Automating Process Steps with many different IT technologies is always a big temptation. Document digitization, workflow, business rules engines are all very tempting Information Technologies that can execute business process steps much more efficiently,and make processes run faster, cutting time, resources needed to execute them.
But is it always a good idea? May not be!
Cows meander through a meadow creating a path. More cows and people start using this and pretty soon it starts looking like a trail. Paving this Cow Path of course, may make it easier for people to locate and use it but it is not necessarily the shortest path from A to B. Paving the Cow Path just formalizes an informal path that was unintentionally created in the first place!
Automating an existing business process with one or more new technologies also suffers from the same risk Without rationalizing, and making sure that the Business Process cannot be improved upon, and introducing new technologies stands the same risk of paving a cow path.
A Business Process that is currently manual can be improved upon by rationalization before introducing technologies into the equation. This is probably a good idea before thinking about automated ways of doing the same process.
A Business Process running badly, or inefficiently runs only faster with automation. It still has not eliminated the inefficiencies in the process. Pausing a bit, and thinking about the business process helps in getting the right perspective on the automation effort.
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe