Business Process Management (BPM) software leverages your organisations software portfolio and services to provide management visibility into your organisation. Originally pioneered within the financial services industry, BPM has evolved into a multi sector discipline covering a range of services and industries.
Understanding your underlying business processes – whether they be order or customer-driven, allows for an organisation of any size to rationalise and improve the business. Using a Cloud BPM service delivers to your organisation a tool that will help you deliver business value aligned to a common goal.
A simple example might be a web-based e-commerce site: when a user orders a new pair of shoes from webshoesaremine.com (fictional site and company) how does that order interact with the billing engine? How is the customer detail recorded? Are the shoes ordered in externally? How do you pack and ship the shoes? What if the shoes are returned? Do you need to restock the shoes or manufacture as new?
Using the example above would allow for a business process analyst to identify the common links between the systems and human element whilst allowing for a business goal to be set, which in this case would be fast delivery, competent stock management, profit maximisation and excellent customer service.[pullquote]Using a cloud-based BPM system will allow you to discover your underlying processes and to define, optimise, model and improve your business processes.[/pullquote]
Using an architectural analogy, when you build or modify a house, the first reference usually before commencing work is to speak to an architect or consult the architectural drawings. In your business we would say that your underlying processes are your architectural drawings and modifications to process or workflow would require an original reference point. Using a cloud-based BPM system will allow you to discover your underlying processes and to define, optimise, model and improve your business processes.
Let’s look at what advantages it promises
Definable return on investment
A BPM system that is correctly implemented with correct inputs from dependents will allow your organisation to view a graphical tree of your underlying processes. Once implemented your return on investment from optimising these processes will be clearly defined with measurable costs.
Knowing the processes within your business and optimising and improving processes allows for continual improvements within your business with detailed reporting allowing for ongoing cost and process benefits.
Leverage established frameworks
Using a cloud BPM suite will allow your organisation to leverage existing quality frameworks such as Six Sigma and integrate with methodologies such as SOA or service orientated architecture.
From a simple document BPM system such as Microsoft’s SharePoint through to advanced systems with multiple integrations, the time taken to have a working BPM solution up and running efficiently is significantly reduced.
Try before you buy
BPM systems range in cost and complexity, cloud based services allow you to test a simple process within a trial period to establish which solution is correct for your organisation.
Choosing a cloud-based Business Process Management tool may be a daunting task, below are some common areas to watch out for when selecting a provider.
Always trial a potential system and never commit to a contract until you have thoroughly tested the solution to determine a fit for your business. If your vendor is not prepared to offer a trial period then do not engage.
How proprietary is the system that is being proposed? Are there migration tools to assist switching vendors? Does the vendor offer upgrade support as part of the Cloud service?
Does your BPM software integrate with your internal systems? Does it require access to your systems?
How is the system secured? How do you manage access rights? What is the backup and security policy of the vendor?
Fit for purpose and cost
BPM systems are able to be extremely simple or complex in nature. Whilst cost is important it should not be a determining factor of quality. Always ensure that the system you select is simple to use and easily understood by your staff.
At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and identify suitable providers who will meet your needs. Take a few minutes tell us about your company in our cloud comparison tool, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help your take full advantage of a Cloud Business Process Management tools.
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