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Flexibility plays key role in driving improvements with BPM

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
November 6, 2013

Easy deployment and use are key factors in selecting the right BPM solution, but companies looking to really drive growth and improvement need to focus on the flexibility these tools provide.

Process management software purchases are increasing at a rapid pace. According to Gartner, the BPM suite market was valued at $1.9 billion in 2009 and has grown at a CAGR of 10.9 percent since, with the majority of companies making process management improvements a top priority. The key to achieving these enhancements is agility and flexibility.

Agile processes

Making process management more agile means increasing adaptability and a firm's ability to change course if needed. BPM software that allows for tasks to be changed easily, as well as automatically keep pace with rapid changes within enterprise operations that take place with increasing frequency for most companies. Automation itself is a key resource for driving adaptability and progress. According to Firmology, 'stiff' BPM solutions simply cannot keep up with the rate of change that most businesses encounter today and still provide high-quality outcomes.

Flexibility in change

Providing the foundation for swift change isn't the only essential aspect of high-quality BPM either though. BPM solutions have to be able to be flexible enough to make those changes at a rapid pace as well. Fast moving businesses won't have time to wait for their technology to catch up with the demands of their customers, so the process management tools they utilize have to be flexible enough to adapt at a moment's notice.

Several factors go into agile and flexible BPM, from how the software handles financial audits to contract management. Firms focus on these factors and are able to drive ROI quickly, but actual workflow benefits as well. Some companies have seen as much as 40 percent workflow improvements, with employees freed up to focus on more critical tasks because invoices and contracts can be approved or denied automatically. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, for example, saw the number of invoices that have to be approved by an actual human reduced from 14 to 4 by implementing BPM software, and improved reporting on those invoices as well.

Ultimately, not all companies see the fast paced operational demands that require such significant process improvements, but implementing the tools can enhance workflow and provide the support should demand increase so that companies are prepared, rather than scrambling to play catch up.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing