Jan Bosch is a research center director, professor, consultant and angel investor in startups. You can contact him at jan@janbosch.com.

Opinion

Boost your digitalization: process orchestration

Leestijd: 5 minuten

Failing to get the process modularization and orchestration right may easily cause significant debt that will be expensive to resolve.

There’s little doubt in anyone’s mind, I hope, that automation lies at the heart of all the progress in human well-being and economic development. It started with outsourcing physical labor to machines, initially through watermills and windmills and later through the use of internal combustion engines and electric motors. Later on, also “white collar” work was increasingly automated through the use of computers, and activities requiring intellectual labor were starting to get automated. This is a process that’s still ongoing, affecting industry after industry.

There’s an interesting pattern where an activity to be automated is first positioned and presented as supporting, with a human still running and in charge of it. The next step is to automate more of the work and to position the human increasingly as the supervisor of the automated process. Finally, with the increasing performance and reliability of the automated process, the human is removed from the loop entirely and the cost of the activity has dropped by orders of magnitude. This is why automation and the use of computers have such a strong deflationary effect, even if it may take a long time to capitalize on them.

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