Business process management (BPM) is an area where IT and business (theoretically) work together to make an organization’s workflows more effective and efficient. BPM has become more prominent in recent years as organizations have expanded and grown more complex – creating a need for managers to build coherent process workflows that touch multiple systems. BPM software brings it all together, enabling business analysts to collaborate with IT and orchestrate business process steps that invoke different underlying systems.
BPM is one of those concepts that sounds great, and has truly strong potential but is notoriously hard to implement well. As a result, members of IT Central Station emphasize usability as a key selection factor when deciding which BPM solution to buy. Users want fast results and easy deployment from BPM tools. On the end user front, powerful wizards, for example, can streamline workflow design and automation processes. The best BPM tools provide mechanisms for capturing business processes. This minimizes the repetitive, error-prone process of transposing business analysts’ observations into BPM requirements.
On the back end, admins and architects want the ability to integrate with other systems like SAP, Oracle and so forth. BPM platforms have to be flexible, modeling business processes transversely to all areas of a company. The toolset should ideally accept multiple data types and offer rules-based decision workflow capabilities. There should be logical modeling and embedded programming within BPM libraries. Task components ought to be reusable for the sake of efficiency.
Some users express a desire for BPM software packages to support Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), a standard for the graphical representation for describing business processes. Specifically, IT Central Station members expect a BPM suite to support BPMN 2.0, the latest version, from modeling through execution. In the best case scenario, the tool won’t create extra work for developers. Users like real java-like hooks into development of the business process model to help developers easily build integrations. Members prefer BPM that doesn't use any type of proprietary scripting language.