A workflow process is a defined series or sequence of activities defined to achieve specific outcomes.
Different workflow software tools address different requirements. Fully featured workflow management solutions provide developers with pro-code tools needed to quickly build workflow applications or extend existing workflows outside business applications. Enterprise applications come with their own modeling environment, which provides developers and IT administrators the tools to model, configure, and administrate workflows within the app.
Both workflow management solutions and built-in modeling environments are increasingly adding capabilities that allow department process experts who don’t have technical expertise to take ownership over workflow management. And low code/no code platforms are designed for line-of-business power users to build simple workflow apps for Web and mobile use without any need for coding skills.
Most organizations deploy multiple automation technologies to support different processes and varying requirements. Packaged industry and line-of-business applications provide best-practice workflows to ensure efficient and reliable operation of the high-volume core processes found in most organizations. Workflow management solutions and other advanced automation technologies, like robotic process automation or machine learning capabilities, help organizations to close specific automation gaps or to create processes that help them differentiate in the market.
Low-code/no-code platforms help citizen developers, as well as professional developers, to quickly address simple automation requirements.
A strategic approach to process automation requires the capability to seamlessly combine multiple automation technologies to avoid the challenges, such as compatibility- and integration-related, created by a patchwork of different automation capabilities from various vendors.
Process improvement projects frequently address challenges such as broken or outdated processes, the automation of manual or semi-manual work, the reduction of unnecessary process steps, or the reduction of avoidable delays. Optimization goals include improved efficiency, productivity, quality, and compliance, and/or reduced costs, waste, rework, and cycle times. These projects mostly seek to address specific operational challenges and focus on quick time-to-value.
Process transformation projects seek to innovate to deliver new value. Changing business models or the emergence of new technologies are frequent challenges that entail transformational projects. The transformation goal is often end-to-end process automation or a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints. These projects mostly seek to address critical high-value or -volume processes or customer-facing business functions.