For businesses to remain competitive in today’s dynamic marketplace, they must establish effective process execution and management to meet organizational goals. That’s why the most successful companies partake in business process management (BPM) for the continuous improvement of business processes.
The crux of BPM methodology is constant change. In order to enact this change across processes, businesses need to keep up and transform with the latest tools, solutions, applications, and technologies that impact process execution and workflow management. That requires knowledge around this fundamental question: what is BPM technology and its role in business process management?
Business Process Management Technology
Business process management technology is an integration of BPM tools, solutions, and techniques with the purpose of facilitating effective business process modeling, impactful process change, and comprehensive BPM process management. BPM technology helps enterprises achieve business agility, visibility, and efficiency via process automation, management, and optimization. There are four core functionalities that define BPM technology:
- Process Modeling - this refers to designing, mapping, and modeling a business process or workflow at the start of business process management in efforts to achieve a desired business outcome.
- Generation of Applications - this is where automation technology is introduced in order to achieve configuration, data management, and the development of an end-user tasks list for more seamless business process transformation.
- Performance Monitoring - this is where management solutions like project management dashboards, reporting tools, and analytics are introduced to continuously improve business processes for greater efficiency.
- Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) / Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) - this describes the strategic integration of BPM tools, platforms, and technology solutions with legacy systems in order to circumvent the potential downtime that comes with upgrading processes and systems while keeping all business functions and services operational.
The differential of BPM technology is the insight, innovation, and ease that it delivers to business users. The massive proliferation of technology represents a major business opportunity for enterprises to adopt the latest tools and solutions to achieve process excellence and stay ahead of the curve. A winning business strategy is one that will continuously improve and automate business processes with the latest technology so that business goals are always met.
Where BPM technology generally shows its true value is in translating data and analytics into actionable business insights. Businesses can achieve this through the implementation of an artificial intelligence platform or solution that can collect, store, monitor, and extrapolate large amounts of data quickly and accurately. The end result is more sophisticated workflow management and business automation of processes.
4 Examples of BPM Technology
- Rules Engines
An enterprise must define how a given business process will be done. This includes the tasks that make up any process or workflow as well. That’s why it’s important to implement and maintain a strict set of business rules—be they decision rules, operations rules, legal/regulatory rules, etc.—for management processes.
Rules engines support the development, documentation, and effectiveness of business process rules. They centralize the way a business process is run and offer a roadmap for its improvement. With a formalized rulebook and definition of a business process in place, process analysts can use rules engines to test, maintain, and develop new business rules, as well as conduct version control and approval workflow.
- Process and Workflow Modelers
Modeling tools are useful for analyzing business processes and creating detailed documentation around the opportunities, risks, volume outcomes, and bottlenecks they possess. By creating a diagram of each business process, an enterprise can use this technology to identify the activities, tasks, and responsibilities that make it up.
Process analysts can then work together to edit these diagrams in one platform to map out potential improvements. What results is the generation of a new, more efficient version of the process with the improvements having already been implemented. From there, an enterprise must simply execute and automate the process.
- Business Process Monitoring
This technology offers an in-depth, holistic look at business process execution and management. Utilizing data and analytics, process analysts can make decisions and take corrective action on the spot as bottlenecks and issues occur. This results in the greater optimization of business performance.
The most common form of this technology is management dashboards that utilize graphical elements—charts, tables, listings—to provide a comprehensive overview of an entire process or workflow. Businesses harness this visual information to see the full extent and capabilities of their operations. With this visibility, an enterprise can better manage and improve all of its processes.
- Business Process Management Suites
A BPM suite is an entire technological environment that enables businesses to model, execute, optimize, manage, and automate business processes all from one place. It’s the swiss army knife of BPM technology, generating all the applications an enterprise needs to achieve business process management by incorporating state-of-the-art business process management software.
The Benefits of BPM Technology
Managing business processes with advanced technology solutions greatly improves the organizational performance of any enterprise. With BPM technology, managers can better respond to and control business processes and directly apply solutions to them as problems arise. Automation technology, in particular, has tremendous impact on employee productivity by automating daily manual tasks that are generally time consuming and inefficient.
BPM technology affords businesses the opportunity to increase productivity and profitability by providing more agility, visibility, and efficiency to processes. Business agility allows enterprises to better adapt to changing conditions, stay one step ahead, and continue improving processes to match these changes. Greater visibility and transparency into business processes means an enterprise can better monitor and manage them to achieve desired outcomes. Lastly, more efficiency translates into the elimination of redundancies, bottlenecks, and errors that slow a business down.
There’s a trickle down effect into greater levels of customer satisfaction and innovation as well. If business processes are more effective and smooth, companies can better provide the service and experiences their customers demand. And with the automation of many processes, employees now have more time to think bigger and be more creative, which can translate into business growth and higher profitability.
The importance of BPM technology in improving business processes will continue to grow. As business leaders work to scale and remain competitive, the difference between a middling company and one that’s truly innovative could all boil down to the tech they use to align business processes with business objectives.