IT is getting a lot of praise these days–and it’s not just for great technology. Sure, IT has been the answer man when it comes to complex business problems. But even beyond that, IT has earned a seat at the table so that the CIO is now considered part of the inner circle of strategy.
But with great power comes great responsibility, and one area that will become IT’s responsibility sooner or later is process inefficiencies. Organizations of all sizes are deep into digital transformation and trying to take everything across the digital divide.
And now, business processes are in crosshairs. For a long time, business processes have been allowed to exist on their own, self-managed through paper forms and office communication. But as emails and spreadsheets have taken over processes, so have inefficiencies. Whether it is manual errors, lack of ownership, no visibility, or frequent workarounds, business processes need to be roped into the digital farm.
But if IT is going to be the one to do it, where do they begin?
Business process management.
What Is Business Process Management?
Business process management, or BPM, is a methodology that helps business leaders use best practices to create, organize, and manage all of the business processes across a company. A business process includes a form to hold data, a workflow for the data to travel, integrations with other systems, notifications, rule-based paths, and reports.
IT is no stranger to BPM. BPM software has been available for a few decades, however, it was largely used only by massive enterprises that could afford custom software that requires custom consultants to create custom workflows using a custom language. For companies that worked on a massive scale, the costs paid for itself, but what about organizations without an unlimited budget?
The BPM Landscape Today
For many years, BPM was firmly controlled by just a few software providers who offered programmers platforms to create highly complex and thorough automated business processes.
But a lot has changed in just five years.
Before, BPM was only available as an on-premise solution. Now, cloud is the norm.
Before, BPM only used a special notation called BPMN 2.0. Now, processes are created with drag-and-drop modules.
Before, BPM implementation could easily exceed a few hundred thousand dollars due to the cost of the platform and consultants. Now, a small company can use a BPM platform for a little more than $1,000/mo.
Before, only programmers and consultants could build automated processes. Now, the technology is simple enough that anyone can make their own processes.
The ABC’s of BPM
Now that you are taking a second look at BPM, let’s look at all the benefits you can get from it.
Automated Processes – No more manually pushing data around. With BPM, forms can fly to the next step in the process without any human effort.
Better Accuracy – BPM helps you reduce errors by eliminating the need for manual data transferring between systems.
Connect Systems – BPM can integrate different databases along processes, so you can coordinate when accounting and marketing and sales all need access to each other’s systems.
Digital Insights – A BPM platform gives a company data points they never had before, such as time to complete a process, bottlenecks, and tracking items.
Eliminate Excess Software – When every department seems to request its own software solution, it creates a nightmare for IT. With a BPM platform, each department can create what they need, without incurring additional cost and complexity.
Free from Chaos – Chaos enters when there isn’t clarity. Departments bicker about who is responsible for the mess. BPM can make it clear for everyone.
But best of all…
All this can happen with no additional workload for IT. When you choose a no-code platform where business users can make their own automated processes, you can get all these benefits without having to hardly lift a finger. Good BPM vendors provide their own support to your team members so you don’t have to go answering every call out there.
This also means that the growing queue of requests for simple automated applications can be wiped away once business leaders are quickly trained on how to use the BPM system.
Can’t-Miss BPM Features
If you are looking for a solution like this, be sure to only choose a BPM platform that offers these features:
Cloud connections – Integrations are the name of the game and cloud solutions offer the best chance for easy connections while still maintaining best-in-class security.
No-code interface – If the platform still requires your developers to write the code themselves, you won’t get the full range of benefits.
Dozens of field types – Let your users get creative with checkboxes, dropdowns, user fields, polls, geo-locations, attachments, signatures, and more!
Quick conditions – No workflow runs exactly the same way. You want an easy creator that lets you set conditions for tasks and field visibility.
Permission setting – Data cannot be made public to anyone with access to a process. Restricting access should be as easy as a click.
Mobile app – Approving processes on the go should be extremely quick and simple
Single Sign-On – For the IT team, managing yet another database of users might be a deal breaker. Find a solution that eases the burden.
McDermott Made The Leap
McDermott is a giant in the oil and gas industry with tens of thousands of employees. When several different business units all needed help creating custom workflows, guess where they went? Right to IT.Read the full story here.
BPM Lets IT Score Another Win
No matter how big or how small the company is, or how simple or complex the processes are, there’s a workflow solution that will help you reach your goals. IT is in a great position to lead another huge leap towards digital transformation while offering huge benefits to the business teams around them. But the best part is that it can all be done without a massive effort from IT.