May 14th, 2018 • Low Code
Unless you’ve been running your business underwater (like these guys), chances are that you’ve ‘heard it all’ about BPM (Business Process Management) software suites. And if you’ve already heard of BPM, you may be aware of the buzz around low-code platforms, and promises of them changing BPM forever.
But what’s the actual difference between low-code platforms and BPM suites? Does it boil down to technological differences, or is it a conceptual thing, or is it all just one more big marketing ploy?
In theory, BPM systems were the answer to problems that plagued so many businesses. Each organization was presumed to be made up of discrete, interrelated processes. BPM software suites were designed to systematically improve each business process, and subsequently improve the efficiency of the organisation itself.
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These software suites made it easy to automate, model, monitor, and streamline everyday business processes. C-level executives around the world were understandably impressed, as you can imagine–terms like increased management oversight, risk mitigation, and better compliance were all music to their ears.
With business processes being enforced as if companies had each hired an ex-military manager, processes would get streamlined, driving profits higher and higher.
With a formal BPMS in place, repetitive mundane tasks went through the path set for them, with rules defining what had to be done at each stage. This would minimize oversight, and eliminate bottlenecks.
Any changes to the way a certain process was to be executed, can be done without any ‘procedure change’ meetings. You’d simply set the new parameters, and employees would complete processes according to these.
Pretty good on paper, right? But, as with most things that are great on paper, BPM’s projected successes simply failed to take the world by storm. Specifically, the thunder of all the ‘revolutionary’ hype wasn’t followed by the lightning of enterprise success.
Soon enough, BPM suddenly started losing its ‘golden goose’ status, becoming more of an ugly duckling who grew up into an equally ugly duck. Articles like this one started proclaiming the death of BPMS as it was then known.
As it turns out, it was more of a re-birth than a dead-and-extinct situation—in other words, low-code technology forever changed BPM.
BPM was, at least in the 90’s, every C-level employee’s ideal solution, given that it took care of the big four—efficiency optimization, governance, risk mitigation, and compliance. However, to the employees taking care of the actual gritty work, it seemed like one more thing to do, and an unnecessary one at that.
Low-code development platforms aren’t a replacement for BPMs. They are a technological approach that changes the way BPM services are deployed. Instead of bloated and complicated software suites, platforms like Kissflow offer configurable tools, resources and components that you can use to whip up your own BPM solutions in a relatively short period, with very little coding knowledge.
Instead of depending on costly and time-consuming manual coding, you can create your own industry- and organization-specific applications with minimal effort. Another great thing—they have API integration abilities with 3rd party SaaS solutions.
Forrester’s Clay Richardson, one of the world’s experts on low-code platforms, spoke on the benefits of low-code:
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"The difference between BPM and low-code is more conceptual than anything. BPM was a way of getting things done, while low-code can well be described as a way to get BPM done!"