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Business process management (BPM) software is a tool for creating, optimising, and managing processes such as invoicing, budgeting, marketing, and accounting. Managers use it as a collaborative platform to develop and improve complex processes as per the changing business needs.
Many organisations use BPM tools to coordinate, schedule, and synchronise interdepartmental workflows. The tools can also be used to test the effectiveness of new strategies and formulate best practices for future projects.
The benefits of business process management software
The importance of BPM has risen as organisations seek to stay competitive by automating their key workflows. BPM software offers the following benefits:
- Business agility: It lets you customise and calibrate processes as per business requirements. Use the software to build an agile environment that will improve and automate processes with the rules management functionality, which allows non-programmers to add/change business logic in a BPM strategy.
- Better compliance monitoring: BPM software helps organisations comply with industry norms and regulations. It does this by integrating department-specific modules that sync to the BPM software on the wider, organisational level. The software documents procedures and ensures compliance with the relevant safety and security measures.
Typical features of business process management software
- Business process automation: Manage information, tasks, and procedures by automating workflows and processes.
- Collaboration: Work collectively and simultaneously with your team on a project. You can also communicate and share information with multiple stakeholders in real-time.
- No-code: Create new processes—using the drag-and-drop functionality or the visual interface—without having to write any code.
- Process mapping: Define and visually map all the details and relationships between your business process models and the elements of these models.
- Process modelling and designing: Map and design your business processes into digital workflows to improve your organisation's overall productivity.
- Reporting/Analytics: View, track, and report key metrics to analyse your business performance.
Considerations when purchasing business process management software
- Flexibility of integration: The vendor should allow third-party integration or offer a customisable API platform to seamlessly integrate your in-house applications. Check whether the built-in templates can be customised to your business. Request for free trials and custom demos that let you validate the software's interface and performance.
- Deployment time: This depends on the complexity of the processes that need to be automated and customised. Some BPM tools can be used straight out of the box, while others require tweaking the built-in, industry-specific templates. Ask the vendor about the time needed to deploy their software, training duration, and the IT support offered.
- Type of solution: There are three types of BPM software in the market. List your business challenges and map each issue to a software feature. For instance, small businesses prefer basic BPM systems for the user-friendly interface. The advanced BPM suites are preferred for agile working environments as these allow third-party integration. Meanwhile, intelligent BPMS is preferred by organisations that need to incorporate complex and real-time operational intelligence.
Relevant business process management software trends
- Adaptive case management continues to see wider implementation: This process can combine different sub-workflows into one "case", eliminating a monolithic, complex workflow. It offers multi-channel integration, social collaboration, and mobile support to create an agile working environment. When managing agile processes, companies will employ adaptive case management technology that makes human-like decisions, not based on predefined flowcharts. BPM software vendors are offering this ability to deal with adaptive cases (i.e. as intelligent BPMS). An iBPMS lets managers structure adaptive processes to choose the next-best-action. For instance, Kissflow adopted adaptive case management to give its users full control over dynamic processes.
- Demand for no-code/low-code BPM to grow: Companies are increasingly embracing no-code/low-code BPM applications to eliminate software complexity and long learning curve. These applications increase agility, so that you don't need to hire programmers. It replaces traditional application development procedures with ready-to-use form builders, drag-and-drop features, and pre-built integrations. For instance, BPMS vendors Bonitasoft and Pegasystems have revamped their products as low-code platforms to save their users' time and effort.