Workflow automation and more specifically a Business Process Management System (BPMS) is the solution that will help alleviate and solve many of the business and technical problems described thus far.
Business Process Management (a catch all description for anything process automation related) is a business management discipline combined with technology, which enables an organisation to analyse, model, automate and redesign their business processes in a way that improves business effectiveness. (for more workflow resources)
The Business Problem
In most organisations, business processes are pervasive but are predominantly manual and where automated, they tend to be isolated to a single area or department. This organisational complexity and use of selective silo based IT enablers (function specific silo applications), means that management and operational challenges manifest themselves in various ways:
Management and employees have difficulty in making correct decisions due to not having accurate and timely information.
Information is of devoid of business context (not seen in as part of a business process) and therefore may lead inconsistent decisions.
Planning is often difficult due to ‘broken’ workflows, poor working practices and inconsistent information.
IT systems that support the various business processes act as inhibiters rather than enablers as they are typically designed deployed and managed as information islands or stove pipes. This is further exacerbated by the lack of systems integration leading to no easy way of getting a single view of the truth.
Enforcing business rules, policies and procedures is an arduous task due to poor process visibility, accurate real time information and no integrated or consistent auditing.
Employees are forced to work in ways, using tools that are not always very productive, efficient and can in many cases lead to rework and hidden costs. This can include the need for a user to login to various applications, using various different user interfaces to complete a simple task.