We’ve been busy over here at iGrafx – even more so than usual as companies around the world wrestle with the fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding COVID-19. It is definitely the case that when you encounter the very real threat of production delays, supply chain failures, workforce realignment, missed revenue projections and overall mass business disruption, that people start thinking deeply about core business processes.
If you know anything about iGrafx, you know that for almost 30 years we’ve been at the forefront of process-centric business modeling. We have always believed that process is at the center of everything, and that if properly managed, an enterprise’s processes can be a portfolio of valuable assets.
We are broken hearted about the circumstances that have created this recent, pervasive business continuity interest, but we stand ready to deliver meaningful, actionable, scalable support when it is needed most.
I’ve seen others offer various kinds of relief packages and suggestions to help companies navigate these uncharted waters. And frankly, I’m afraid that some of those offers are only going to lead companies to rougher seas. For example, several technology companies have been touting hyper automation as a way to ameliorate the workforce challenges presented by a virus that infects human workers. This is all well and good, because it is true that a digital worker can’t be infected with a (human) virus, however it just isn’t realistic to think that a business that hasn’t identified, optimized, prioritized its strategic processes will be able to successfully automate in a time of unforeseen core process changes. BPM and RPA are fantastic to supplement and execute digital transformation initiatives, and potentially address short term issues. However, without understanding the processes most impacted by the pandemic enterprises run the risk of not fixing the most critical problems today and creating bigger problems later on. In other words, you might turbo charge your boat, only to speed off quickly in the wrong direction.
Even Gartner is pointing people into potentially dangerous seas with the “Five-Phase Approach for Resilient Business Models During Coronavirus Disruptions” that they released last week. Don’t get me wrong, there is some very important, cogent and timely information in the guidance, but the direction is very heavily focused on IT and systems resiliency. It’s more of a compass for CIOs, rather than a chart for navigating through the overarching business problems. I agree it really is all about having the business models defined, documented, optimized and shared. However, there is much more to business resiliency than keeping systems and other IT resources operational. N+1 backups and redundant data centers are very, very important, but they don’t matter much if the people resources (employees) and their interactions with these system and processes is not fully understood. Business models must be process-centric and people-centric to truly act as the North Star during times of unplanned risk.
I’ll be discussing all of this in more detail in a live, free webinar on 4/12. I hope that you and everyone in your personal and professional circle are staying safe and healthy.