Tips to get the most out of BPM software

Johannesburg, 28 Mar 2023
Denis Bensch, CIO, FlowCentric Technologies.
Denis Bensch, CIO, FlowCentric Technologies.

Denis Bensch, CIO of FlowCentric Technologies, notes that business process management (BPM) software has proven valuable to organisations across all economic sectors for many years. However, many businesses fail to take advantage of all the benefits it can provide. To achieve the full potential of BPM software, it must be customised to meet the specific needs of a company by tailoring the system’s functionalities and improving the execution of existing workflows.

Unnecessary complexity in business processes is detrimental to organisations, particularly as they face increasing challenges in maintaining and growing market share. Retaining scarce skills and adapting quickly to unexpected changes, such as those brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, have become increasingly important to organisations. BPM software can help organisations overcome these challenges without negatively impacting employee productivity, and instead, promoting job satisfaction and improved efficiency. For instance, BPM software can simplify and improve business processes and automate tasks, which enables organisations to respond quickly to changing business conditions, increase productivity and reduce costs.

Integration with other software systems streamlines business processes and improves data accuracy, leading to better decision-making. Additionally, it eliminates manual data entry, saving time and effort required to complete routine tasks and improving productivity. By enabling the BPM platform to access data and functionality from other systems, the platform's capabilities improve and it can support more complex business processes while adapting to changing business conditions.

He warns, however, that integrating BPM software with other software requires careful planning and execution.

Keeping the following tips in mind could go a long way to ensuring success:

Define clear objectives: Before starting the integration process, it is essential to define clear objectives that align with the business needs. This will help in determining the scope of integration and the level of integration required.

Identify the processes: Identify the business processes that need to be integrated with other systems. This includes mapping the flow of data between the systems and understanding how the processes work. This will help in determining the scope of the integration and the level of integration required.

Analyse the data flow: Analyse the flow of data between the BPM system and other systems to determine the type of integration required. 

Understand the data: To integrate systems successfully, it is crucial to understand the data that needs to be transferred between the systems. This includes understanding the format, structure and content of the data.

Ensure data consistency: Ensure the data is consistent across all systems. This can be achieved by implementing data validation rules and ensuring that data is updated in real-time across all systems.

Integration compatibility: Ensure the BPM software and the other software are compatible with each other. This includes checking that they have compatible APIs (application programming interfaces) and can work together without any conflicts.

Choose the right integration approach: There are different approaches to integrate BPM with other systems, including API-based integration, database-level integration and middleware-based integration. Choose the approach that best fits your business requirements.

Plan for scalability: When integrating systems, it is essential to plan for scalability. This means considering future requirements and ensuring the integration solution can support them.

Test the integration: Test the integration thoroughly to ensure it is working as expected and it doesn’t adversely affect the performance of either the BPM software or the other software. This includes testing the data flow, user experience, error handling and performance.

Monitor and maintain: Once the systems are integrated, it is essential to monitor and maintain the integration solution. This includes monitoring the performance, identifying any issues and fixing them promptly.

Vendor support: Ensure the software vendors provide adequate support for the integration. This includes ensuring they are available to answer any questions or resolve any issues that arise during the integration process.

“Given the impact that BPM software can have on organisational agility, employee productivity and job satisfaction, there is no doubt that it can be an important tool for companies looking to improve their business processes and overall performance. However, effective customisation of the software and the ability to integrate it with other business software can drive its value to a whole different level,” Bensch concludes.