BPM-enabled integration provides business flexibility

Integration is a key need in almost any business environment. Getting disparate IT systems to work well with one another is among the primary applications for integration, but there is also a need to get different work departments to operate in conjunction with one another. These types of traditional integration projects can breed considerable operational benefits. Business process management software can create an environment in which different business processes are so tightly integrated that organizations can function flexibly.

The importance of operational flexibility

Not too long ago, flexibility was not a major issue for businesses. Workers came into the office, sat down at their workstations, went to meetings and got the job done. Then the growing mobile market made people realize that they could give a sales worker a BlackBerry device and let that person complete work tasks better on the road. This introduced a situation where some flexibility was also needed among marketing and other teams that support sales efforts in the field.

However, this stage of mobile’s development still represented a fairly rigid environment. That started to change when managers started subscribing to cloud apps on their own to help them improve operations. This shift was furthered when more employees turned to personal social media accounts, file sharing systems and other consumer tools because business-specific solutions could not keep up. Then the mobile market exploded, and it seemed like everybody was bringing a device into the office. Flexibility became an operative term at this point because IT had to contend with consumer tools that let workers get the job done, when and how they wanted.

Traditional IT tools are not designed to provide the kind of flexibility that consumer application ecosystems can offer, but IT departments can work around that problem through a variety of cloud, mobile and social solutions. This provides operational flexibility, but only if processes are adjusted and integrated to support the capabilities of these technologies. BPM software provides the architecture necessary to make this integration happen.

Using BPM for mobile functionality

As a whole, the mobile BPM market is still relatively immature. But industry leaders like Appian are capable of offering fully featured solutions that can help businesses integrate the diverse elements of their cloud, mobile and social systems to enable operations that are flexible enough to meet the needs of consumerized IT departments.