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We live in a difficult time where the speed at which a company adapts to change is vital for its survival. However, the current economic situation makes one dubious about embarking on major investments or becoming tied down with payment commitments.
How can we resolve this situation? Is it enough to be clever, hard-working and to have a bit of luck?
Maybe. But if this is not enough, I propose a way to manage a company that is sure to help you, based on the combination and synergy of three technologies that will shape the future: a new management model (BPM), a program (BPMS) and a new way to use this program (Cloud BPM).
New management model: Business Process Management
The operations of any organization are defined by its activities, and the processes are the sequence of activities performed to achieve a particular purpose.
However, until now companies have based their management on optimizing the actions or functions performed without taking into account the coordination of these activities. Business Process Management focuses on the optimization of not only these actions and functions, but on the optimization and continuous improvement of the processes.
The Business Process Management model allows the optimization of operations in any type of company or organization, breaking down the global activity into a set of ‘processes’ with functions that are relatively independent but at the same time connected to others. These processes can be analyzed in detail, both the systems and the people who intervene, to optimize times, opportunities and costs without losing the ability to continuously and rapidly adapt to changes, and maintaining the coexistence of safe methods with the flexibility of the processes to ease the active and essential involvement of people.
Today nobody doubts the benefits of the business process management methodology, which is the cornerstone for both ISO regulations and the EFQM Excellence Model.
But there is a problem
Switching from a management by functions approach to a management by business processes approach means an important and complex restructuring in the way a company is managed, which involves all its areas.
The fact that strong hierarchical structures must be broken, the resistance to change, the need to raise employee awareness to a new way of working at all levels of the organization, etc., can all easily scupper the implementation of the BPM methodology. And the difficulty in control, the natural tendency towards convenience, and the lack of communication of changes can be common problems during the application of this methodology and can greatly undermine the company’s effectiveness.
Experience confirms that making the change to BPM methodology is not easy, and also that its application does not ensure its compliance.
The BPM Suite: a Management Tool
Implementation of the BPM (Business Process Management) methodology would not be effective without a tool to control that all the activities from different departments and sections in the entity are performed correctly, on time and by the appropriate people.
In practice, verbally relaying messages or instructions to employees in an entity is not the same as having a BPM tool that “obliges” each employee to carry out their work correctly and, not only that, can carry out the measurements, control and analysis automatically with its integrated Business Intelligence tools.
BPMS is the software that supports BPM. It has a practical approach, given that the theoretical elements of the Business Process Management are introduced in the system during the implementation so that the system itself can optimize and automate them (as much as possible), control their compliance and provide the necessary analysis for their continuous improvement.
According to almost all analysts, the emergence of the BPMS represents perhaps the most important revolution in enterprise software.
But this also has a problem
The implementation of a BPMS requires the involvement of specialists, mainly external consultants and systems staff, as well as a significant investment in hardware and in the BPM software, which can be very costly. But the current economic situation does not entice one to take such risks.
Cloud Computing: a new way to use IT
BPM in the Cloud allows entities of any size to use the most powerful Business Process Management systems in the market with the most secure hardware, without making any investment. They only pay for what they use, or pay a small monthly fee with no commitment to continue. There are minimal technological structure requirements; the only equipment needed is a computer terminal, for example a work station, PC or mobile device (tablet or smartphone), with an Internet connection; nothing else!
Benefits of Cloud BPM
With Cloud BPM, all the problems related to owning and using your own installation, including servers, firewalls, switches, protected enclosures, uninterrupted power supply, fast and safe Internet connections, etc., are completely eradicated, along with the necessary maintenance of all these components. Furthermore, the need to install, maintain and upgrade versions of the BPM software is also eradicated.
And of course, there is no longer the need to hire specialized technical staff to take care of these installations.
Cloud BPM provides the BPM suite and the Business Process Management implementation methodology, and specialist consultants can also be contracted to perform the process modeling, creation of reports, etc. if so desired.
The lifecycle of the processes is focused on Continuous Improvement, which means that this important benefit not only applies to the implementation of new processes, but also to any necessary modifications throughout the useful life of the process. In a market where agility and responsiveness are paramount to the survival of companies, changes may be continuous and instantaneous.
With Cloud BPM the user does not need to invest money on purchases, support or maintenance. They only pay an affordable fee for the use of SaaS and IaaS with full guarantees. Furthermore, they can discontinue the service at any time without having to pay any cancellation fees; they only pay the fees corresponding to the time they use the application.