Transformation is everywhere in the corporate world! Packages are declared dead and after a long search they are replaced with the new go to package! And because that kind of open heart surgery on your business is difficult enough, you should not expect to be able to do anything new anytime soon!
Meanwhile the HR package in each business is still a shambles, and you soon get to meet “the Excel” in all those other packages. You know it, the wondrous reconciliation document, probably provided with macros by the better DIY enthusiast. Easy, isn't it? You paste it here in the table and then it reads it… You see?
Apart from the transplant of packages for one department specifically, or God forbid the whole ERP, which of course has since been outfitted with a thousand bells and whistles, there are things you can try to step out of that cycle completely. That’s how you become BAAS…
With the “B” of Business processes
Packages are fun, but quickly become a nuisance if you want to work more specifically. They also all bring in their own user interface, which means your employees have to constantly switch between programs. Or you buy an ERP that has the most of it in it, but on the whole is less than attractive… cough SAP cough… pardon me.
We see that business processes are not well described. The windows you need in your software package are probably documented somewhere in the manual, of which often only the decision rules and order of things are memorized by your employees.
In short, plant a Business Process Management tool and make a digital version of the process in which decision logic and the order of things are baked into the software. Paper application forms and mail can also be removed, together with that flow you once described in that one map over there.
With the “A” of APIs
Programs that talk with programs, within your company or with the outside. Only to transfer information, or to start certain processes. It is all possible. But if we are going to connect each separate program to another, we end up with… your current architecture, yes.
So next time do not react lukewarm but enthusiastic to the word “middleware,” because it means centralizing that which will talk with all those other things, and luckily speaks many languages. And do not underestimate the API revolution! Think about the PSD2 guideline that banks use to show each other’s accounts in each other’s apps.
From your Business Process Management (BPM) tool you can access all programs you need in code, while your employees remain snugly in BPM. Bye, Excels!
With the “A” of Artificial
You will get a long way using BPM and APIs! But sometimes you need to go artificial, because there is not an API available or because some quite difficult suddenly can be automated.
Artificial is everything that is not human. There are very dumb artificial things, like robots that tap a keyboard or a screen 24/7 and at lightning speed, while your employees can be busy doing something else. That is what is called Robotic Process Automation.
There are also very intelligent artificial adaptations, like robots that make decisions or react on the basis of context or history. When you enter the cognitive field, you are talking about Artificial Intelligence. For now those are only very specific steps in your process that you can automate. Think specific!
Both Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence can be plugged into your BPM tool. But be careful: do not use RPA without BPM and do not use RPA if there already is an API, unless those are really bad.
With the “S” of Sensory
When there is talk of “sensory” people automatically think about the Internet of Things. But that is just a resource to gain more data. Remember that there already are a lot of sources of information you can already access and can be used proactively to monitor interesting changes. From within and outside your business. An outside in technology and thus thinking pattern will probably get you a lot further.
With business processes and decision logic, APIs and robots, what information can you not gain?
Become BAAS. Invest in four technologies and do not forget their order! So not ABAS or SAAB, but BAAS.