A joke: How do you think companies in the future will look like? Well, they will be composed of three basic elements: a computer, a security guard and a dog. Why? The computer will run the business; finance, sales, operations, etc. The security guard will keep the computer from been stolen or damage. The dog will keep the security guard from touching the computer.
As more and more software comes out for automating processes in the enterprise, things will become simpler to manage than they are today. But of course, there are so many things a company does, that for fully automating it we would have to tackle hundreds of processes.
So, divide and conquer. Taking one processes at a time will take you to automating routine tasks, like the expense report application, to automating a full department.
Companies starting to get bigger would be easier. Imagine a small company or midsize company automating their process of expense report; at the end they could have an accounts payable department a quarter of a size of an enterprise managing the same volume. That’s what you get automating business processes.
Also, the most important interaction a company has is with its clients and we can also automate that as much as possible (of course, without forgetting customer service). But imagine a customer self service internet site where clients requests their needs and automatically this enter an automated business process. Using Procx for example, you can have forms like the standard XForms or XML, that after the customer hitting submit, automatically enters a workflow inside the company.
With all these things we can imagine a more and more automated enterprise, tracking every process and knowing where everything is. I like to call it the coordinated enterprise. Every process is hook together with one another and everybody in the business knows what to do that also translate in client expecting what the service offer will be.