VentureBeat: Why Process Mining is Seeing Triple-Digit Growth

ISO 9000 is a set of standards for quality management developed in the late 80s. It was based on procurement standards used by the U.S. Department of Defense. But, in a long-ago training session, the entire premise was summed up by the instructor as, “Document what you do, then do what you’ve documented.”

The reasons those types of programs exist is because the documented process is rarely the actual process. But today, given the massive scale and breadth of change over the past year, it’s likely many of your processes have been altered in one way or another. In fact, a survey by McKinsey found that organizations have accelerated their digitization efforts by three to four years during the pandemic. So, before enterprises can change, improve, digitize, or automate a process, it’s imperative they first understand what’s really going on. 

A recent article in VentureBeat, “Why process mining is seeing triple-digit growth”, points to the past year’s massive change, along with many other factors, as what’s driving explosive demand for process mining tools and technologies. Gartner estimates that the market for these solutions has already tripled since 2018, and there’s more to come. Here’s a quick overview of why, according to VentureBeat.

RPA Isn’t Living Up to Expectations

Robotic process automation (RPA) initiatives and their expected ROI are based on the underlying process. Saving an hour per day for a documented process completed by your expensive procurement team could generate a nice return, for example. But, if Procurement is, in reality, already working around the systems and tasks that slowed them down, the return could be considerably lower, or it could even cost you money. Or, maybe that entire process is done differently in other regions or isn’t really valuable for Procurement, so you’ve spent money automating a bad process you’ll eventually need to spend more money to rework.

Companies are now finding that, in their haste to automate, they neither understood the actual process nor developed an optimized, scalable process built for their current needs. As the article states, “Many enterprises are finding it difficult to scale beyond a few software robots or bots because they are automating a bad process that cannot scale.”

Process intelligence, however, is giving enterprises detailed information on why their RPA isn’t driving more value. It’s also giving visibility to the true as-is processes, how they vary across the business, and where optimizations might make those processes better well before RPA is considered. 

Download our ebook: 6 Strategies to Drive Successful Automation

Benefits Beyond Simple Process Mining

Process mining, which “involves mining data logs from applications like ERP and CRM to assemble an accurate model of how a business process, like order to cash (OTC), works,” is inherently limited. Many tools in modern enterprises, such as Microsoft Office, virtual desktops, and email, don’t produce data logs. Process intelligence, or what VentureBeat refers to as “task mining,” uses computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to directly record how a worker accomplishes any given task.

See our related post: What is Process Intelligence?

Since process intelligence doesn’t rely on data logs, it can capture more data from more applications, but also how today’s workers jump between applications. For example, maybe the OTC process requires a clerk to copy order data from an ERP system and paste it into an invoicing system, which then generates a PDF invoice that’s manually emailed to a vendor. Process mining would likely capture the ERP and invoicing logs, but process intelligence would provide insights across the end-to-end process and all applications, including the manually created email. 

Those cross-application actions are more indicative of how today’s workers work, and that’s the level of data enterprises are now demanding. Process intelligence adds AI and ML to uncover the nuance of processes and surface opportunities to optimize before you might apply RPA to automate suboptimal subtasks. 

New Applications Across the Enterprise

The inclusion of advanced AI and ML, along with the benefits of the cloud, enables enterprises of any size to quickly capture and evaluate data on enterprise-scale processes. But it’s not just limited to processes, per se, since other insights can be gleaned from knowing how your enterprise operates today and at a detailed level. VentureBeat calls it “a new sensory system for organizations.”

“In the ecology of companies battling for market share, a company with even a primitive capability of seeing invisible workflows better than the competition has a huge advantage over companies that cannot see. As Erasmus stated in 1500 AD: ‘In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.’”

Some examples of these in-demand capabilities of process intelligence include:

  • Understanding and mitigating complex cybersecurity threats
  • Optimizing the physical logistics of warehousing
  • Improving manufacturing processes
  • Breaking down organizational silos
  • Reducing training time
  • Identifying the root cause of quality issues

It’s also being used to enhance how humans work, such as increasing safety and automatically altering workers when steps are missed by mistake. So while the word “automation” may sound like jobs are at risk, one of the most human benefits of process intelligence is in making humans better at how they work. 

“Rather than just looking at process mining as something to impose on workers, companies may see the biggest gains by finding ways to include and reward employees as part of the adoption. After all, thousands of eyes in the field may see some opportunities that a few experts in the office might miss.”

You can read the complete VentureBeat article here.

Elevate Human Potential With Innovative Automation on the hello, Human Podcast

Our podcast, hello, Human, features the leading builders, explorers, and warriors of AI. Together, we investigate how they’re putting AI to work to transform enterprises and make sustainable progress on automation, privacy, business disruption, human-bot teaming, and much more. We strive to make each episode intelligent and engaging, with the ultimate goal of improving your understanding of the opportunities AI can bring to your business and our world.

FortressIQ | Intelligent Insights for the Modern Enterprise
Episode 7 - Elevate Human Potential With Innovative Automation

Blast Off with Process Intelligence for Financial Services

Two of the biggest concerns for Financial Services Institutions (FSI) as we roll into 2021 are customers and compliance. The dynamics of the customer relationship were forever altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and any incremental progress on digitization and customer centricity was thrust into fruition in less than a year. But when change happens at such an accelerated pace, it’s difficult for your business and workforce to keep up. That, then, becomes a compliance issue, and it goes well beyond just the customer interaction. Every ripple of change that impacts customers also orbits on-boarding, supply chain, regulatory, and even employee satisfaction. 

So how do you cope? Read on to find out, or jump straight to our new ebook, Blast Off to a Transformational Future.

T-Minus 10-9-8…Start at the Launch Pad

To adjust to our new reality you need to first understand the reality of your business on the ground. You’re on the launch pad and you can see the promise of digital transformation looming large on the horizon. But, you need to optimize your underlying core processes as they continue to change. It’s a daunting challenge, but one that process intelligence can help you solve. 

It begins with the customer lifecycle. How you find and onboard customers has fundamentally changed. From prospecting and acquisition to eventual transaction processing, customers are demanding more, faster, and broader services. Their expectations are also continuing to climb. Process automation can help you eliminate slow, tedious, error-prone manual tasks, but where do you start? Determining which processes are ready for automation requires learning how processes are actually completed. 

FSIs have additional concerns around risk, internal controls, exposure to nefarious actors, and regulatory scrutiny, along with the need to meet rising customer expectations. There are also security implications to any process change, as well as the impact to workers, decision making, and more. Most firms are solving these challenges with digital transformations, even though McKinsey & Company found that just 14% of those efforts will return sustainable performance improvements. 

Again, the only path to transformational success is by first understanding your current processes and how they are actually performed. You don’t fire up the rocket engines and then move to the launch pad, right? 

7-6-5…Use Process Intelligence as the Fuel

FortressIQ combines computer vision, and deep learning models to automatically discover, map, model, and document the details behind every digital process executed across every application used by your workforce. By mapping processes across your entire firm and at all levels, you’re then empowered to identify operational risk and work on mitigation. Or, you can identify candidates for automation and move forward with confidence because you’ll uncover every deviation, best practice, and risky workaround before you automate.

Process intelligence fuels your transformation. It prepares you for the good work ahead, and quickly provides deep, accurate insights on every step of every business process. 

A good example comes from a broker/dealer that was deploying a cloud strategy. The firm relied on disconnected legacy and homegrown technologies, and had a very inefficient organizational structure. That made process discovery a challenge. So they deployed FortressIQ Process Intelligence to decode as-is processes. Across 10+ million events and 120+ applications, they discovered 40-50% of critical events happened within Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Teams, which launched their transformation efforts.

4-3-2-1…Uncover GRC Issues

Successful transformation requires continued focus well beyond liftoff. Mission control needs constant and accurate insights to keep the mission on track. Similarly, your transformation teams need to see the impact of processes and process changes across your business. That’s especially critical for FSIs and this industry’s unique compliance and control requirements. 

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) challenges have ballooned as the pandemic pushed us into remote work situations. The implications are especially acute for FSIs (read our related blog post for more insights). FortressIQ lets you see into processes to combat financial crimes from both sides: you’ll see process gaps that might be attractive to criminals and you’ll help audit, compliance, and assurance teams better understand areas of risk. 

In one example, an investment bank wanted to combat financial crime (AML) by enhancing their transaction monitoring process and data management. But, their highly manual processes and unstructured data forced 100+ analysts to spend 80% of their time in data collection, cleansing, and loading before any actual analysis could be conducted. FortressIQ Process Intelligence decoded their current state processes to provide detailed data on application usage and process variations. These insights allowed the firm to quickly improve the user experience and streamline interactions across various systems.

Beyond GRC, process intelligence also gives operations, lending, and other departments a better view into how your business actually works. That helps you make improvements while closing BSA/AML and KYC risk gaps at the same time. FortressIQ also generates accurate process definition documents (PDD) automatically, thus helping teams across your firm automate workflows, increase compliance, and improve business operations.

For FSIs, this translates into a win-win of less risk and more efficient operations. 

Blast Off to Success

Today’s customers demand change, flexibility, and speed. But you can’t transform for tomorrow until you know how your business actually operates today. And, FSIs have the added responsibility of compliance and controls, regulatory oversight, governance, audit, and more. Every process can add to or reduce risk, and only accurate and comprehensive process intelligence shows you where that risk hides. It also provides the trajectory for eventual automation that further reduces risk and increases efficiencies.

The near real-time, data-driven insights provided by FortressIQ, along with the power and usability from our integration with Microsoft Power Platform, lets you transform your business today to keep up with the changing needs of tomorrow. 

Read more about process intelligence for FSIs in our new ebook, Blast Off to a Transformational Future. It also contains a helpful checklist of 5 critical prerequisites for successful FSI transformation.

Financial Services: 5 Ways to Bring EUCs into Compliance with Process Intelligence

End-user computing tools (EUC) are those that give anyone the power to build or modify an application. It can be as simple as recording a macro or entering a formula, and as complex as writing detailed scripts or using a drag-and-drop programming interface. But, whatever the method, EUC turns end users into citizen developers who can build and execute easily repeatable tasks and processes. 

Common EUC tools include spreadsheets such as Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, databases, reporting tools such as Tableau, and more. Generally, these applications are used outside of core IT systems and are used across the enterprise for financial computations, data collection and cleansing, financial and regulatory reporting, and much more. It’s no wonder they’re frequently referred to as “shadow IT.”

Where EUC Adds Risk

EUC tools stand out from disconnected and inflexible core systems precisely because they are nimble, efficient, and easy to use. That’s why they’re ubiquitous in today’s modern workplace and which enterprises have no choice but to support. Financial Services Institutions (FSI) are no different, and maybe even more tied to the usability and flexibility of EUCs since they are used so heavily for financial calculations, reporting, and data analysis.

EUCs do, however, pose important risks and challenges, especially if your enterprise lacks on-going governance to detect granular process execution from such applications. The lack of governance introduces immense risk with EUCs that are complex, generate critical data, or are used to make business decisions. Undetected errors, incorrect computations, and inaccurate reports can result in poor decisions, operational losses, and regulatory scrutiny and fines. 

But is this really a risk FSIs should care about? A large global bank was recently fined over $400 million by the regulators. The ruling pointed to the institution’s failure to implement and maintain an enterprise-wide risk management and compliance program, adequate internal controls, or a data governance program commensurate with the bank’s size, complexity, and risk profile. 

Determining Your EUC Exposure

The goal is not to start finding and eliminating EUCs, since that is nearly impossible and counterproductive. Instead, FSIs must begin to explore where operational issues are cropping up, and then begin drilling down to determine if EUCs are at the core of those issues.

Here are a few areas where FSIs can start to dig into their exposure to EUC-induced risk:

  • Reporting Delays: Are manual processes and workarounds causing delays in producing critical reports important to the management?
  • Late Regulatory Reports: Are delays in regulatory reporting submissions due to lack of standardized processes, disconnected applications, and legacy systems?
  • Underperformance: Have there been operational losses or near misses due to manual and complex processes?
  • Bad Decisions: Are there recurring instances of sub-optimal decisions being made due to incorrect reports, inaccurate data, and/or incorrect financial calculations?
  • Governance: How do you ensure effective governance and controls over identification and management of EUC tools?
  • Data Integration and Hygiene: Is your team spending too much time manually collecting, cleansing, and transforming data before it enters a process?

Mitigating EUC Risk with Microsoft and FortressIQ

Across business and support functions, anecdotal evidence shows nearly half of workers’ time can be spent in collaborative applications, such as email, spreadsheets and databases, chat, and others. These are all considered EUCs, and they produce a large amount of unstructured data which is manually collected, shared, and transformed to execute tasks and processes. While enterprises spend millions of dollars annually on core applications, it’s within these EUC tools that most of your critical day-to-day work happens.

But, while these office productivity applications enable flexibility, they lack the rigor and structure of core systems and applications. Therefore, they cannot generate the click-level data logs and rigidity that legacy applications offer. To discover how your enterprise is using EUCs requires either slow, expensive, manual process discovery, or something more modern. 

FortressIQ combines AI and computer vision to capture and discover relevant process data, even within EUCs. This is human-level observability that brings the required context and meaning to organizational process data. It’s called process intelligence, and can be used to automatically discover, map, model, and document the granular details behind every digital process executed across every application. EUCs included.  

Once you’ve used FortressIQ to decode how your business works, across your entire organization, you have the power to automate data flow and processes, increase compliance and controls, and substantially reduce operational risks with Microsoft Power Apps.  The combination enables you to quickly build the custom, no-code applications needed to ensure both flexibility and control, while removing the risks of redundant, tedious, and error-prone tasks. 

5 Ways to Use Process Intelligence

Process intelligence provides visibility into how your business runs. Not how it’s supposed to run, but how it actually runs. This gap creates immense amounts of risk, all of it unknown unless you can capture an accurate as-is picture of your enterprise. 

Here are just a few ways FSIs are leveraging FortressIQ to reign in their EUC risk:

  1. Intelligent SOPs. FortressIQ documents processes at the most granular level provides the basis for automatically created process detail documentation (PDDs).
  2. Automation. FortressIQ surfaces repeatable, predictable tasks and the variations of how tasks are executed by different users. The insights are an automation generator at scale when coupled with Microsoft Power Apps.
  3. Strategic Insights. FortressIQ creates an organizational blueprint to inform decisions on system usage, employee experience, application interconnectedness, third-party vs. in-house applications, digital strategy, data governance, and more.
  4. Strengthening Internal Controls. Process intelligence delivers granular insights to identify and manage risks by reducing dependence on EUCs or through automation with Microsoft Power Apps.
  5. System Optimization. Process intelligence delivers macro insights to spot process slowdowns and bottlenecks, opportunities for enhanced decision-making, and areas where the employee experience can be improved through automation with Microsoft Power Apps.

To learn more about process intelligence for FSIs, read how it accelerates GRC efforts and how it helps to transform BSA/AML and KYC

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.

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

Forrester, Microsoft, and the Future of Automation on the hello, Human Podcast

Our podcast, hello, Human, features the leading builders, explorers, and warriors of AI. Together, we investigate how they’re putting AI to work to transform enterprises and make sustainable progress on automation, privacy, business disruption, human-bot teaming, and much more. We strive to make each episode intelligent and engaging, with the ultimate goal of improving your understanding of the opportunities AI can bring to your business and our world.

Episode 5 – Understand Today, Automate for Tomorrow

FortressIQ | Intelligent Insights for the Modern Enterprise
Episode 5 - Understand Today, Automate for Tomorrow

Hyperautomation and Building a Resilient Digital Core on the hello, Human Podcast

Our podcast, hello, Human, features the leading builders, explorers, and warriors of AI. Together, we investigate how they’re putting AI to work to transform enterprises and make sustainable progress on automation, privacy, business disruption, human-bot teaming, and much more. We strive to make each episode intelligent and engaging, with the ultimate goal of improving your understanding of the opportunities AI can bring to your business and our world.

Episode 4 – Building a Resilient Digital Core

FortressIQ | Intelligent Insights for the Modern Enterprise
Episode 4 - Building a Resilient Digital Core
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In episode #4, my guests were Abhinav Kolhe and Sudhakar Pemmaraju, both from Cognizant. 

Abhinav is the firm’s Technology Director for Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning, and he’s been with Cognizant for more than 20 years. Sudhakar is the North American Head of Cognizant’s Digital Strategy & Operations Transformation Consulting Practice, and he has deep consulting experience across digital marketing, customer management, and operations transformation and automation. Cognizant, if you’re unfamiliar, is one of the world’s leading professional services companies, transforming clients’ business, operating and technology models for the digital era.

We jumped right into our conversation talking about the pandemic and its impact on automation. Every business function has had to make adjustments this year to keep up with the chaos. Yet organizations remain under pressure to digitize and automate more and more as the uncertainty continues. Some companies are doing very well in this regard, with Abhinav pointing specifically to bright spots in banking, healthcare, and education. But for most companies, it’s going to take a continued commitment to digital transformation and process agility to be successful.

“First of all, companies will need to ensure that their digital channels are on par to succeed in the current environment,” said Abhinav. “Secondly, I think as the economy comes back in the next few months, demand recovery will be unpredictable. There will be the uneven spread of recovery across geographies, across products, customer segments, and whatnot. This will complicate matters for leaders.”

“Automation-first, or a digital-first mindset, will be an absolute essential center stage that companies will have to prepare for. We are seeing an upsurge from a lot of customers in terms of hyperautomation use cases.”

Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies, like AI, machine learning, RPA, and process intelligence, to automate both repetitive tasks and more cognitive business tasks. Gartner named it to their 2020 and 2021 “Top Strategic Technology Trends List,” and it’s on the radar of most progressive organizations. 

“Hyperautomation goes beyond deploying bots for individual tasks,” explained Abhinav. “We are talking about a connected, enterprise-wide change program that connects multiple teams, multiple work streams across an enterprise. One of the most key attributes of that platform would be the ability to loop in humans into the process.”

Of course, organizations need to understand their processes before they can be hyperautomated, or even automated. But just simply understanding your processes and preparing for potential scenarios helps your business perform at a higher level. Then, when a scenario comes to fruition, like, say, a pandemic, you already know how to react and respond. A recent article in Harvard Business Review points to process mapping as a catalyst for building resilience. “You’ll manage a crisis better if you’ve analyzed and discussed your processes—and done at least some reinvention—before you’re in the thick of things.”

Abhinav gave several examples of how companies that already had deep process intelligence were able to quickly react once the pandemic took hold. An airline used virtual agents to process refund requests. A financial services institution used natural language processing (NLP) and automation to quickly implement a government-mandate loan program. And, an insurance firm used NLP to quickly assess the pandemic’s impact on customers to determine how cancellations would impact their business. 

So where do you begin? If you have little or no process intelligence, how do you attain this deeper understanding of how your business works so you can start to optimize, streamline, and automate?

To help, Cognizant offers six building blocks for a resilient digital core, which Sudhakar explained in detail during the podcast. The framework starts with understanding your processes. 

“The very first one is to establish a service demand catalog to understand the end-to-end value chain of the processes across all the departments,” said Sudhakar . “(This includes) process mining, process simplification, process standardization, and business improvement techniques.”

Only after you map how your business works should you seek to actually start championing the initiative and executing the transformation. Success is built on that initial process intelligence gathering. And it makes sense, since it’s difficult to change what you don’t know.

We discussed much more about hyperautomation, the misplaced fears around automation, and the go-to web resources for both Abhinav and Sudhakar, but you’ll have to listen to the full conversation on the hello, Human podcast. Or, if you’re more of a text-based person, feel free to read the transcript.

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What’s Next for Process Intelligence: 5 Predictions for 2021

The hype around process intelligence kicked into overdrive in 2020. From investments to acquisitions to products, it was an exciting year by any measure. But 2021 promises to be filled with even more hype – and confusion – in the market as vendors look to capitalize on the growing interest from major companies.

Fueling this interest in enterprise process intelligence is the continuing focus on digital transformations. The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to rapidly modernize how their businesses operated. As early as April, the massive shift to remote work and education turned previously manual processes into digital efforts. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said that the company saw “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” But that transformation obviously didn’t end in April. And, now that managers and executives have experienced this level of speed and flexibility from their teams, there is no way they’ll move backwards once offices reopen in 2021.

But it’s not just digital transformation that’s going to drive process intelligence in the new year. Enterprises are finding more process automation opportunities to accelerate the shift from low- to high-value tasks for their workforce. Cybersecurity teams are putting suppliers under the microscope, especially as the number of vendors claiming process intelligence capabilities continues to grow and data privacy concerns increase. That growth is driven by market demand too, as more business functions seek process automation solutions and more innovative technologies are appearing in the market.

To help distinguish the 2021 signals from the noise, here are five predictions for process intelligence in the coming year.

  1. Process intelligence growth rate will exceed that of RPA.
    For the past three years, RPA has been the fastest growing software category in the enterprise market. It exploded from $518M in 2017 to $1.6B in 2020, and is expected to hit $1.9 billion next year, according to Gartner. While the spending arrow will continue to trend upward and the overall market size will dwarf process intelligence, the new king of enterprise software growth in 2021 promises to be process intelligence. Companies are quickly realizing that RPA without process intelligence limits the value, blocks sustainable benefits, and typically requires rework. Process intelligence will become the natural prerequisite to RPA, and the annual growth rate will approach 50% next year with the overall market size exceeding RPA in 2025.
  2. Data privacy concerns will influence vendor selection.
    As the market transitions from point process intelligence deployments within a specific business unit to wider adoption across an enterprise, the issue of data security and privacy will become a bigger issue. CISOs and security teams will be involved in more evaluations and suppliers will face greater scrutiny. It will not be enough to simply offer allow and deny lists of applications. Suppliers will be required to mask sensitive corporate data and personally identifiable information (PII) to meet requirements.
  3. Big enterprise software vendors will jump into the process intelligence market.
    One of the major enterprise software leaders, such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft or Salesforce, will begin adding process intelligence technology natively into their platforms. This past year witnessed substantial interest from these companies in RPA technology, and 2021 promises a similar response in process intelligence. Their major customers are looking to address the process gap that exists in their own organizations, and the leading software vendors will look to fill the need as they have done in the past with ERP, CRM and RPA.
  4. Process intelligence will converge with complementary tools.
    As process intelligence is essentially a diagnostic solution, it requires connections to other solutions to deliver the expected outcomes. Companies are looking to piggyback on the excitement in the software category with complementary solutions to drive exponential results. Each product can deliver value, but more total value is achieved when the solutions are used together. Workflow and AI/ML providers are the most logical partners as companies look to accelerate strategic initiatives with process intelligence. RPA is the most logical connection, and we already see solutions like Power Automate and Blue Prism establish connections. Valuable integrations will be made with customer experience and compliance technologies as well starting in 2021. Companies now have a unique and previously inaccessible data set of operational activity to search for patterns and streamline tasks across a variety of initiatives.
  5. Enterprises will move beyond financial and accounting opportunities.
    Nearly every process mining demonstration or case study available is centered around financial and accounting services. Whether it is Order to Case (O2C), Procure to Pay (P2P) or Record to Report (R2R), process intelligence vendors seem unable or unwilling to expand their vision. What’s more likely is their technology struggles to address less structured business activities. To truly support the enterprise and grow the market, vendors will need to provide benefits for both front-office and back-office activities. This coming year will see more examples of process intelligence in new and novel areas of the business, such as talent management and data analytics.

What Do You Think?

That’s what we think is going to happen in the new year. We’ve put a lot of thought into these but would love to hear what you think. Do you disagree with any of our predictions? Are there others we missed? Don’t be afraid to let us know what you think 2021 has in store for process intelligence. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and we’ll be sure to respond, or send us a note at

Happy New Year!