Alex Colon is the managing editor of PCMag's consumer electronics team. He previously covered mobile technology for PCMag and Gigaom. Though he does the majority of his reading and writing on various digital displays, Alex still loves to sit down with a good, old-fashioned, paper and ink book in his free time. (Not that there's anything wrong wit... See Full Bio
Available exclusively at Lowe's and designed for small to medium spaces, the Hisense 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Wi-Fi can be controlled using your smartphone and easily moved from room to room. At $369 it's a bit more expensive than most similarly powered non-connected portable air conditioners, and it doesn't work with other smart home devices. But it's very quiet, easy to install, and does a great job of cooling. And it stays connected to your Wi-Fi network much more reliably than other options we've tested.
Summary: Offers a community of users to test and provide feedback on websites, mobile applications and desktop applications. With BetaEasy, users solve problems collectively by communicating with one another and voting on each other’s suggestions. It also allows companies to communicate with users and react to their suggestions and provides detailed reports of all communications and progress.
The post proved unusually divisive, and comments flooded in. (It’s now been viewed nearly half a million times.) Reactions were split between those who felt Etherable was cheating, or at least deceiving, the employer, and those who thought the coder had simply found a clever way to perform the job at hand. Etherable never responded to the ensuing discussion. Perhaps spooked by the attention—media outlets around the world picked up the story—the user vanished, leaving that sole contribution to an increasingly crucial conversation about who gets to automate work and on what terms.
Full automation commonly defined as requiring no control or very limited control by the driver; such automation would be accomplished through a combination of sensor, computer, and communications systems in vehicles and along the roadway. Fully automated driving would, in theory, allow closer vehicle spacing and higher speeds, which could enhance traffic capacity in places where additional road building is physically impossible, politically unacceptable, or prohibitively expensive. Automated controls also might enhance road safety by reducing the opportunity for driver error, which causes a large share of motor vehicle crashes. Other potential benefits include improved air quality (as a result of more-efficient traffic flows), increased fuel economy, and spin-off technologies generated during research and development related to automated highway systems.[71]
LoseIt, as the name suggests, puts emphasis on losing weight. Based on your current and target weight, height, gender and desired pace of weight loss, it assigns you a daily budget for your food intake. You can scan barcodes to log meals and calculate how many calories you have burnt from a session in the gym.  The app displays green and red bars to indicate which days you hit your goals or overindulged, allowing to track your weight loss journey. LoseIt has a community forum where you can share your favorite meals and enter challenges to keep you motivated.

The International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.
One way to generate test cases automatically is model-based testing through use of a model of the system for test case generation, but research continues into a variety of alternative methodologies for doing so.[citation needed] In some cases, the model-based approach enables non-technical users to create automated business test cases in plain English so that no programming of any kind is needed in order to configure them for multiple operating systems, browsers, and smart devices.[2]
Increased automation can often cause workers to feel anxious about losing their jobs as technology renders their skills or experience unnecessary. Early in the Industrial Revolution, when inventions like the steam engine were making some job categories expendable, workers forcefully resisted these changes. Luddites, for instance, were English textile workers who protested the introduction of weaving machines by destroying them.[46] Similar movements have sprung up periodically ever since. For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the most influential of these movements were led by organized labor, which advocated for the retraining of workers whose jobs were rendered redundant by machines.
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After hearing of a recent Oxford University study on advancing automation and its potential to displace workers, Yuh-Mei Hutt, of Tallahassee, Florida, wrote, “The idea that half of today’s jobs may vanish has changed my view of my children’s future.” Hutt was reacting not only as a mother; she heads a business and occasionally blogs about emerging technologies. Familiar as she is with the upside of computerization, the downside looms large. “How will they compete against AI?” she asked. “How will they compete against a much older and experienced workforce vying for even fewer positions?”
MFP is available on desktop and any mobile device you have, and you can seamlessly sync between devices and maintain your data if you’re using more than one. It also boasts pages and pages of integrations that you can sync up to your wearable or health and activity app of choice. If there’s an app or device it doesn’t work with, I wasn’t able to find it.

A process automation or automation system (PAS) is used to automatically control a process such as chemical, oil refineries, paper and pulp factories. The PAS often uses a network to interconnect sensors, controllers, operator terminals and actuators. A PAS is often based on open standards in contrast to a DCS (distributed control system), which is traditionally proprietary. However in recent times the PAS is considered to be more associated with SCADA systems.

Before that happens, anyone who works with code may want to consider the benefits enjoyed by self-automation. They’re a sort of test case for how automation could deliver a higher quality of life to the average worker, albeit an imperfect one. “The problem is for automation to work, it needs to be democratized,” Woodcock told me. “It’s a step forward that it’s not a corporate manager who’s delivering automation. It’s still not a democratic process.” Self-automators are acting alone, deciding when and how to replace their own job with code. Ideally, automation decisions would happen collectively, with colleagues’ and peers’ input, so the gains could be evenly distributed.


Late last year, the health-care start-up Viome raised $15 million in venture-capital funding for at-home fecal test kits. You send in a very small package of your own poop, and the company tells you what’s happening in your gut so that you can recalibrate your diet to, among other things, lose weight and keep it off. In the company’s words, subscribers get the opportunity to explore and improve their own microbiome: Viome “uses state-of-the-art proprietary technology” to create “unique molecular profiles” for those who purchase and submit a kit.

In a typical hard wired motor start and stop circuit (called a control circuit) a motor is started by pushing a "Start" or "Run" button that activates a pair of electrical relays. The "lock-in" relay locks in contacts that keep the control circuit energized when the push button is released. (The start button is a normally open contact and the stop button is normally closed contact.) Another relay energizes a switch that powers the device that throws the motor starter switch (three sets of contacts for three phase industrial power) in the main power circuit. Large motors use high voltage and experience high in-rush current, making speed important in making and breaking contact. This can be dangerous for personnel and property with manual switches. The "lock in" contacts in the start circuit and the main power contacts for the motor are held engaged by their respective electromagnets until a "stop" or "off" button is pressed, which de-energizes the lock in relay.[10]


Sid Bala, President and CEO of alligatortek, notes, “For us, a process that used to take up to a week has now been reduced to minutes, meaning that fresh produce gets into the hands of those who need it faster than ever before. In just one year, a national nonprofit connected 128 million pounds of fresh produce to Americans facing hunger — an increase of 9 percent over last year’s produce donation. alligatortek developed the Produce Donor Portal, a cloud-based site that gives a national nonprofit more automation and quicker workflow.”
Narain stepped up by seeing an opportunity to develop drugs in a new way. That takes lots of experience, insight, and the ability to understand quickly how the world is changing. Likewise, one interpretation of the success of today’s ultrarich Wall Street investment bankers and hedge fund titans is that they have stepped up above automated trading and portfolio management systems.
The nature of home automation devices can also be a problem for security, since patches to bugs found in the core operating system often do not reach users of older and lower-price devices.[33][34] One set of researchers say that the failure of vendors to support older devices with patches and updates leaves more than 87% of active devices vulnerable.[35][36]
Another problem with test tooling, one that's more subtle, especially in user interface testing, is that it doesn't happen until the entire system is deployed. To create an automated test, someone must code, or at least record, all the actions. Along the way, things won't work, and there will be initial bugs that get reported back to the programmers. Eventually, you get a clean test run, days after the story is first coded. But once the test runs, it only has value in the event of some regression, where something that worked yesterday doesn't work today.
As the editor of MIT Technology Review, I spend much of my time thinking about the types of stories and journalism that will be most valuable to our readers. What do curious, well-informed readers need to know about emerging technologies? As a… More writer, I am particularly interested these days in the intersection of chemistry, materials science, energy, manufacturing, and economics.
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An example of a good use of BPA is in customer success activities. Automation ensures that your team members can spend their time on the high-touch work needed to retain your customers (such as onboarding) instead of data entry. Data entry is rife for errors and mishaps, and it relies on the team to communicate the customer information to each other.
What is more important is that testing is not only about finding bugs. As the Testing Manifesto from Growing Agile summarises very illustratively and to the point, testing is about getting to understand the product and the problem(s) it tries to solve and finding areas where the product or the underlying process can be improved. It is about preventing bugs, rather than finding bugs and building the best system by iteratively questioning each and every aspect and underlying assumption, rather than breaking the system. A good tester is a highly skilled professional, constantly communicating with customers, stakeholders and developers. So talking about automated testing is abstruse to the point of being comical.
The picture is actually even worse than those numbers alone suggest, says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Existing federal “readjustment programs,” he says, include a collection of small initiatives—some dating back to the 1960s—addressing everything from military-­base closings to the needs of Appalachian coal-mining communities. But none are specifically designed to help people whose jobs have disappeared because of automation. Not only is the overall funding limited, he says, but the help is too piecemeal to take on a broad labor-force disruption like automation.
Automation is already contributing significantly to unemployment, particularly in nations where the government does not proactively seek to diminish its impact. In the United States, 47% of all current jobs have the potential to be fully automated by 2033, according to the research of experts Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne. Furthermore, wages and educational attainment appear to be strongly negatively correlated with an occupation’s risk of being automated.[48] Prospects are particularly bleak for occupations that do not presently require a university degree, such as truck driving.[49] Even in high-tech corridors like Silicon Valley, concern is spreading about a future in which a sizable percentage of adults have little chance of sustaining gainful employment.[50] As the example of Sweden suggests, however, the transition to a more automated future need not inspire panic, if there is sufficient political will to promote the retraining of workers whose positions are being rendered obsolete.
Katalon Studio is a powerful test automation solution for mobile, Web, and API testing. And it is completely FREE! It provides a comprehensive set of features for test automation, including recording actions, creating test cases, generating test scripts, executing tests, reporting results, and integrating with many other tools in the software development lifecycle.

With tools like TestComplete, the evolution from manual to automated testing does not have to be difficult. By allowing you to see every action you make, either while generating test code or in administering tests, manual testers can see exactly where to make adjustments while they’re learning. After using automated testing tools and techniques, manual testing has proven to be an effective way of double-checking the software to make sure there is no stone left unturned. In that sense, manual and automated testing go hand-in-hand and, when used properly, can ensure that the final product is as good as it can be.


This diet tracking app was designed by a professional bodybuilder. It has a library of over 1.5 million food items and all the content is stored locally so there is no need for internet connection. What is great about this app is that it displays macro totals not only for the day but also for all foods and individual meals.  You can also set yourself goals and the app allows for detailed nutrition targets and multiple target sets. So if you want different macro totals for different days, this app can do that for you. My Macros + allows you to log your body weight to make sure you stay on track.  You can also follow your friends and keep an eye on their daily progress.
This article uses the term “tester” to refer to the person involved in testing software with automation tools. It is not meant to distinguish by job title or technical proficiency. Jim Hazen describes himself as a hybrid, or “technical tester,” because he can write test scripts and develop what he refers to as “testware.” The trend is to hire for multiple skillsets, but that does not mean the non-technical stakeholders involved in software development don’t benefit from automation testing.
Automation tools perform a series of preplanned scenarios with expected results, and either check exact screen regions -- in record/playback -- or only what they are told to specifically check for -- in keyword-driven. A computer will never say "that looks odd," never explore or get inspired by one test to have a new idea. Nor will a computer note that a "failure" is actually a change in the requirements. Instead, the test automation will log a failure and a human will have to look at the false failure, analyze it, recognize that it is not a bug and "fix" the test. This creates a maintenance burden. Automated testing tools automate only the test execution and evaluation.
When your mobile device is part of the intercom experience, you’ll always know who’s at the door. From wherever you are—from the backyard to the backlands—quickly tap a custom button within the app, such as “Delivery”, to disarm the alarm, turn on the light, and unlock the door. Once that important package is placed safely inside, another tap secures the house once again.
MyFitnessPal and LoseIt make tracking incredibly easy.  They both integrate with other top health and fitness devices, trackers and apps to provide a seamless, connected experience. Both apps connect with Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Strava, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, Misfit and more! Users can also track steps right from the built-in step tracker on their phones so no additional tracker is required. MyFitnessPal alone connects with over 50 devices and apps and adjust your goals automatically to take into account your actual daily activity

Where do you begin with a BPA project? How do you identify which processes should be automated at the beginning? Companies should select the processes by first looking at their strategic needs. In this way, companies should ask themselves what will make them more competitive in the marketplace. For instance, you may be concerned with getting goods to market quicker (or first) or decreasing the price of your products by improving your margins.
Ethan H. Goodman, Digital Marketing Manager of DubSEO Limited, says, “All business growth is directly or indirectly tied to your ability to automate your business. The advantage of business automation is the ability to increase efficiency and productivity. People generally function well when they are put in positions that motivate them. The reality is that most routine activities aren’t motivating or exciting. This means that your employees will simply go through the motions without putting in 100 percent. The best part of business automation is that you spend less time on routine tasks by letting your software or outsourced agency handle that part of your business while you focus on growth and expansion.
Summary: A complete API testing platform with support for API functional testing, API load testing, API security testing, service virtualization, API testing in code, API performance management and defining, building, and managing APIS. SmartBear Ready! API provides project management, metrics and reporting, script support, discovery, and continuous integration across all of these API testing capabilities.
Considering all of its shortcomings, we are lucky that testing existing functionality isn’t really testing. As we said before, real testing is questioning each and every aspect and underlying assumption of the product. Existing functionality has already endured that sort of testing. Although it might be necessary to re-evaluate assumptions that were considered valid at the time of testing, this is typically not necessary before every release and certainly not continuously. Testing existing functionality is not really testing. It is called regression testing, and although it sounds the same, regression testing is to testing like pet is to carpet—not at all related. The goal of regression testing is merely to recheck that existing functionality still works as it did at the time of the actual testing. So regression testing is about controlling the changes of the behaviour of the software. In that regard it has more to do with version control than with testing. In fact, one could say that regression testing is the missing link between controlling changes of the static properties of the software (configuration and code) and controlling changes of the dynamic properties of the software (the look and behaviour). Automated tests simply pin those dynamic properties down and transform them to a static artefact (e.g. a test script), which again can be governed by current version control systems.
For very simple software, the bug reports might be tracked with sticky notes or spreadsheets. But when the software is more complex, these become unwieldy, and companies need to turn to software designed for the task. Typically, professional bug trackers report on bug severity, priority, when the defect was discovered, exact reproduction steps, who fixed it, what build it was fixed in, as well as searching and tagging mechanisms to simplify finding a defect. These tools don't just assist programmers and project managers; customer service and existing users can use these tools to find out if an issue is known, if it is scheduled for fixing, escalating known issues and entering unknown ones. Bug tracking tools can also help with the workflow, because bugs can be assigned to programmers, then to testers to recheck, then marked to be deployed, and then, after the release, marked as deployed.
During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
There are many ways to track your sleep these days, from fitness trackers to smartwatches, but perhaps nothing is better suited for the job than your mattress itself. At least, that's the idea behind Sleep Number's 360 Smart Bed, which incorporates biometric sensors to help you snooze better. You use an app on your smartphone to view your sleep trends and health metrics, and to gain insight on how you can sleep better. It's a hefty investment, but if you have the money to spend, the 360 Smart Bed is a comfortable, effective, and highly customizable way to improve your quality of sleep.
A different take on the home security camera, the SkyBell HD is a video doorbell that lets you see and speak with whoever is outside. It may look like the original SkyBell Video Doorbell we reviewed back in 2015, but that's where the similarities end. This version delivers highly detailed video at 1080p with color night vision, and captures several of seconds of footage prior to a triggered event. It also integrates with numerous third-party smart home devices, and comes with free cloud storage for recorded video, a rarity in this category.
When we reviewed the Ecobee3 in 2015 it earned our Editors' Choice for its sleek design, numerous features, and ease of use. We also loved the inclusion of a remote sensor to help reduce hot or cold spots in different rooms. We're happy to report that the new Ecobee4 boasts all the same features as it predecessor, and more, thanks to the addition of built-in Amazon Alexa voice service capabilities. That means you can have the thermostat do everything that the Amazon Echo and its siblings can, such as control smart devices, shop, play music, and hear the latest news and weather, all using Alexa voice commands.
In general usage, automation can be defined as a technology concerned with performing a process by means of programmed commands combined with automatic feedback control to ensure proper execution of the instructions. The resulting system is capable of operating without human intervention. The development of this technology has become increasingly dependent on the use of computers and computer-related technologies. Consequently, automated systems have become increasingly sophisticated and complex. Advanced systems represent a level of capability and performance that surpass in many ways the abilities of humans to accomplish the same activities.
Lately, whenever something goes horribly wrong, someone offers up Rogers’s phrase or a video in which he shares it as succor: during the Thai cave rescue, in response to the U.S. family-separation policy, after a school-bus accident in New Jersey, following a fatal explosion in Wisconsin, in the aftermath of a van attack in Toronto, in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas school massacre, and more.
What if all the devices in your life could connect to the internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything: clocks, speakers, lights, door bells, cameras, windows, window blinds, hot water heaters, appliances, cooking utensils, you name it. And what if those devices could all communicate, send you information, and take your commands? It's not science fiction; it's the Internet of Things (IoT), and it's a key component of home automation and smart homes.
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is smarter than your average robot vacuum. In addition to laser navigation, it features interactive cleaning maps, a simple and intuitive app, and class-leading integration with third-party smart home devices and services. When you add in excellent battery life and cleaning performance, the D7 justifies its hefty $799 price.
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If you're interested in sous vide cooking—where food sealed in plastic is immersed in a hot bath to cook to perfection—you need an immersion circulator to get started. The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker uses Wi-Fi connectivity so you control it from anywhere, even when you're not home. A big dial lets you set the desired temperature to within a tenth of a degree, display shows the set and current water temperature, and an app keeps you notified of the cooking process every step of the way. It makes cooking sous vide as simple as can be.

IT and process management participation is important too. “While not statistically significant, organizations need to ensure both IT and process management are equally involved in RPA efforts,” says Lyke-Ho-Gland. “IT ensures that bots are integrated smoothly with existing systems and process management helps reduce costly, post-production rework by re-engineering processes for digital execution and ensuring all process variants and exceptions are captured and understood.”


Industrial automation incorporates programmable logic controllers in the manufacturing process. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) use a processing system which allows for variation of controls of inputs and outputs using simple programming. PLCs make use of programmable memory, storing instructions and functions like logic, sequencing, timing, counting, etc. Using a logic based language, a PLC can receive a variety of inputs and return a variety of logical outputs, the input devices being sensors and output devices being motors, valves, etc. PLCs are similar to computers, however, while computers are optimized for calculations, PLCs are optimized for control task and use in industrial environments. They are built so that only basic logic-based programming knowledge is needed and to handle vibrations, high temperatures, humidity and noise. The greatest advantage PLCs offer is their flexibility. With the same basic controllers, a PLC can operate a range of different control systems. PLCs make it unnecessary to rewire a system to change the control system. This flexibility leads to a cost-effective system for complex and varied control systems.[88]
The recently released World Quality Report 2017–2018 by Capgemini, Sogeti, and Micro Focus points out several interesting trends in software quality and testing. Two of three key trends are increasing test automation and widespread adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies. As the report shows, organizations need intelligent automation and smart analytics to speed up decision making and validation and to better address the challenges of testing smarter devices and products that are highly integrated and continuously changing. The report also suggests the need of smart test platforms that are self-aware and self-adaptive to support the complete application lifecycle.

Career Coaches, Wellness coaches, leadership coaches, financial affairs experts, life coaches—to name a few—are all going to have the opportunity to thrive. For example, to help your employees succeed in different areas, you could hire someone in one of these roles. If you’re really focused on improving your employee experience, a wellness coach, for example could help employees improve work-life balance. It will show your employees that you care. In terms of professional development, career coaches, coupled with the power of software apps that help define a persons interests and potential could maximize their ability to chose a path where they can grow and hopefully stay adaptable as not to become obsolete as AI and Automation advance.

Programmers, of course, have been writing code that automates their work for decades. Programming generally involves utilizing tools that add automation at different levels, from code formatting to merging to different code bases—most just don’t take it to the extreme of fully or nearly fully automating their job. I chatted, via direct message on Reddit and email, with about a dozen programmers who said they had. These self-automators had tackled inventory management, report writing, graphics rendering, database administration, and data entry of every kind. One automated his wife’s entire workload, too. Most asked to remain anonymous, to protect their job and reputation.


The latest Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller gives you control over eight or 16 zones depending on the unit you get, with a master valve terminal for systems that have one. It won't water the lawn if it's raining, and you can turn it on and off remotely with your phone. Plus, it integrates with lots of other services and devices like Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.
Developers have used a programming language to develop every business process automation tool. However, they often develop unique, customized automation tools based on an organization’s needs. It is critical to have someone with knowledge of the language specific to an organization’s BPA tool, especially for large organizations. To determine which language is the best to learn, experts recommend looking at the programs already in use at your company, the current team’s knowledge, the framework of the project with respect to what has already been developed, and what kind of support is available in that language. Common automation languages include Java (Java SE, Java EE, Java ME, and Java FX platforms), C# (.Net platform), PHP, Ruby,  JavaScript, BPM, and ESB (IBM BPM, Pega PRPC, and Pega Mobile).
When we first tested robotic pool cleaners, the Polaris 9550 Sport took top honors thanks to its superb cleaning performance, easy-to-clean debris canister, and multiple programming options. The new Polaris 9650iQ Sport brings more of the same, only this time it offers Wi-Fi connectivity and a useful mobile app that lets you control the cleaner from your smartphone. It's expensive at $1,499, but if you'd rather spend more time swimming in your pool than you do cleaning it, it's worth every penny.
Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.

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Developed for low-carb dieters specifically, Carb Manager has many of the same features as the other apps – including the ability to input macros, upload recipes, scan barcodes, and track each meal. Conveniently, Carb Manager also automatically calculates net carbs by subtracting fiber from total carbs. Daily macros can be tracked and monitored using a pie chart and bar graph, making it simple to stay on track.
This table-based example doesn't include if statements or for loops, and the %% sign indicates a variable that can be passed in or assigned. In the past, I have created accounts and users with a standard name, followed by a time stamp, to ensure that the users were unique for each test run. Individual functions, like search_for, followed by what to search and what to expect in the results, consist of code. Those might have if statements or loops in them, but what we expose to the customer is a straight flow.
Depending on which of the 10 diets you choose, the macro ratio will vary. If you want to build strength and choose our high protein diet, your fat and carb intake will shift down to fit in the extra calories from protein. You can also set your macro ratio manually if you already know what fits you best! Remember, all calories you consume come from macronutrients. To learn more about calories, read about our In-app calorie counter.
Many supermarkets and even smaller stores are rapidly introducing Self checkout systems reducing the need for employing checkout workers. In the United States, the retail industry employs 15.9 million people as of 2017 (around 1 in 9 Americans in the workforce). Globally, an estimated 192 million workers could be affected by automation according to research by Eurasia Group.[68]
Within BPM, automated business processes are managed collectively to improve an organization’s overall workflow in terms of achieving greater efficiency, adapting to changing business needs, reducing human error and clarifying job roles and responsibilities. BPM is itself a subset of infrastructure management, which maintains and optimizes an organization's core operational components such as processes, equipment and data.
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