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Process Street

FrontRunners 2024

Process Street is the world's first Process Management Platform powered by AI. We help teams share their core processes, then transform them into powerful no-code workflows. Start with employee onboarding to set up new hires for ...Read more about Process Street

Anypoint Platform

Anypoint Platform is an application development solution for organizations that are looking to integrate applications, data sources and devices using application programming interfaces (API). The solution is suitable for industrie...Read more about Anypoint Platform

Formstack Suite

With Formstack, automate manual processes, deliver solutions quicker, and go from idea to workflow in minutes and save hours—all with clicks, not code. Combining a visual workflow automation builder with digital forms, document ge...Read more about Formstack Suite

3.0 (1 reviews)

MaintainX

MaintainX is a web-based CMMS tool that can be used on mobile devices. It aims to improve workflow completion and strengthen team communication. It can be used by operational teams in small to large businesses. This solution allow...Read more about MaintainX

Jira

Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create project r...Read more about Jira

Zapier

Founded in 2011, Zapier has helped over 1.8 million individuals and businesses with their automation needs. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. Build custom workfl...Read more about Zapier

Qntrl

Qntrl is workflow orchestration software built by Zoho Corporation. Created for people who orchestrate processes for their team, department, or organization, Qntrl is the easiest way to bring visibility, control, and automation to...Read more about Qntrl

4.0 (1 reviews)

Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a cloud-based solution that helps small to large enterprises manage projects, data visualization, and diagramming processes. The centralized platform enables users to create visual diagrams of business processes and ...Read more about Lucidchart

Digital Business Transformation Suite

Enterprise Process Center, by Interfacing Technologies, is a business process management (BPM) suite that provides businesses several digitization and management programs within a single platform. The solution can be deployed eith...Read more about Digital Business Transformation Suite

Tonkean

Tonkean helps enterprise shared service teams improve process adoption, operate more efficiently, and move at the speed of business. Tonkean's process orchestration platform wraps around your existing systems to create an AI-drive...Read more about Tonkean

ValueData Miner

ValueData Miner is process mining software that helps users handle optimization opportunities in business processes. The software helps businesses increase their revenue through an innovative SaaS solution that enables companies t...Read more about ValueData Miner

5.0 (1 reviews)

Bizagi

Bizagi offers a business process management (BPM) suite for enterprises. Key features include automation, modeling and execution of business operations. It has been recognized as a Challenger in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for...Read more about Bizagi

CommandCenter

CommandCenter is a Business Process Management Platform that maps, monitors and optimizes the workflows of a business. Serving a wide range of industries, it has remarkable flexibility that helps increase brand visibility, enforce...Read more about CommandCenter

BIC Platform

The BIC Platform covers the entire spectrum of digital transformation in just one software solution. It offers companies of all industries and sizes an intuitive and technically excellent way to manage and digitalize their process...Read more about BIC Platform

Aha!

Aha! is the world's #1 product development software. We help more than 1 million product builders bring their strategy to life. Our suite of tools includes Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Whiteboards, Aha! Knowledge, and Aha! Deve...Read more about Aha!

Pneumatic

Pneumatic is a cloud-based workflow management solution, which helps small to midsize enterprises visually create businesses processes and invite and assign tasks to members. Features include role-based permissions, remote access,...Read more about Pneumatic

Nintex Process Platform

Nintex is a workflow management solution that caters to a variety of industries including energy, health and life sciences, financial services and government. It is suitable for departments such as customer services, human resourc...Read more about Nintex Process Platform

IBM Blueworks Live

IBM Blueworks Live is a web-based collaborative solution designed to build and improve business processes. With this solution, teams can use process mapping features to document existing or new processes. IBM Blueworks Live can be...Read more about IBM Blueworks Live

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BigTime

BigTime helps professional services firms reduce operational costs, easily align talent to the right projects, and accelerate time to get paid for completed work, all while enabling quicker decision-making by getting you the infor...Read more about BigTime

NotoWare

NotoWare is a cloud-based process management solution that helps disseminate work knowledge to employees. Employees can find the latest information related to work instructions and new job task details through the solution’s datab...Read more about NotoWare

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Business process management: At first glance, this term seems to be a simple description of what bosses, managers and department heads do; they manage the processes of business. The term’s unstated implication is that processes are managed with the aim of increasing efficiency, profitability and/or competitiveness.

But business process management (BPM) is actually a technical term. It still carries some of the same implications noted above—the aim of BPM is to increase a company’s efficiency, profitability and/or competitiveness—but, as a technical term, it focuses specifically on the digitization of business processes. Software and application development play a central role.

(If you're looking for more generic software to simply manage a business, without the technical implications of BPM, that would just be business management software—not at all confusing, right? Don't worry, we'll clear things up.)

What Is BPM?

The 3 Types of BPM Software

Trends in, Direction of BPM Software Market

What Is BPM?

BPM is defined by Gartner as “a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes. A business process coordinates the behavior of people, systems, information and things to produce business outcomes in support of a business strategy. Processes can be structured and repeatable or unstructured and variable. Though not required, technologies are often used with BPM. BPM is key to align IT/OT [information/operational technologies] investments to business strategy.”

With the definition out of the way, let’s see what BPM looks like in practice. Compare the following two scenarios to understand what distinguishes BPM from the ordinary and expected activities of running a business.

Two-Year Growth Comparison, With and Without BPM

 

Over two-year period

Result

Business A (Without BPM)

• Grew from 50 to 150 employees

• Changed offices twice, but changed none of its IT organizational structure

• With each new hire, added one more workstation and purchased one or more additional software licenses

• Underlying work performed by employees didn’t change

• Company headcount grew by 200 percent

• Did not actively seek ways to optimize business processes

• Growth resulted in few economies of scale

• Lost market share to competitors with more efficient business processes

Business B (With BPM)

• Grew from 50 to 60 employees

• Evaluated new IT in terms of business strategy and departmental goals

• Switched from Gmail for support requests to an all-in-one customer service platform

• Tied new service platform into R&D’s bug reporting system

• Leveraged IT improvements to streamline employee workflows

• Company headcount grew by 20 percent

• Used IT purchases to streamline business processes

• Productivity (profit/employee) grew 200 percent

• Captured one-third of Business A’s market share

The 3 Types of BPM Software

As you might expect, BPM takes different forms and is shaped by a business’s size, segment and strategy. As a result, software used for BPM is available in many different forms.

You can focus your approach to the BPM software market by looking at it in terms of three general categories outlined by Gartner in a report by analysts Michele Cantara and Rob Dunie: “Select the Right Type of BPM Platform to Achieve Your Application Development, Business Transformation or Digital Business Goals” (content available to Gartner clients).

Gartner’s Three Types of BPM Platform

types-of-BPM-platform

  1. Basic BPM Platforms: As the name implies, these are the most elementary platforms for BPM. They contain tools designed to ensure that new IT applications will lead to the desired business outcomes. These can include basic, user-friendly interfaces—for example, to help test and model workflows—as well as tools supporting the development of applications which increase efficiency.

    • Basic BPM platforms are often chosen by smaller organizations, and many are intended to be used by staff outside the IT department.

  2. BPM Suites (BPMS): BPMSs have a wider scope and include tools used by both IT and non-IT staff. (At this level, BPM initiatives typically require coordination between IT and other business units and departments.) They’re useful for organizations seeking continuous (as opposed to one-off) process refinement and improvement and include options to increase process agility and flexibility.

    • BPM suites are best for organizations that, in order to achieve their BPM goals, need deeper integration with their existing IT architecture.

  3. Intelligent BPM Suites (iBPMS): This category is the most advanced, adding advanced analytics, operational intelligence and rapid application development tools to the BPM and BPMS mix of tools. iBPMSs can increase the speed with which a company goes from insight to action, often with the creation of automated self-adapting, goal-directed processes.

    • iBPMSs are used by organizations that need to incorporate complex, real-time operational intelligence, both internal and external (from partners or customers), in order to effect significant process improvements.

Trends in, Direction of BPM Software Market

If we knew specifically which processes businesses would be managing tomorrow, we’d have retired yesterday… and we wouldn’t have written this Buyer’s Guide today. We can’t predict the future, but we have been observing BPM long enough to understand that these general trends in BPM technology and strategy are likely to continue.

  • Some businesses will fail with one or more aspect of their digital transformation strategies, not because the strategy or IT selection was misguided, but because BPM was not included in the planning. It takes a concerted effort between IT and departmental stakeholders to ensure that the dividends of digital transformation projects are distributed in the form of improved business processes.

  • Creation and exploration of deliberately unstable processes will increase, as companies strive to adapt their workflows and processes to changing customer needs and to a greater variety of more granular customer interaction scenarios.

  • Companies with strict organizational structures will have more difficulty realizing BPM gains and improvements, while more agile companies and those more comfortable with iterative process improvement will get the best return on investment from their BPM improvement initiatives.