I have had many discussions over the years on Process Mining (#processmining ) – how valuable it is and how its insights provide significant ROI for businesses. As part of these discussions, the question always comes up as to why the growth started in Europe and then took longer for the rest of the world.
My thesis, which I have shared with many industry colleagues and analysts, is that the rise of process mining directly correlates to a company’s desire to focus on operational efficiency. This thesis begs the question, what makes a company focus on operational efficiency? I believe, it always comes back to people.
Initially, Process Mining technology took off in Europe, where wages tend to be costly, and there has been more investment in upskilling people rather than replacing them with cheaper alternatives (Remember, I am speaking in broader terms not specific use cases as there are always exceptions). Since companies can’t add unlimited expensive labor resources, they are driven to find ways to do things better. Thus, leading them down the path of operational efficiency, then process improvement, and then process mining.
If you follow the “red thread”, as they call it, and look at how process mining has spread across the globe it aligns with the thesis, expanding into Japan, where labor resources are expensive, and Brazil where replacing labor can be challenging.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”.
And the rise of process mining in places like North America…Why now?
There are multiple reasons…
- The benefits and successes of European companies implementing process mining have led to global rollouts to their North American divisions and spread by word of mouth between executives on what technologies they are adopting
- The labor market is becoming more challenging, and access to critical new labor resources is scarce, which forces companies to look for alternative solutions. In comes process mining with its ability to drive operational efficiency in processes, allowing companies to do more with the same resources.
- And of course, the continued growth in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA #rpa) market. Process Mining is one of the best tools to identify use cases that warrant automation and provide a high ROI for the effort.
Process mining fundamentally changes how businesses think about their operations for the better. It allows businesses to look at their company as a living organism with workflows to accomplish tasks, rather than just static reports. Doing so provides the insights needed to identify opportunities to improve with data-driven results. That tells you that every business should eventually have this technology. Whether for business process mapping (#processmapping ), driving operational excellence (#operationalexcellence ), digital twins (#digitaltwin ), or part of an overall “Hyper-Automation” strategy, the technology adds tremendous value, whatever the use case.
As history has shown us in the past, the key to widespread technology adoption is enabling more users to take advantage of it, also known as the “Democratization of Technology” – the action of making something accessible to everyone.
A great example of this goes back to 1977 when Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation stated, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” At the time, his statement had some merit as computers were much different then and not designed for the average person. But as with all technology, things move quickly. In the PC world, they made tremendous advancements in software and hardware to make computers easier to use and understand for a wider audience. Even simple things, like color coding the mouse cord green and the keyboard purple, allowing you to match the colors to the connections on the back of the PC, made a world of difference.
The future of Process Mining will be no different. The technology is evolving to enable the “Citizen Developer” (#citizendeveloper ), or even better the “Citizen Process Miner” (#citizenprocessminer ), to leverage the potential of the technology across a broader range of applications and insights.
What does this mean in the long run? Better technology, more use cases, and a much broader and more comprehensive set of companies implementing it as a must-have tool to improve their business.
Process Mining Simplified