Business Process Management is becoming more and more popular in the world of business. Early BPM adopters are now facing remarkable success watching their revenues increase and those who at first hesitated, are now ready to invest in a BPM solution. The bpm market has covered a great number of business needs offering powerful solutions but the digital transformation generates, even more, needs introducing a next-generation bpm software era for the bpm providers to follow.
Looking back to the stages of evolution of BPM platforms through the years, we can see that BPM solutions continuously change to cover the needs of the modern businesses. This is the reason why a BPM solution used 5 years before may be completely different from a BPM solution that is used today. The main factor that contributes to the change are the trends of the market that are basically generated from the evolution of business models worldwide.
BPM trends of 2017
2017 is the year of digital transformation and the year that multiple business applications are replaced by all-in-one solutions. Software structure has completely changed to keep up with the trends of the market described below:
Business automation is a wide concept that requires all business departments to change their structure in order to ensure consistency and effective deployment of automated business workflows. A business department that interacts with external departments or systems will never be able to completely automate its processes if the second is not running their own operations under the same software environment. Using multiple applications that do not exchange data will be an important obstacle for keeping the business back. The need for further integration is already making its appearance and the software solution must be flexible enough to support it.
Ease of use
Workflow Automation is not a job of IT anymore. Business analysts develop the business applications which are running by simple users. In order for those users to handle the complex bpm functionality, the user interface should be simple and easy to use. A complex user interface that requires hours of training and special skills to handle could result in great productivity loss. The concept that a simple user interface is one of the main factors that contribute to the purchase of a bpm tool is also confirmed by Capterra software reviews. End users tend to upvote and strongly suggest products that are easy to use while they may seem to reject powerful products that have a more complex environment.
The deployment of a software platform can generate an enormous volume of data that can be used for process optimization and performance improvement. As the volume of data increases, bpm providers tend to develop advanced analytics tool in order to process those data and translate them into business value. BPM analytics will be used more extensively through the years for decision making, internal operation optimization, and performance monitoring. Advanced bpm analytics will gradually become one of the main reasons that businesses that have not deployed a bpm system yet will finally give in.
Business Process Management Platforms tend to include complete collaboration functionality in order to simplify document sharing, information access, and internal communications. Effective collaboration can increase productivity and make workflows run faster. Until now, enterprises were either using completely different software of enterprise collaboration or would integrate separate platforms to get their work done as smoothly as possible. Using separate platforms is not an option anymore. Enterprise Collaboration features should be built into BPM according to the latest bpm structure standards. Collaboration becomes a tool of the automation process, generating new channels that enable smooth flow of information used in all stages of workflow execution.
Cloud applications are popular for many reasons, but the main reason is that information can be accessible from everywhere, even on the go. A mobile version of the software platform is the detail that will upgrade its value in the company. The ability to track work everywhere and receive notifications on your mobile phone is no more a luxury, but a must. Moving your business on mobile will instantly move you a step closer to digital transformation.
After investing in an expensive bpm software platform, it is important to ensure that all employees will use it on a daily basis to run their processes. Engaging employees is not easy, and companies that find it difficult to achieve may finally give up on the platform for a new one. Designing software that will challenge and reward users is the best way for customer retention and customer success. Bringing value to a company is not just offering technology but enabling employees to make the best out of its use in order to improve performance and deliver better results.
Companies that grow and evolve cannot run a static software. Software must evolve together with the company and support its departments as they grow. Flexibility means that users will be able to deploy the software to new departments, change workflows when needed and add more functionality. Software that does not follow the “Flexibility” rule, will very quickly give its place to new tools with a flexible architecture.
Low-code application development
Even if the platform was chosen has extreme functionality, companies may need to build their own applications. Users designing those applications usually have no IT skills and this was the reason that bpm providers started to develop low-code platforms. A bpm platform with low-code platform functionality enables business consultants to easily create workflows and business applications that will plug in the core of the software. Read a very impressive article from Comidor blog about DIY experience vs pre-built Apps.
Bpm platforms are designed to support complex business workflows, but some workflows may be so complex that no bpm solution can support and run them. This is the reason why there is a great increase in the sales of custom bpm solution. The latest software architecture includes a software structure that can be used as the core to new, custom applications that can apply even to the most complex situations.
All those challenges are forcing software providers to continuously improve their solutions. Continuous software improvement is leading businesses to a new level where the value is brought not only to internal operations but also to end customers. History has shown great success in bpm projects worldwide in small businesses and large enterprises and the future is promising, making us wonder: What’s next?