A Year-End Visit from Process Intelligence

It’s that time of year again, when frantic holiday shopping, too much nog, and way too many approaching deadlines can make one a bit groggy. FortressIQ was developed to alleviate that grogginess, at least at work, and not just at year-end. It’s like a million little process intelligence elves cobbling away in your own process modernization workshop. It reveals the ghost of processes past and guides you towards a brighter, more efficient future and…oh, wait, wrong holiday fable.

Did you know the actual title of “The Night Before Christmas” is “A Visit from St. Nicholas”? It’s also nearly 200 years old, yet still resonates with kids of all ages across the world. In fact, with just a few tweaks, it even resonates with compliance and governance teams, those driving process improvement and process redesign efforts, and leaders pushing digital transformations and process modernization initiatives. 

So, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and children everywhere, here’s our version of “The Night Before Christmas”. And you have yourself a very happy, efficient, and transformative new year. See you in 2022!


What’s In Store for Process Intelligence in 2022

It’s prediction season again, and 2022 promises to be one for the record books with companies adapting to a post-pandemic world and a generally strong business environment to maneuver. The noise in the market for process intelligence in 2021 was confirmed, with plenty of corporate activity, including Microsoft’s release of its own process discovery tool and SAP’s acquisition of Signavio.

The coming year promises to be even more notable with the continued mainstreaming of process intelligence, growing both deep and wide in the enterprise. Take a look below and see what we predict for process intelligence in 2022.

Prediction 1 – Operational Excellence Captures Mind Share

As transformation fatigue settled in across companies, automation became the new transformation in 2021. In 2022, operational excellence will be the new automation. Companies have pursued process management nirvana for decades. Analysts estimate that poor processes cost companies 20-30 percent of annual revenues. For decades, companies have pursued BPM, TQM, CI, Lean, Six Sigma, and other frameworks to operate more efficiently and limit revenue leakage caused by poor workflows.

Today, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for stakeholders looking to successfully execute on the promise of operational excellence. The management frameworks, coupled with advances in technology across both process and automation solutions, make true and lasting impacts finally feasible. Just as web analytics revolutionized the digital experience for everyone and gave birth to a customized and immersive online world that spawned massive adoption, process intelligence will ultimately deliver an equally valuable contribution to achieving operational excellence and just maybe mark the end of the transformation quest.

Prediction 2 – Increased Focus on the Intelligent Automation Ecosystem

It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village of technologies and techniques to successfully deliver intelligent automation. No one can do it alone, and providers that think it’s possible will suffer the same fate of Icarus and fall back to Earth. An ecosystem that works together to deliver best-of-breed outcomes is essential for success. Intelligent automation done right requires too many moving pieces for any one company to deliver a solution for the enterprise.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solutions are obvious foundational elements, but process technologies, workflow tools, business intelligence, low-code platforms, and other services are critical to a comprehensive intelligent automation competency. Beyond the obvious connections, look for more outcome-based partnerships around compliance and customer service.

Companies are increasingly looking to drive greater efficiency and cost-savings out of operations that are only possible with a robust toolset. Each product can deliver value, but more total value is achieved when the solutions are used together. It’s the new math where 1 + 1 = 3 is a feasible answer.

Prediction 3 – Process Mining and Task Mining Deliver a One-Two Punch

Too many companies still think it’s a process mining or task mining decision. In reality, the technologies answer fundamentally different questions. Process mining tells you what happened, while task mining details how it happened, and at the end of the day, organizations will eventually need both to win.

Comprehensive process intelligence requires a mix of process mining, modeling, and documentation. Used individually—and properly—each solution can certainly drive value for the organization depending on the use case. When combined, it creates a 360-degree view of your operations and creates an opportunity to deliver a value-driven, process-led, and data-based transformation. 

Consider how the different approaches work better together. Process mining offers higher-level, top-down insights on core end-to-end business processes. Task discovery provides granular, bottom-up detail on user activity to define task completion. The integrated insights accelerate value creation regardless of whether the targeted outcome is an automated workflow, streamlined process, improved experience, or enhanced compliance. 

Prediction 4 – More Diverse Outcomes Across the Enterprise

Process technologies have traditionally focused on finance and accounting practices. This made sense because those activities tend to be more structured, and the data is easier to manipulate with fewer variations. Unfortunately though, the key-value streams in a company tend not to fall under the CFO’s office. Recent advances in cloud, AI, ML and analytics have enabled process discovery to be successfully deployed across the enterprise. From sales operations and contact centers to ITSM and HR, process intelligence is driving value across the enterprise.

In addition to going wider across the enterprise, process technologies are starting to go deeper into business units. Originally, the primary use case for process discovery was limited to automation as companies sought to accelerate and scale RPA programs. Today, it is seen as a key component for everything from workflow improvement and customer experience to compliance and analytics. Companies know that data-driven organizations win in the market, and process data is one of the last missing pieces of data that companies need to have a comprehensive view of their operations.

Prediction 5 – People and Process Will Drive Transformation Success

Companies have been tackling transformation for nearly two decades. It’s a major struggle. McKinsey reports only 14% of companies have achieved sustained and material improvements from transformation programs at the cost of nearly $1 trillion annually. Despite the low propensity for success, companies continue to pour resources into complex change programs. BCG notes more than 80% of companies plan to accelerate their digital transformations. The dichotomy exists because executives realize that doing nothing is not an option because a company can’t be competitive if it fails to transform.

The biggest challenge to any complex change is the lack of knowledge on current state activities. Unfortunately, most companies do not understand how they truly operate on a day-to-day basis. You cannot get to the targeted future state efficiently without a clear view of your current operations. Process intelligence gives you that “what are we doing today” operational insight to then improve and drive value for the organization. Too much of the focus on transformation has been directed towards technology as the answer without considering the people and process dimensions. Through a more balanced people-process-technology approach, transformation success rates can be improved dramatically. 

In closing, the past couple of years have shown us that instability with no clear point of action can result in chaos and confusion. 2022 will provide an opportunity for organizations to develop operational excellence through process intelligence on the coattails of the expedited need for automation technology brought by the pandemic.

Strategies to Kickstart Process Improvements in Banking

The lines between banks and banking are blurring more and more. From credit cards to lending, trading products to cryptocurrency, fintechs are now providing sophisticated apps and tools to consumers who are demanding omnichannel services, low to no fees, and 24×7 on-demand customer service. Traditional banking and financial services firms have been slow to react. However, to remain relevant (or merely survive) you must adapt your bank to the technological and social changes that have created our new normal.

Transforming From the Outside In and the Inside Out

An effective enterprise banking transformation must be informed by the external forces causing change while considering the deeply entrenched internal forces standing in the way. Your external customers, regulators, consultants, and experts are the ones who understand the direction of the market. But to implement changes and be a leader in your industry is akin to steering a mighty ship in a new and unfamiliar direction. Moving that mass and overcoming institutional inertia requires an in-depth knowledge of internal systems, people, processes, data and their collective interconnectedness. 

Successful banking process improvement requires placing equal importance on both internal and external forces. Transformation is also not a one-time exercise. Instead, think of it as a constant and consistent effort to improve the functions that are critical to running your organization. Your need to be effective and efficient in the transformation effort requires comprehensive data and insights into how your bank operates. 

The challenge for banks is in being effective and efficient in finding, implementing, and sustaining organizational improvements in effectiveness and efficiency. Yes, it is a circular reference, but one that can be overcome.

Initiating Your Banking Transformation

Almost every financial institution has a transformation already underway. A recent study found that 8 in 10 banks are currently in the midst of transformation, yet only one-third say their efforts are more than halfway complete. Regardless of the slow pace, those efforts include:

  • Expanding cloud usage to minimize infrastructure and increase scalability, 
  • Deploying robotic process automation (RPA) to automate processes (with apps called “bots”), 
  • Building connectors and APIs to integrate data and processes, and 
  • Leveraging processing mining software to discover processes using system and event logs, and then to reconstruct those processes and find efficiencies.

All of these initiatives start with great enthusiasm and promise, but it takes significant time and effort to implement banking process improvement at scale. That’s especially true in larger FSIs as the scope keeps changing and deadlines pass by.

Answer These Critical Transformation Questions

Consider the following questions whether you are in a transformation journey or planning to embark on one. These topics apply to many areas within the organization, from front office and global business services (GBS) to compliance and risk management. The intent is to evaluate the breadth of your processes, people, systems, and data involved in each and every action your firm takes. Only then can you grasp the scale—and potential—of any transformation effort.   

  • How many systems and applications (whether legacy, web-based, mainframe, or productivity apps) are used to initiate and complete a specific process? 
  • How much effort do workers put on each system and application during each process, and where are the bottlenecks? Is the organization adequately training and upskilling employees?
  • How much time do workers spend toggling between different applications to complete their day-to-day tasks? 
  • What and where are the operational risks lurking in the background, whether it be making costly calculation mistakes in liquidity and cash management or reporting incorrect regulatory information that can attract high fines and penalties?
  • How well do your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems support the products and services you’re providing to customers today and intend to provide tomorrow?
  • How much time, effort, and resources are required to map business processes and update process documentation when processes change?
  • What are your golden sources of data, and is the data being used efficiently by your artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems to give you the insights you need to manage your business?

These questions cannot be answered with manual exercises, or by bringing in an army of consultants, or using traditional BPMN processing mining software. To understand your complex and overlapping universe of enterprise systems and processes requires more intelligence, computing power, and speed than any of these traditional solutions can possibly offer. Unless, of course, you have years to wait for your transformation to take hold. 

Why Process Intelligence Plays a Key Role in Banking Transformation

Traditional methods of understanding processes are process mapping, process mining, and process discovery. However, each of these methods returns an incomplete view of processes based on a snapshot of how the process was executed at a single point in time. Additional uncertainty comes from manually monitoring processes, which will undoubtedly disrupt workers and provide inaccurate results. 

More technical approaches avoid this disruption by analyzing application log files, but they miss steps performed manually or outside of a limited set of applications. Finally, these methods only show what happened today, but that data is then stale tomorrow. Not a good foundation for an enterprise-scale transformation.

Process intelligence overcomes all of these shortcomings by automatically and continually acquiring process data at scale across any system in your firm. It uses AI and computer vision to provide clear and accurate visibility into the current state of your processes, and captures data from across regions, shifts, departments, and more—all without disrupting workers. This provides an accurate and comprehensive foundation from which to automate processes, drive digital transformation, and optimize workflows. 

How FortressIQ Transforms Banking Operations

FortressIQ Process Intelligence uses computer vision, machine learning, and AI to effectively capture and discover the details of every process, who performs it, using which applications, and the output generated from it. Our solution maps and documents the people, processes, technologies, and information behind every activity, even those using end-user computing tools (EUC) run outside of core systems. Best of all, it captures this detailed, accurate, and unobtrusive process intelligence in just weeks, without expensive and long engagements. And, it highlights the process variances across workers caused by differences in experience, training, and other factors.

Process intelligence is a valuable tool for the financial, fintech, and banking industries, which require transparency above all. FortressIQ delivers real-time, data-driven insights to create a detailed map of your business. Whether for governance, risk, and compliance or new products, customer service, and internal efficiencies, FortressIQ analyzes activities across all applications, through each department, and for every single process. It requires zero integration, works without disrupting employees, and captures granular process details. 

To learn more about FortressIQ Process Intelligence for banking, fintech, and financial services, request a personalized demo today.