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The Engine Behind Digital Twins: A Closer Look at Process Mining

The Engine Behind Digital Twin

The Engine Behind Digital Twin

Linda Dotts—the Chief Partner Strategy Officer at SS&C Blue Prism—shared insights on digital twin technologies and the process mining tools that power them. This article originally appeared in Insight Jam, an enterprise IT community that enables human conversation on AI.

The global digital twin market is projected to grow to more than $137 billion in 2030, up from more than $11 billion in 2023. While businesses can unlock new levels of productivity, efficiency, and innovation with digital twins, the key is to correctly identify which processes should be automated in the first place. To understand the role of digital twins in a successful automation strategy, let’s take a closer look at the part played by process and task mining in helping to assess the eligibility of new processes for automation and provide an end-to-end, realistic view of combined process performance. 

Process Mining and Why It Matters  

A company’s process-improvement team can use digital twins, usually created through a process or task-mining tool, to help businesses visualize and understand how processes have changed over time. When tiny margins count, companies can improve processes, reduce costs, and improve product quality.

Process mining concentrates on the broader view of end-to-end business operations. It seeks to discover, monitor, and improve the entire sequence of organizational activities and interactions, including how tasks are connected and how data flows through the processes. Its tools extract data from the event logs of information systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or any system of record.    

Task mining focuses primarily on how individual tasks are performed by users, including the specific steps they take and the applications they use, to capture their interactions with software and systems. By extracting these valuable data insights, businesses can refine them to improve specific processes and business productivity. 

The Benefits of a Holistic Automated Process View 

With intelligent automation powered by a digital workforce, businesses can expedite operations and streamline activities with unprecedented efficiency. As part of intelligent automation, the advancement of machine learning has propelled digital twins to become a staple in driving innovation and improving performance across most sectors, not least in the financial, healthcare, insurance, supply chain, and telecom areas.  

Across industries, process mining is hugely beneficial for capturing a picture of how processes are performing, with process visualizations providing an accurate workflow through each process stage and identifying any delays or bottlenecks along the way. Using audit trails to create a model of processes also makes compliance easier because the processes can then be monitored in real-time and alert organizations immediately to any issues. Intelligent automation facilitates this collaboration of processes and technologies. 

Process mining can generate granular process maps, flowcharts, and performance metrics for entire business operations using data-mining algorithms. When technologies advance rapidly, this helps you stay on top of your automation and identify opportunities to improve with minimal effort. Without these techniques, business process improvement goals would be based on guesswork or extremely complex and time-consuming because, to analyze process performance properly, you would have to perform manual data reviews and user interviews. This approach would not only be a slow process but one with a high margin of error. 

In one use case, for instance, a Fortune 100 financial services firm needed to monitor investor compliance onboarding. Relying on 16 full-time employees, only 15 percent of it could be monitored overall, which had a significant impact on the firm. When process mining was deployed, the firm could monitor 100 percent of transactions, resulting in roughly $2 million in savings annually.

Another example of the benefits of process mining is in telecommunications or any other sector where companies manage massive physical and digital footprints across the globe. With so much business activity, simple tasks such as resolving billing disputes and processing payments are ripe for inefficiencies and errors. Business analysis through process mining is ideal for preventing issues before they arise or become more challenging to tackle. Digital twins can be utilized to simulate and test business processes.

The result in both examples is a holistic 360-degree view of business processes, asset condition and historical data. Process mining can also monitor people, processes, and tasks within a business, instantly highlighting areas for optimization so automations can be developed to integrate anything from artificial intelligence to software analytics. 

The Benefits of Integrated Automation 

Combining digital twin solutions and complementary advanced technologies can help businesses achieve new levels of productivity, efficiency, and innovation. However, realizing maximum value requires a strategic approach that emphasizes collaboration, integration, and continuous improvement. Using a process intelligence platform can help you achieve tight integration between process mining, task mining, and intelligent automation.  

Adding business process management (BPM) capabilities will also help facilitate decision-making and deliver a unified workforce that can monitor, respond, and predict future outcomes. These comprehensive and crucial capabilities are all integrated and delivered by digital workers. A digital workforce relies on having a well-prepared stock of processes ready for automation. This is why it is so important to figure out which processes are best for automation. Mining these insights and integrating them into existing processes while highlighting areas for improvement can improve performance.  

Digital twins and digital workers play a crucial role in process improvement to help alleviate these challenges and spot automation opportunities. This collaboration allows for fine-tuning processes before automating them. For example, you are empowered to accelerate the transformation of processes from days to months, reduce process discovery time, and gain comprehensive visibility into existing systems, methods, and workloads, facilitating enterprise-wide optimization. 

If they go unseen, inefficient tasks can slow your business’s progress, hindering its growth and efficiency. Whether it’s data entry, document approvals, or regulatory compliance, each process presents room for error, oversight, and non-compliance to sneak in. However, a digital workforce supported by digital twin technology can pave the way for enhanced productivity and optimized processes to accelerate and scale your business’s success.

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