The ability to use and support workflow processes and workflow automation are key to enabling success in virtually any organization.
In a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, Research Director Nick Castellina identified that “Best-in-Class” organizations are 2.6 times as likely to enable business-driven workflows!
What is a workflow?
Wikipedia supplies a good definition: “A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information.”
What is a business-driven workflow?
We find that there are two options for organizations to adopt workflow technology.
1) The IT group selects and implements a workflow tool set.
2) The Business (or business unit) identifies the need, and selects the tool that best fits the way they work.
IT Led Initiatives
Many organizations choose this first option, where tools are selected/managed by the IT organization. This is obviously preferable for the IT group, and makes it much easier for the IT organization to support the workflow automation system selected. This IT centric model works during the initial rollout but can bog down with the inevitable changes that impact a given workflow.
On the other hand, a Business-Driven workflow approach empowers the business unit that has the need and utilizes the workflow. It allows the business unit to manage changes to the workflow without having to do code changes resulting in better adoption and use of the process.
Changing the paradigm from an IT centric model to a business-driven model provides greater real-time control and modification of workflow processes.
The Aberdeen Study points out that:
“Top performers utilize workflow platforms that give the power in workflow management to the line of business. The Best-in-Class are 2.6 times as likely to enable business users to utilize workflow software without relying on IT.”
The Study goes on to say:
“Organizations with business-driven workflows have been found to spread their workflow functionality across more business functions than those that do not enable business-driven workflows.”
“By enabling business-driven workflows, organizations are able to innovate and drive substantial changes to the business that result improved performance.”
“Workflow management software that puts the power in the peoples’ hands will enable innovation and lead to superior results.”
Potential Pitfalls of the Business-Driven Approach
Having each business unit adopting disparate technologies could be nightmare for the organization, and is the main reason why IT wants to keep a tight control on the technologies that are selected and implemented inside the organization. This is often a point of contention within the organization.
One way to mitigate that problem is for the business unit to select technologies that in-line and fit with the organization’s existing technologies. This is why, at inaForms, we’ve selected the Microsoft stack to build our applications on. Microsoft Outlook is used as the primary means of communication across virtually every organization. inaForms sits on top of that existing infrastructure and transforms it into a powerful business workflow automation tool.
Make better use of your existing infrastructure! Come visit inaForms at www.inaform.net to see how business-driven workflows can benefit your organization.
Innovate with Business-Driven Workflow Automation
Please call us to have a brief inaForms introductory meeting to get a sense of how inaForms might benefit your organization: