the max. Laundry, budgeting, excursion planning—all require your attention. But it’s a sunny day and there's a swim-up bar just steps from your room.

You know the all-inclusive resort you’ve chosen can automate meals for you each day you’re on the island, but the world-class chef isn’t an expert in ironing linen pants and the chocolatier isn’t equipped to take you scuba diving. 

In business, an automation tool like robotic process automation (RPA) is better suited for some processes while capabilities like intelligent document processing (IDP) and other artificial intelligence (AI) are better suited for others. Knowing which tool makes sense in which scenario is key, and a critical part of ensuring your automation strategy is built to last. 

The suite life.

If you want to build an automation strategy with a sound foundation that can weather unpredictable and unprecedented market changes, scale up or scale down as needed, and work more efficiently requiring less maintenance down the road, you need to use the right automation capability for the task at hand.

Many businesses use one automation technology, adding third-party capabilities in patchwork fashion to automate complex end-to-end processes. It works for the moment and generates some short term value, but patchwork isn’t seamless and this kind of automation strategy isn’t built to last. 

With the end goal to implement a long-lasting, future-proof automation plan, Appian has compiled a suite of automation capabilities that provides the right tech for the job:

  • RPA - Bots perform manual, repetitive, rules-based tasks between systems like humans. 
  • IDP - AI locates and extracts and structures data from business documents. 
  • AI - Enhanced capabilities can customize automations for more complex processes. 
  • Smart Services and Integrations - Pre-built automations and integrations with APIs create more seamless and efficient automations. 
  • Decision Rules - Customizable if/then business logic that’s easy to deploy (no code!) and manage. 

Complete automation is part of the unified Appian Low-code Platform. 

When you’re traveling to the Caribbean, it makes sense to discover, design, and automate your vacation-in that order. But the truth is, in business, you can discover, design, and automate in any order. 

Chances are you’re already begun automating some portion of your business. The Appian unified approach makes it easy for you to discover your process inefficiencies at any time. Or to design a low-code portal to serve as an interface to initiate your automations. 

You could already have a portal and an app, and now realize some tasks in your app workflow are perfect candidates for RPA or IDP. And since the complete automation suite is part of the Appian Low-Code platform, it’s simple to incorporate any automation capability no matter where you are on your automation journey.

Time to pack it up.

Just like with any vacation, as we draw this blog series to a close, it’s important to reflect on the experience we’ve shared; distill the journey down to some memorable takeaways that we can use in our everyday lives until we can do this again.

When you plan ahead to discover potential obstacles you avoid delays and hassles. When you design your itinerary and plan your logistics comprehensively, yet simply—you’re able to execute better and faster.

And when you automate the manual, repetitive, and mundane tasks—so you can enjoy the higher-value activities that drive your business (or vacation!)—with the appropriate capabilities, you save time, money, and are better prepared to scale and sustain market changes. 

Don’t forget your souvenir!

Keep learning about which automation capabilities are the best fits for your most automatable use cases. Download 200 Use Case Ideas for Appian RPA and IDP to explore how you can use the unified complete automation suite in the different areas of your business.