It starts with a simple task: Codify a business process
Most companies realize they have a business process that is probably not as efficient as it could be. Perhaps it is an Excel spreadsheet or an MS-Word document that is being passed around the organization in an inefficient manner. There is often the realization that if they take the disconnected spreadsheets and forms and back-ended them into a database, they can easily eliminate wasted time, rekeying of data, and eliminating some simple review processes and calculations.
You end up codifying the entire department
What starts out as a task to eliminate inefficiencies in one business process inevitably sprawls into another department. The touch-point of information with other departments or with customers and suppliers will definitely be inputs or outputs into the business process that you are making more efficient. Why not modify those processes too while you are at it? Before you know it, you have modified the business processes of an entire department.
Job roles will change
Changing business processes will also inevitably lead to changing job duties. The mundane error checking of paper forms or re-keying of information into various spreadsheets or miscellaneous forms is going away. What is left behind in a business process is the essence of what the job truly is and what only the human can accomplish. The human element in business processes is not going away with the current changing nature of business processes through electronic efficiencies but is now focusing employees on the higher value evaluations that are needed in business processes.
We are removing the mundane work with technology and opening up our eyes to the true value employees (i.e., humans) play in a business process.