The Development Lines of Process Automation

  • August-Wilhelm ScheerEmail author


The paradigm change from the optimisation of individual operational functions to the optimisation of complete end-to-end processes has been driving the enormous success of business application software, especially ERP systems, since the 1990s. The topic has become the subject of increased interest recently as a result of the digital transformation of business models and processes in almost all industries. Process automation takes place in a number of organisational and technical waves. This article outlines more recent lines of development. After beginning with the traditional BPM approach, in which the priority is modelling business processes, I then proceed to discuss process mining, in which ongoing processes are tracked, analysed and improved. With operational performance support, the individual process instances are supported in real time through predictive analytics and online learning aids. The cutting-edge field of robotic process automation attempts to use robots and software to relieve the burden on process consultants. New infrastructure such as cloud computing and blockchain is having a significant effect on process management. The use of AI technology is becoming increasingly important in all applications. The lines of development of process automation are illustrated in Fig. 1, and this essay also follows the same structure.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.August-Wilhelm Scheer Institut für digitale Produkte und Prozesse gGmbH, Saarbrücken, Scheer GmbHSaarbrückenGermany

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