6 trends moulding the future of BPM
Today’s smart Business Process Management (BPM) tools have their humble beginnings in the 1980s with digital workflow management systems which had the ability only to trail scanned documents through a pre-set process. Later, in the early 2000s, BPM tools progressed to handle a wider range of functionalities, from process modelling to reporting to analytics.
Today’s BPM tools, buoyed by digital transformation, have transformed process management by supporting collaborative processes encompassing data, content, and analytics.
6 trends redefining BPM
1. Intelligent BPM (iBPM) with RPA, advanced analytics
Every organisation has a list of routine uninspiring tasks that are unavoidable. Imagine the benefits if employees’ time was freed up to contribute towards strategically important business goals instead of ploughing on with mundane tasks.
Here is where engaging ‘bots’ can be useful, as they are capable of replicating human activity with great precision. Tasks that are clearly defined, well documented, unaltering and repetitive are best suited for automation. Some examples include email query processing, data transfer between systems, payroll processing, etc.
At a more advanced level, BPM is made smarter - Intelligent Business Process Management (iBPM) - through automation that weaves AI, ML and robotic process automation (RPA) into an agile framework to provide greater insights and improved efficiency.*
2. Adaptive process/case management (ACM) capabilities
Traditionally, business processes were modelled using flow charts, which were (in fact, still are) visual representations of a sequence of activities. They were/are inflexible, rendering them unsuitable for today’s dynamic business environment.
Even in today’s BPM workflow, the destination is familiar at the start. What has changed is that the route evolves as the process is being executed. Adaptive process/case management can accommodate these unknown aspects with ease.
BPM vendors have integrated case management capabilities into their platforms that enable users to model organised and ad hoc business processes. This enables business models to be more adaptive and agile.
3. Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP) for workflow automation
Low-Code development platforms enable faster development of business and workflow automation applications and have fewer skill requirements. Their needs were precipitated during the pandemic when businesses needed to move quickly.
They are extensively used in web apps, vendor and employee portals, eCommerce mobile apps, etc., and warrant several benefits, the most significant being closer alignment between technological teams and business departments. A majority of IT leaders believe that low-code applications will have a favourable impact on their business partnerships.
4. BPM and ERP better integrated than left standalone
At a high level, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Process Management (BPM) have a hint of similarity between them. However, when these applications are used, the differences become apparent.
ERP is an application that businesses use to record, manage, and exchange data across various business functions - manufacturing, supply chain, finance, etc. - automatically, enabling smooth day-to-day business operations. On the other hand, BPM tools automate and optimise processes, and customise workflows. For process management, a BPM system offers a finer level of customising capability than an ERP application does. There are gaps in each solution which the other can fill, making the two solutions complement each other well. Therefore, incorporating the existing BPM solution into the ERP platform can be of significant benefit to organisations.
5. BPM tools for better workforce collaboration
With organisations having a global presence, different locations in the world house teams with distinct skill sets. It is imperative that they all work in tandem.
With BPM solutions, inter-team communication, data-sharing, and other collaborative efforts needed for a streamlined, end-to-end business operation happen seamlessly. An emerging trend is the ability for this collaboration to happen at runtime.
6. BPM focus to shift to front-end processes
Earlier BPM focused on tying up backend processes by tracking and improving data exchange between systems of record (ERP, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)).
Currently, and going forward, BPM capabilities will focus on improving front-end processes that interact with systems of engagement (process applications such as digital audits, materials, and inventory systems, etc., that are meant for end-users) as well as integrating the two systems: of record and of engagement. By doing so, shop-floor processes are seamlessly coupled with back-end accounting processes.
Today’s business dynamics are unpredictable, riddled with fluctuating business volumes, work location uncertainties and other such misgivings. Quick adaptable processes are needed to meet these challenges.
With advanced analytics and RPA, processes are strengthened to sense change and automatically make adjustments according to current needs. Dynamic and smart processes make organisations future-ready!
* For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.