What Kind of BPM Platform is Best For You?
Finding the right kind of software for your business is like deciding which way to turn in a garden maze. You can never be completely sure which choice is going to lead you to your goals.
Business process management (BPM) is the same story. Should you choose the software that has been around the longest? The cheapest? The most features? Best reviews? Open-source?
Most BPM options have a similar features set and yet each claim superiority, so how can you choose a winner?
Here’s a list to help you decide.
1. Define Your Priorities
Rather than starting with software, first identify which processes you are planning to automate with a BPM purchase. List out the specific benefits you want to achieve with a BPMS. Do you want faster processes? Reduced errors? Better tracking?
Also look at your company culture. Do you tend to handle things in a very detailed way with charts and metrics, or do you take a more relaxed and simplified approach? Do you need a lot of bells and whistles or just something that makes sense?
How reliant are your teams on other software? Do you need to find a solution that easily integrates with other products? Choosing a BPM platform that doesn’t link with your other tools might set you back years.
2. Define Who Will Use It
Some people who use a BPM solution are comfortable with an ultra-technical BPM platform with coding, annotations, and flowcharts, while many others need a software that’s just barebones. It’s important to define which teams are going to own the workflows and man the system.
A lot of BPM software process designers are based on BPMN 2.0. This is a notation style that was developed by process analysts for process analysts. However, if you want to put the software in the hands of your business leaders, you shouldn’t have to educate them all on how to create processes with BPMN 2.0. Opt for one that is human-centric BPM and lets process owners create workflows in the way that makes the most sense for them.
3. Check with IT
If you are searching for a BPM platform only for your department, be sure to check first with the company IT team. They will likely have a lot of security concerns to address and will want to verify certain metrics. Huge pluses for them will be a BPM solution that provides Single-Sign On, top-level cloud security, and great customer support.
4. Weigh The Cost Factor
One easy place to start with cost is to figure out what your next best solution will be if you don’t go with a BPM platform. Will you hire someone new to manage it? Will you have to hire someone to build out some of your other platforms with additional functionality? What kind of return could you expect if your core processes were all shortened in time by 20% or more? How will a better customer experience related to retained sales?
Pricing on BPM tools can be hard to navigate. What is the difference between a cloud-based BPM system that costs $6/user/month and an on-premise version that starts at six figures to install? What are the extra features that are worth paying for? It all depends on the needs of your company and what is most important. Is downloading an open source tool worth it?
5. Don’t Forget Scalability
A lot of BPM solutions out there fit well when you are trying to set something up for a few dozen employees. Scale that up to a few hundred or thousands and it falls apart.
Businesses with efficient processes are naturally going to need a BPM platform that scales well. When you are sorting through possible BPM software options, find out how many paying customers they have, what foundation their product is built on, and if they are capable of adding at least a thousand more licenses from each of their current customer base. This is an effective yardstick to measure if their platform is made to last or if they are just another fly-by-night company.
Scalability also depends on the vendor company’s team size, their willingness to take new feature requests, and their service architecture. A rule of thumb is to go for a cloud-based BPM system that offers its services through a multi-tenant architecture.
What Path Will You Pick?
As an IT manager responsible for picking the right BPM system for your business teams, you shoulder the big responsibility of choosing the right solution that could have a critical impact on your business outcomes. Taking the wrong turn in this maze could be a very expensive mistake.
With so many paths to choose, do your best to zoom out and get a clear picture of which BPM platform is really going to get you to your goals, and that aligns perfectly with your priorities.
Cloud-based BPM applications are often the best for a majority of businesses because software distributed on cloud are lightweight, quick, and flexible. To see if a cloud-based BPM platform is right for you, try Kissflow Workflow for free.