GDPR As Catalyst: Start With A Solid Process Baseline (Part 3)

Cindy Morel

Part 3 of the “GDPR as Catalyst” series

Whatever your business does, it has processes, whether you recognize them as such or not. Processes are simply the steps – formalized or informal – involved in accomplishing a business objective, whether that’s getting a report published, delivering a service, or shipping products to customers. In fact, the typical business has countless processes.

Enterprise business processes are designed to support operations. But it’s not always easy to understand how well these processes are really performing or where they need improvement. To identify process weaknesses and opportunities for optimization, business process owners need complete transparency into how processes are executed.

Visualize as-is processes

An “as-is” business process defines its current state. Typically, the analysis goal in putting together the current-state process is to clarify exactly how the business process works today, kinks and all.

Understanding variations in how processes are executed can help companies discover inefficiencies and process deviations or errors that bloat the process, increase cycle times, or impact operational costs. Process transparency can help identify compliance issues and can pinpoint manual process steps that would benefit from digitalization or automation. And it can highlight best practices that should be standardized across business units.

Holistic, end-to-end transparency into as-is processes helps stimulate data-based continuous process improvement.

Continually improve processes

Process optimization is the discipline of adjusting a process to optimize some specified set of parameters without violating some constraint. The most common goals are minimizing cost and maximizing throughput and/or efficiency. When optimizing a process, the goal is to maximize one or more of the process specifications, while keeping all others within their constraints. This can be done by using a process mining tool, discovering the critical activities and bottlenecks, and acting only on them.

Process mining technologies provide data-based process discovery, intuitive visual representations, and extensive drill-down capabilities. These technologies can deliver new levels of insight that enable organizations to explore and analyze business process performance and identify opportunities for greater process optimization.

Intelligent enterprises will build a business blueprint for optimized processes. They will understand how things work and where to remediate inefficient, cost-intensive, and noncompliant processes. The ability to analyze historical data and identify opportunities to increase process efficiency can form the basis for a powerful operational intelligence platform. And achieving process thinking across the business culture, while enabling operational and process excellence, is critical for every digital business.

At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP Market Influencer Eric Kavanagh sat down with Bastian Nominacher, co-CEO of Celonis, to discuss the importance of understanding how and where data is flowing when undertaking a compliance project or a transformation initiative. Bastian’s recommendation: “You need to have a starting point for any transformation or compliance project. You need to have a solid baseline and a way of verifying where you stand, and then optimize based on this.”

Watch the interview with Celonis

To see the third of the 5-part discussion, watch the video.


Cindy Morel

About Cindy Morel

Cindy Morel is Director, Strategic Ecosystem Marketing for SAP. She is responsible for SAP’s global marketing efforts for SAP Solution Extensions focused on the needs of the CIO and CFO – including process mining, rapid application development, governance, risk and compliance, application security and testing, and the Internet of Things. Cindy has over 25 years of experience with marketing software solutions. Prior to joining SAP, Cindy held marketing roles with BEA, Tibco and BroadVision. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Santa Clara University.