The Internet was a great big steel trap for a lot of companies–it sucked in resources, people and money and offered only vague pie-in-the-sky promises in return. Today’s technology users have learned from the mistakes of the first wave and have begun to use the new technologies to streamline operations, cut costs and increase revenues.
This year, the entire value chain will begin to reap the benefits of straight-through processing. Human beings, instead of being links in that chain, will sit outside of it and monitor the value chain’s functioning, stepping in only when problems arise. This will increase efficiency, reduce costs, and free employees from the drudgery of boring, repetitive tasks–that kind of tasks that lead to mistakes and job burnout.
Since straight-through processing offers businesses so many benefits, it is the top area in which technology will continue to make a difference. There’s no silver bullet solution, however. The business value chain is made up of a number of players, and a number of subordinate processes–each of which needs to be automated and integrated with the other links in the chain. The Internet will continue to play a major role in this process, though other technologies, such as document imaging, come into play as well.