Will AI kill the “good old” business process?

Will AI kill business processes? Or replace them? Automate them? What has all this AI-thing to do with all that “good old” stuff?

Basically, Business Processes are the foundation of any company. We love them, because they can be described, optimized, documented, tracked, assigned, and secured. Great!

Managing Business Processes is an important task in many companies, which leads to efficiency, effectiveness, strengthens the company’s values and uniqueness. Still great!

A single business process is simple. Clear paths from the start until the end of the process. Clear decisions, clear responsibilities, clear everything. However, we don’t have single business processes. Great again!

We have thousands of them. And here comes the problem… many of these can be connected or even dependent on others. And once a company has thousands of dependent Business Processes, their management is no longer “great”. It can become a nightmare. Keeping them connected while the company changes or develops, is an enormous challenge.

And here, AI joins the game. First, in terms of Machine Learning and Pattern Matching. AI can identify problems in the Business Process Landscape, which are invisible for humans due to the incredible amount of dependencies or interactions between the processes. In a second step, AI can also suggest optimizations, generate or simulate processes and their effects (kind of Chat GPT for Business Processes).

Setting up an AI strategy that is closely aligned with the business processes and their data, brings a lot of benefits in production, sales, service, even finance. In many cases, this part of the AI strategy is much more important than the question, if GenAI is allowed for users to write documentation and emails (which is another story to talk about).

In future, we need both: good, well documented and designed Business Processes, the “good old” stuff – and an AI strategy based upon the processes and corresponding data (yes, data is again another story to talk about).

Feeding business process data into AI will keep them manageable and maintainable. And – of course – this data is another fundamental asset in a company. Tightly connected to processes, highly relevant for AI.

So… Business Process and Data are two major drivers within your AI-strategy. And they won’t be killed or replaced. They will remain the core backbone of any company. AI will enhance, optimize, augment, visualize, simulate business processes – but not replace them.