Moving from multicloud complexity to agility with process automation

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I recently wrote about how tackling digital transformation in the multicloud world is a significant challenge for businesses. Enterprises need to integrate and manage their multicloud environments to deliver an agile, connected and secure IT infrastructure that supports rapid innovation. But the need for flexibility and agility doesn’t stop with IT infrastructure. It extends to the tasks and processes that impact customer satisfaction, service quality and — critically — the bottom line.

In some industries, such as healthcare, these challenges can mean the difference between life and death. Take the UK National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). Their life-saving work facilitates 4,500 organ transplants a year in the United Kingdom. However, since 6,500 people are on the waiting list at any given time, an average of three people die every day while waiting for an organ. The stakes for improving and speeding up the allocation process couldn’t be higher.

The allocation decision process for each type of organ – known as an allocation scheme – is very complex. It needs to account for both the donor’s and the potential recipient’s physiology, clinical situation, and geographic location. Additionally, these decision rules are constantly changing as new medical insights are uncovered. NHSBT’s existing IT systems did not manage this evolving complexity. Deploying a new allocation scheme took more than two years, which added complexity at a time when expedience was essential.

NHSBT worked to transform their allocation process for greater flexibility and business agility. Using the IBM Digital Process Automation platform, it took NHSBT only six months to design and deploy a new heart allocation scheme, all in the cloud. This single, modern user interface sits above and integrates legacy on-premises systems and cloud services to automate more than 40 percent of its rigorous 96-step allocation process.

The process is now digitized all the way from the time a nurse discusses organ donation with family members to the time a donation is offered to a transplant center. By using cloud-based process mapping, business process management (BPM) and operation decision management (ODM) solutions, NHSBT is able to efficiently make future updates to the process. This takes the emphasis off of managing the IT infrastructure needed to run the automation platform.

IBM is well-positioned to help other organizations across diverse industries automate more of their work. While your own business processes may not be a literal matter of life and death, the task of allocating limited resources to achieve critical results is a universal challenge. It is an IBM goal to help organizations reduce the complexity of their multicloud and hybrid cloud environments by automating business processes and tasks at scale.

As we announced last month, we’re partnering with Automation Anywhere to deliver a robotic process automation (RPA) solution to help our clients automate at scale. The IBM RPA offering bundles Automation Anywhere RPA technology with IBM Business Process Manager (BPM) to deliver the joint, integrated value of both offerings. Specific work tasks get referred to automated RPA bots and use BPM to orchestrate multiple RPA activities. The advanced platform is designed to seamlessly integrate systems, people and bots across the widest assortment of processes running on premises or in the cloud.

Process automation, especially in the multicloud environment using the latest in RPA technology, presents a tremendous opportunity for the digital transformation of your business.  I invite you to learn more about how IBM can help you with your automation initiatives by scheduling a no-cost consultation with one of our IBM experts.

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