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Digital Process Automation – Definition, Benefits, Examples, and More

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Digital Process Automation (DPA) Definition

Digital Process Automation, or DPA, is a technique that digital technology uses to automate one or more tasks involved in a business process. Organizations often use the software as a means of automation to optimize their workflows.

Using DPA does not necessarily mean that entire processes are automated. Instead, the techniques are usually partially automated, which means that some form of human interaction is still required.

Automation of digital processes is often confused with the automation of business processes. The difference is essentially one of scope and time.

Business process automation use to build, run, and automate an organization’s business processes. However, DPA typically occurs after a cycle has digitized to some extent.

Benefits of Digital Process Automation

digital process automation

The DPA offers organizations many potential benefits. These benefits include:

Increased Employee Satisfaction

  • DPA clarifies the roles and responsibilities of employees. The points where human intervention and interaction are required know throughout the organization.
  • Industry-leading process automation software enables employees to seek help and communicate seamlessly with team members and managers.
  • Organizations can also easily update employees on workflow changes.

Improved Customer Service

  • Automation allows employees to focus less on time-consuming and tedious tasks and spend more time with supplementary customers.
  • DPA solutions also recover the customer experience by offering more efficient and enjoyable interactions with an organization.
  • For example, banks can improve the customer experience by automating the process of opening a new account.

Greater Compliance and Security

  • Manual and paper-based procedures are not only incompetent. They lead to lost IDs, security breaches, and low heights of compliance.
  • DPA utensils like Master Data Management (MDM) make it easy to store, secure, and access important information and documentation electronically.

Reduction of Operational Costs

  • By automating tasks, employees can complete tasks more quickly and focus their time on less repetitive and higher-value functions.

Organizational Flexibility

  • The outbreak of COVID-19 this year illustrates how important it is for organizations to change goals quickly.
  • For example, the ability for staff to work from home if necessary.
  • Or for higher education organizations, the ability to switch to the virtual learning model and return.
  • Even when things return to usual, organizations will continue to need to react to challenges such as changing consumer preferences and demands in real-time.

Examples of Digital Process Automation (DPA)

There are many different examples and use bags of digital process automation in organizations. Let’s look at two examples, employee and customer onboarding and purchase orders, to understand better how DPA works within a given process.

1. Incorporation of Employees and Clients

  • Hiring employees or starting an association with a new client is a lot of work. Onboarding employees involves completing forms, gathering documentation, organizing training sessions, and assigning assets.
  • Manual onboarding processes can lead to excessive paperwork, compliance issues, and low levels of employee retention.
  • With DPA, organizations can mechanize one or more onboarding tasks, eliminating bottlenecks in workflows by facilitating transitions between each step in the process.
  • Also, opening a new account and onboarding process requires organizations to gather information and documentation from customers.
  • Not only is this ineffective and costly, but it also leads to lengthy onboarding processes that frustrate new customers.
  • Through DPA, organizations can automate different steps to provide faster and more enjoyable onboarding experiences.

2. Purchase Orders

  • Purchase orders are ideal for automating digital processes, as they are repetitive and can cause significant delays in workflow.
  • Organizations typically process many PO requests each month, both one-time and recurring.
  • Purchase orders usually require one or more approvals and can be submitted multiple times for review.
  • These transitions can lead to delays and reduced productivity. With DPA, organizations can streamline their purchase order approval processes.
  • For example, once a purchase order is submitted, digital process automation software can direct the request to the appropriate stakeholder for approval and notify the requesting party when it is approved.

Digital Process Automation vs Robotic Process Automation

digital process automation

  1. Like DPA and occupational process automation, DPA and robotic process automation often confuse.
  2. Although the terms mean different things, they often use together to enhance customer experiences.
  3. Robotic process automation (RPA) uses intelligent automation technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate repetitive tasks.
  4. RPA aims to substitute human intervention in business processes.
  5. The DPA, however, is not intended to replace tasks performed by humans entirely.
  6. Instead, digital process automation focuses on process automation to improve workflows.
  7. Thus, in this sense, RPA and DPA serve different but complementary purposes within an organization.
  8. They often use together as part of the organization’s overall business process management (BPM) strategies and initiatives.

How to Get Started with Digital Process Automation?

DPA is like many other modern technologies in that the best way to start is to think big, but start small, and then when you’re ready, scale quickly.

Starting small allows you to take an agile approach, fail fast, and learn even more quickly, reducing the overall risk of any program.

Most importantly, this approach allows you to demonstrate results quickly. This makes it easier for you to acquire the most significant initiatives you have in mind.


Digital Process Automation (DPA) is rapidly emerging as a significant evolution of the traditional Business Process Management or BPM category.

Behind this change is the rising need for companies to automate processes as part of broader digital transformation initiatives.


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