In the previous blogs on the 9 factors that dictate the cost of your BPM investment, I have discussed how a detailed evaluation of the current and future functionality and the ease of use of a BPM solution can make or break a successful, cost-effective implementation.

What is the next question you will need to ask after identifying a BPM solution that can do what it needs to do (functionality) and has the capability and flexibility of managing change quickly (ease of use)? In this final part of the series, I want to cover scalability, integration and ultimately the speed of delivery.

Assuming that you have successfully automated your first burning process, what happens next time you have a similar situation to overcome with a whole new process to automate? What if I need to do it all over again? In business terms, can you scale? Unless the BPMS is built on reuse – allowing similar processes to be quickly customized and deployed for other parts of the business – these projects will become increasingly complex and expensive, causing businesses to halt their digitization efforts before reaping any of the benefits.

Lack of scalability in BPM projects is a common and serious issue. According to global research and advisory firm Forrester, most organizations that invest in BPM Suites start small with a particular departmental solution, with the intention that they will then scale rapidly towards an enterprise-wide program. However, although they are typically able to achieve quick wins with the first two or three departmental projects, they “hit a brick wall” before achieving anything like the scale they had intended. How so? It all comes down to the way the BPM solution is built and the underlying BPM platform that supports it: the inability to reuse process elements stifles the speed of digital transformation.

BPM Scalability
The inability to reuse process elements slows down automation speed

To help you overcome this challenge you need to identify:

  • If you can potentially reuse various business objects such as: forms, sub-processes, data, user interface components, and rules
  • What percentage of the system you are building is reusable?
  • How much will it cost to deploy an enterprise-wide solution?
  • How long will it take to deliver the first business process and then an enterprise-wide solution?

Furthermore, to enable a BPM Suite to deliver the agility needed to support continuous improvement and scale, it is necessary to connect to enterprise data sources in a more intelligent way. A way that facilitates change, improves visibility of how systems are integrated and maximizes the reuse of process elements across multiple processes. Data virtualization, for example, is an approach that aims to reduce the number of connectors, eliminating repetition that can clutter BPM solutions. A layered BPMS architecture is also a fundamental enabler of simplicity and reuse, supporting scalability and lower cost of ownership.

When evaluating a BPM system, it is critical to take into account not just the obvious pricing consideration but also those that will impact the total cost of ownership over the long term: functionality, ease of use, scalability and speed. With that thought, this concludes my blog series on the 9 factors that dictates the cost of your BPM solutions.

If you are interested in exploring the 9 cost factors fully and get a practical guide on how to minimize your BPM investment, DOWNLOAD OUR WHITEPAPER: Building the BPM Business Case.