Business process management (BPM) as a methodology and as a practice is all about transforming the way business gets done. Defining the strategy and goals for BPM process management is the first step in this always-on process. The next is deciding how to go about achieving those goals and improving business processes.
While business process management software helps to enable BPM in an enterprise, successful BPM requires additional tools in order to execute its full potential. These include artificial intelligence (AI), omnichannel, and other technologies and solutions. This blog will tackle a common question around BPM: what are BPM tools and how can businesses use them to affect workflow and business process change?
BPM Automation Tools
Business process management tools automate, measure, and optimize complex business processes to operate more efficiently and effectively to achieve business goals. By examining a business’ workflows, BPM tools can provide valuable metrics and insights on how to improve processes and boost both business operations and a bottom line. In the simplest terms, BPM tools assist with business process modeling, where a company works to design new and improved processes, as well as the management of processes and workflows.
BPM management tools are a key component of BPM methodologies and overall business strategy. While the benefit of BPM tools can be a bit difficult to quantify, their real ROI is in the business value they provide. This is everything from increased customer satisfaction to more streamlined workflow management and process execution to cost reductions.
Most valuable of all is the competitive advantage BPM tools can provide your business. An enterprise on the cusp of cutting-edge BPM technology and tools can constantly adapt and change processes that will push them far past their competitors. That’s why nearly four out of 10 businesses have already or are planning to adopt BPM tools. The main solution currently redefining the BPM process globally is artificial intelligence.
More Intelligent BPM with AI
Artificial intelligence continues to transform the business landscape. In a utility sense, AI is one of the most important tools for enabling and implementing successful BPM. AI facilitates all the prominent advantages that come from BPM solutions and tools, including greater efficiency, lower operational costs, and stronger customer experiences. Why? AI can analyze a given business process or workflow and extract real-time data from them at speeds faster than any human process could, with less risk for error. An AI-backed approach to data and analytics is therefore a critical component for the way in which businesses improve their processes with BPM.
Real-time insights fueled by AI enable businesses to make more informed, data-driven decisions on the fly. This is in large part achievable because of machine learning (ML) algorithms. ML gives AI engines the ability to monitor, manage, and optimize the efficiencies of any process you automate as part of a BPM strategy. AI and ML tap into all of an enterprise’s business activity to derive analytics and insights. From there, these tools can offer recommendations on how to best improve processes and workflows in order to maximize efficiency.
Essentially, AI’s impact on business process management is a three-step process:
- Prediction – AI and ML algorithms can spot patterns more easily than humans. This is particularly useful in BPM for identifying any potential bottlenecks within a workflow that may arise in the future.
- Decision – Businesses can then decide how to address process change based on AI-backed predictions. This is also true of the recommendations businesses want to provide to their customers. Using data, AI algorithms confidently predict customer behavior and preferences, which can inform how you choose to interact with them next.
- Action – AI enables businesses to create search algorithms in order to take action toward improving a process. Integration of problem-solving and optimization solutions with these algorithms results in a highly informed, data-backed BPM strategy for boosting business activity.
Omnichannel Customer Views
Customers today expect a seamless, consistent brand experience across all the various channels they use. This includes everything from social media, email, call centers, chatbots, and self-help kiosks. Utilizing the data from BPM tools like AI, businesses can create a comprehensive, 360 view into each customer. What results is a deeper understanding into how the customer acts and responds across all the channels they use to interact with your business—otherwise known as an omnichannel view.
When embarking on business process transformation and management, an omnichannel strategy should not be overlooked. It provides key insights into customers so that businesses can better serve them. Additionally, the integration of all the various channels and models a business uses results in a stronger, more consistent customer experience.
Business process management solutions like data models and visualization tools assist with the creation of omnichannel customer views. They provide deeper insights into customer preference and behavior. Businesses can then refine business processes and workflows to better match customer expectations and demands. What results is the ultimate goal of BPM transformation: greater business outcomes.
Other Notable BPM Tools
Beyond AI and a 360, omnichannel view of customers, there are additional BPM tools that drive business process transformation and management, including:
- Robotic process automation – routinely automates manual tasks for greater output and efficiency
- Data analytics – cultivate real-time insights that inform better business process modeling and decision-making
- Public/private cloud – provides a development environment for building and designing new processes, workflows, dashboards, and applications
- Open source solutions – pre-built and based on existing standards, these can easily be integrated into existing systems or processes
- Microservices and containers – quickly place and implement new applications or processes in the business workflow they’re needed most
The business impact and value of BPM tools is undeniable. Because business process management is fundamentally continuous, tapping into all of the available technology at your disposal is essential. The adoption of tools to stay ahead in this ever-evolving digital era and facilitate new ways of doing business should be a top priority for all businesses. With such a wealth of technology, software tools, and solutions available, transforming your business processes has never been easier.