Business Process Management – Integrating business and IT

Business Process Management (BPM) is a revolution in the industry today. It promotes improved efficiency, increased flexibility and adaptability to future changes. BPM integrates business and IT into a unified whole – a paradigm shift from the way the traditional applications are designed and maintained. Enterprises the world over are now switching over to BPMS (Business Process Management Systems) so as to increase the operational agility and increase in ROI and the overall productivity of the organization as a whole.

Workflow is about managing the business processes. BPM is actually a superset of Workflow. Workflow is typically used to manage business processes. On the contrary, BPM is used to manage workflows. A Business Process Management System (BPMS) facilitates automation, execution, management of business processes. Business Process Rules Engines are used to store, manage and execute business process rules. The rules can be shared across processes and outside processes by storing them in a centralized shared repository. Business Process Rules are modelled using rules editors and they are stored in a centralized rules repository to enable the business processes to access them. A Business Rules Engine consists of the following components:

Rules Editor
Rules Engine
Centralized Rules Repository
Rules Administration Component

Many of today’s software applications are static in nature in the sense that they don’t adapt well to possible future changes, because the business logic is embedded inside the application’s code. Therefore, when the business changes and the applications need to reflect those changes, the application’s source code needs to be modified too, which is a labour-intensive and error-prone process. Business process management tools help solve many of the problems with traditional architectures by isolating application code from rapidly-changing business processes. When alterations in business processes are required, a BPMS facilitates the changes, and ensures that such changes can be implemented using minimal development time and effort. The core BPMS advantage is isolation of business logic from an application’s core, helping to bridge the gap between business and IT. In addition, BPMSs constantly measure and store process execution data in the form of business activity monitor (BAM) reports, which managers can use for process monitoring, performance management, etc. From the organization’s perspective, better reporting helps ensure better efficiency, higher productivity, reduced cost, etc.

Conclusion:

Companies today are using BPM to evaluate, redesign, and customize their existing core processes and help rapidly integrate processes and applications within and across enterprise application boundaries. Globally, organizations are adopting BPM to include process model-driven and data-centric architecture approach rather than a document-centric one for greater operational agility, better efficiency, and higher productivity.

About the author:

A Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in ASP.Net, as well as a speaker and the author of several books and articles. He received the prestigious MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award at ASP.Net for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. He has more than 18 years of industry experience in IT, with more than 12 years in Microsoft .Net and its related technologies. He has been selected as MSDN Featured Developer of the Fortnight (MSDN) and as Community Credit Winner several times. He is the author of eight books and more than 250 articles. Many of his articles have been featured at Microsoft’s Official Site on ASP.Net. He was a speaker at the reputed Spark IT 2010 event and at the reputed Dr. Dobb’s Conference 2014 in Bangalore. He was also a speaker at SSWUG Virtual Conference in April, 2015. He’s also worked as a judge for the Jolt Awards at Dr. Dobb’s Journal.

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