Back in 1990 Michael Hammer made a famous article called Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.
Indeed, while automation is a most wanted outcome of Master Data Management (MDM) implementations and many other IT enabled initiatives, you should always consider the alternative being eliminating (or simplifying). This often means thinking out of the box.
As an example I today stumbled upon the Wikipedia explanation about Business Process Mapping. The example used is how to make breakfast (the food part):
You could think about different Business Process Re-engineering opportunities for that process. But you could also realize that this is an English / American breakfast. What about making a French breakfast instead. Will be as simple as:
Input money > Buy croissant > Fait accompli
PS: From the data quality and MDM world one example of making French breakfast instead of English / American breakfast is examined in the post The Good, Better and Best Way of Avoiding Duplicates.