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Technology and processes must align for operational excellence

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
January 8, 2014

Business process management software has long been a critical solution for organizations trying to achieve operational excellence. However, shifting technological and operational demands have created new challenges for companies to deal with. The end result is a situation in which traditional methods for process management are not always viable. Instead, businesses often benefit most from strategic investments in modern BPM solutions that help them align their processes with their technology systems.

Technology and processes - adapting to shifting requirements

Many businesses are engaging in cloud, mobile and social strategies that let them use technology in new ways. Traditionally, IT departments have carefully controlled which solutions different users can access and what devices they can use to run those applications. Cloud, social and mobile technologies are consumerizing the enterprise, enabling employees to access robust application and data resources in more streamlined ways. While this is contributing to innovation in many ways, it also muddles the process picture because it makes it much more difficult to track data and operational workflows on an individual basis. It becomes even more challenging to clearly evaluate and analyze processes across departmental boundaries.

Consumerization creates this challenging process environment, but modern BPM software can play a vital role in helping organizations define the organizational lines between user groups and ensure processes flow efficiently from one department to another.

Looking at how BPM drives aligns technology and processes

The key challenge when trying to integrate operations across a diverse technological environment is that users will often be getting the job done on a diverse range of devices, running different applications and using distinct social tools to get the job done. One employee may prefer to communicate via email, while another uses consumer social media channels and a third may be easiest to contact via text message on a mobile device.

Contemporary BPM solutions are bridging these gaps by unifying and integrating different technological systems to bring cloud, mobile and social operations into concert with one another. The end result is a centralized process hub that allows individuals to identify what processes they are responsible for handling and where different projects that they have a stake in stand.

The end result of such a process management suite is a situation in which individual workers can organize their day more efficiently and align processes with their technological preferences. At the same time, managers and other business leaders can use the solution to get a bird's eye view of projects and intervene strategically as necessary.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing