What is Process Intelligence?

FortressIQ is the process intelligence platform for the modern enterprise. That’s how we describe our platform, and process intelligence is what we deliver to our customers. But what, exactly, is process intelligence?

Your business runs on processes. How you recruit, onboard, and train new employees, for example, is defined by the processes, subprocesses, and tasks that make these actions a reality. And processes extend to every area of your business. It’s how your products and services are sold, made, packaged, priced, shipped, delivered, invoiced, and inventoried. It’s how you invoice customers, pay suppliers, cash checks, publish reports, change production, maintain equipment, upgrade software, and, obviously, everything else that makes your business go.

Every step that makes up each individual process is important to not just delivering the end result, but in the quality, risk, cost, speed, and other attributes they introduce into your business. Therefore, having a deep understanding of your processes is critical to improving the quality, risk, cost, speed, and other attributes of your business. And, any business transformation requires first understanding what it is you’re expecting to transform. You must decode the work that’s being done today to understand what to improve, automate, or optimize tomorrow.

But how do you uncover the details that make up your business processes?

The Traditional Methods for Understanding Processes

Most businesses, especially those of enterprise scale, don’t truly understand how their processes work on a granular, day-to-day level. This is at the level of how workers, applications, and data interact. The traditional methods of understanding processes are process mapping, process mining, and process discovery.

  • Process mapping is a manual method for documenting processes. Teams of consultants interview and monitor workers as they track a process from start to finish. It’s slow and expensive, and the sample size is limited and incomplete, especially for larger businesses.
  • Process mining is a back-end, software-centric technology that records the narrow, step-by-step workflow based on user interaction with specific systems. It requires access to application log files, but it’s limited in coverage because it misses steps performed in separate applications or applications (like email clients) that do not produce log files.
  • Process discovery is a modern alternative to process mining. It tracks workflow at the software user interface level, no matter who performs the task or which application is used. It is good at capturing discrete sub-processes, but has trouble scaling because it requires a manual evaluation of the results.

Each of these traditional methods return an incomplete view of processes and a snapshot of how the process was executed at a single point in time. Manually monitoring a process will undoubtedly disrupt and alter how workers perform that process. You do things differently when someone is looking over your shoulder. Application log files can be captured automatically, but they miss process steps performed manually or outside of a limited set of applications. And, manual process mapping and evaluation methods can show what happened today, but that data is then stale tomorrow.

Stale, Incomplete Data Leads to Ineffective Transformation

The pressure is on enterprises to become more data-driven and less reliant on intuition and incomplete, siloed data. We live in an always-on, connected world, yet businesses make billion-dollar decisions using estimates and gut instinct. When it comes to business transformation and the lack of accurate, current, and complete process data, it’s no wonder McKinsey & Company found that just 14% of business transformations return any sustained performance improvements and 70% of enterprise-scale change programs don’t reach their stated goals. The result of that failure is $900 billion in wasted effort.

The traditional methods of understanding processes leave businesses struggling to paint a complete picture of how processes are actually being run. In order to make effective decisions, you need 100% of your process data at your fingertips, whenever you need it. Not just a snapshot, but complete data. Not from last year, but from today. Not with gaps, but capturing every discrete step along the way.

The data also must provide granular process details, down to time durations, frequencies, and the people and roles involved. It must provide the metadata to reveal how identical processes are completed differently across regions, teams, or applications. And, it must allow for drill-downs into the screens, data fields, and actions to clearly highlight (or rule out) opportunities for automation and process redesign.

Process Intelligence to the Rescue

Process intelligence is the automatic and continuous acquisition of process data at scale across any system in your enterprise. It provides clear and accurate visibility into the current state of your organizational processes to improve business process automation, digital transformation, and enterprise optimization. Process intelligence helps you understand today, so you can plan for tomorrow.

Process intelligence uses AI and computer vision to automatically create a detailed blueprint of the digital processes across all applications and departments, and across your entire enterprise. It does it without disrupting workers or the process, and can automatically create detailed process definition documents (PDD). By capturing this process data at scale and providing the details needed to understand it, you get instant visibility into the context and meaning behind your process data.

Process intelligence empowers you to then utilize your process data to improve every initiative and every decision. By collecting, aggregating, and cleaning this process data, you’re left with a centralized system of record for work.

This process data nirvana—real-time, comprehensive, usable— was not technically or economically feasible…until now.

The Real Impact of Process Intelligence

Process intelligence finally allows the traditional guessing game of process understanding to be replaced with a fast, accurate, data-driven alternative. In turn, it makes your transformation and process optimizations initiatives also fast, accurate, and data-driven. Using process intelligence lets you respond more quickly to internal and external pressures, and empowers your teams to make better decisions in real-time.

More specifically, process intelligence brings process data to every worker, interaction, and decision. By adding human-in-the-loop functionality and data agency, your workers can use process intelligence data when and where they need it. By integrating process data into your existing data landscape, you can eliminate gaps between existing systems, processes, and customers to accelerate your transformation initiatives. It also streamlines automation efforts and the creation of bots by providing all essential elements necessary.

At the most granular level, process intelligence reveals exactly which tasks employees are spending time on within a particular application. This allows you to focus on specific segments of the process that could return the most value, impact, or time through redesign or automation. If, for example, employees are spending an inordinate amount of time in a text box on a particular screen, process intelligence will help you determine if you can drive text entry standardization through a drop down box, or even if that text entry is required at all.

Process intelligence is the data enterprises need to fuel intelligent automation, value engineering, process redesign, system optimization, and employee experience. It’s also used to improve compliance, expand governance, and improve operational efficiencies across the enterprise.

The Enterprise Benefits of Process Intelligence

Enterprise transformation efforts frequently fail because of the simple magnitude of the impacted processes. You’re trying to produce change on an enterprise scale using a snapshot of data that cannot possibly reflect the realities of the actual process. But process intelligence changes your perspective by giving you the detailed process data necessary to see how your decisions will impact your business.

Process intelligence goes well beyond traditional process mapping, mining, and discovery methods in six essential ways:

1. Scalability. Process intelligence quickly captures the granular detail in all business processes across your organization so you can find those improvements that provide the most impact.
2. Accuracy. Process intelligence combines cross-application data collection and AI modeling to provide a level of data-driven detail that allows you to confidently make strategic decisions for the most impact on your business.
3. Speed. Process intelligence eliminates slow, manual steps, making it up to 90% faster than traditional methods, and improving your time-to-value and return on your digital transformation investments.
4. Unbiased. Process intelligence uses intelligent, automated, and non-intrusive business process capture to eliminate bias or errors of manual capture, and enables workers to continue without influence or distractions, adding accuracy to avoid the rework that slows digital transformations.
5. Continuous. Process intelligence eliminates small sample sizes and estimations to continually capture process variances that happen across different shifts, locations, roles, and more, helping you refine or tailor processes for unique needs.

Of course, we believe FortressIQ Process Intelligence is the best way to capture these benefits. Our platform offers accuracy and insights unattainable with traditional methods and creates a system of record across your entire enterprise. The result is better, faster decisions on process automation, digital transformation, compliance improvements, and more.

Learn more about our Process Intelligence Platform here or check out our most recent press release.


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Love at First Insight

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it only makes sense that a lot of people have love on the brain. I know it’s a Hallmark holiday and I don’t put much weight into celebrating on a specific day. But, I do think it’s worthwhile to compare falling in love with a person, to falling in love with insights. At the very least, it makes for a pretty interesting blog post. 

Does “Love at First Sight” really exist? The concept actually dates back to the Greek and Roman empires where, if one was struck by Cupid or Eros’ arrow, the recipient would fall madly in love with the first person they would lay eyes on, even if it was a stranger. Since then, it’s been the basis of many books, movies and even songs. Styx sang about it in 1991, proclaiming ”Love at first sight. So rare, and so exciting.” 

Love at first sight has also been transferred to inanimate objects like cars, houses, and so well epitomized when Carrie Bradhsaw saw a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes in a NYC store window. Or the now infamous quote from Jerry Maguire: “You had me at hello.” It’s that overwhelming feeling the first time you see something, you just can’t stop loving it. The butterflies in your stomach, the sweaty palms of your hands, and usually the inability to form complete sentences. 

Come on, we’ve all had that feeling!

So what on earth does this all have to do with process intelligence? A lot actually.

Like a First Date with Your Business 

Process intelligence brings work into an entirely new light. It gives you a fresh perspective on what you’ve previously seen as just “process.” Think of that person you’ve never really been interested in or didn’t know at all. Suddenly, you find them irresistible once you get to know them. That’s process intelligence. It takes every process inside your business and turns it into something truly open and interesting…and valuable. 

If you’re involved with enterprise transformation, operational re-engineering, or process automation, this is true love. Process intelligence makes processes attractive by opening up the details of every task so you’ll want to learn more, do more, and use it more. And, just like love at first sight, you’ll yearn to be with process intelligence all the time. It all just clicks.

The more you discover about your business and the underlying processes, the more you’ll want to explore. Process intelligence lets you spend time learning how your business really operates, how teams work differently to achieve the same ends, and where workarounds introduce risk or compliance issues. You’ll also uncover surprises that make you that much more curious, along with the ability to explore even more. 

Keeping the Spark Alive

When FortressIQ customers talk about our platform, they frequently use the word “love.” They love putting it to work, seeing the data, and getting real value from these never-before-possible insights. 

With love, unfortunately, sometimes those feelings fade. Not with FortressIQ. It’s common for customers to use the word “love” more often the longer they use our platform. The insights it provides gives them more opportunities to bring more value to their business, in more areas, and in more ways. 

Our platform also lets customers easily explore areas of their business they may not have considered. Since it’s fast and easy to use, customers can spread the love to more teams, regions, projects, and opportunities. Wherever there’s a need to decode work, FortressIQ can be quickly deployed to uncover real-time, accurate, and detailed process intelligence. 

The more it’s used, the more customers fall in love. Even after a process is optimized or re-engineered, FortressIQ offers continuous monitoring in the background so customers get continuous visibility to see adoption rates, workarounds, roadblocks, or opportunities for increased efficiency. It also shows variances across different teams, regions, or shifts so customers know where to focus their efforts on continuous or incremental improvements. 

Intelligence is Sexy

Process mapping, process mining, process discovery; they’re all like a bad relationship. You deserve better. You’re wasting your time being unfulfilled. It’s painful. Worse yet, you’re devoting effort and resources to traditional techniques that return limited visibility and limited value. You’re then basing transformational decisions on that limited data. It’s no wonder nearly 9 out of 10 enterprise transformations fail to deliver sustainable value and result in $900 billion wasted annually.

It’s time to move on. You’re better than those traditional methods.

Change your perspective with FortressIQ Process Intelligence. It delivers detailed, documented visibility into the processes that drive your business…or hold it back. FortressIQ Process Intelligence insights can be used to enhance the employee experience, redesign processes, optimize operations, and accelerate your business. Complete, enterprise-wide data is available in days with FortressIQ, as opposed to incomplete data that can take months to gather and analyze with traditional methods. 
Sounds attractive, right?  “C’mon, let’s process intelligence and chill.”

We’re Bringing FortressIQ to Japan with Hitachi Solutions, Ltd.

We’re very excited to announce a new relationship with Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., a Tokyo-based provider of digital transformation solutions and services. Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. is now using FortressIQ Process Intelligence as a customer, and will also offer the FortressIQ platform to their own customers to visualize and modernize complex business processes. This relationship marks our entry into Japan’s market at a time when regional demand for migrating work to the cloud is accelerating.

Our partnership with Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., enlists the company as a reseller of FortressIQ Process Intelligence in Japan. The platform will help our joint customers decode work and make data-driven decisions to improve competitiveness well into the future. Internally, Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., is already using FortressIQ to identify, analyze, and visualize business processes as they work to eliminate bottlenecks and gain efficiencies. 

Transformational Growth for Process Intelligence

Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., has long been a conduit for quickly moving enterprises along their digital transformation journey. The company’s use of cutting-edge digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT), successfully guides customers as they renew and modernize business processes and speed their move to the cloud. 

Modernizing work and shifting more effort to the cloud is particularly important in Japan. The country’s aging workforce is forcing companies to seek out dramatic increases in efficiency and productivity to sustain market growth. But, companies must first understand how their business operates today. That’s driving huge demand for process intelligence across Japan. ITR, a Tokyo-based market research and consulting firm, projects this industry to grow from ¥400 million ($3.8 million) in 2019 to more than ¥7.5 billion ($71 million) by 2024. That’s an increase of 1,775% in just 5 years. 

Japan’s market offers a greenfield opportunity for process intelligence, and this new partnership will position us to take a commanding lead with a strong, first-mover advantage.

Adding Microsoft Power Platform

Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., is using the insights gained with FortressIQ to help customers migrate business applications from on-premise to the cloud, which is further accelerated by their partnership with Microsoft and their use of the Microsoft Power Platform. Power Platform brings together Microsoft solutions, from Office 365 and Dynamics 365 to Azure and hundreds of other apps, to enable the creation of end-to-end business solutions. Component tools, such as Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents, empower companies to build custom apps without coding and automate processes to streamline how their business operates. 

We’ve been working with Microsoft Power Platform for quite a while as our integrated solution helps organizations increase productivity by automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Our end-to-end solution for intelligent automation provides cognitive process intelligence, AI-enabled workflows, and deep business insights, and does it all faster than the traditional alternatives.

Leveraging the Speed of Process Intelligence

The AI power behind FortressIQ provides unmatched speed and accuracy over the typical process discovery and mining methods. This gives Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., and their customers a faster path to realizing the benefits of process modernization. According to Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., using FortressIQ has made it possible to automatically analyze end-to-end enterprise business processes and visualize real results in as little as 2 weeks. And, that’s without disrupting workers or conducting tedious analysis of application logs.

You, too, can have that speed, whether you’re based in Japan or anywhere else in the world. To learn more about our new partnership with Hitachi Solutions, Ltd., and how the company is using FortressIQ and Microsoft Power Platform with customers across Japan, visit hitachi-solutions.co.jp/wsi/sp/.