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Business Automation Strategies Overview image

Business Automation Strategies Overview

As we discussed the importance of business processes in our article “Business Process Is The Essence”, we found out that business processes is a core of any company. But business processes by itself doesn’t give your business too many advantages compared to the companies which are using powerful automation for them. That’s why more and more companies are coming up with attempts to make their processes more automated and increase its efficiency. 

There are different options for how it can be automated, and today I would like to compare the most popular solutions in the industry. I hope you will discover some new opportunities for your business during the reading of this article.

Classical Software Creation

It’s the oldest and still one of the most effective solutions for process automation. Once a business owner decides to build custom software for his company, it will be created according to client requirements which precisely reflect the company’s business operations and their data models. To get deeper into the characteristics of classical software creation we are going to find out its main pros and cons:

+ Custom software is always designed for the most precise reflection of all client’s business processes;
+ A well-built software product has a nice performance without any data over-processing;
Impossibility to change business processes that are already in the product. Any time, when a business decides that the process is not productive anymore, you have to change a significant part of the application. As a result, you always should keep your own development team or look for some external contractors;
The evolution of the IT industry making some technologies obsolete and product support can become more expensive;
The permanent growth of the product leads to a rise of its complexity.

To summarize, the complexity of the custom software development process and its price can make it unaffordable for most companies to have personalized solutions for their businesses. 

And for these companies there is another option: there are a lot of software products that provide an out of the box solutions for different kinds of businesses. So the clients of such products significantly reduced the expenses and made their companies possible to grow. As a result, such software has an averaged functionality inside, and unfortunately, it doesn’t always reflect the business processes of their clients or even impose tough restrictions on their business.

BPM software creation

Without any doubt, BPM software is the most generic solution for business process management. Normally, BPM is a standalone software that provides a possibility to manage your processes, data storage, user interfaces. Also, it allows you to control the execution of your workflows by assigning tasks to users, managing particular cases of business processes, and much more. Literally, it is a software that lets you build whatever kind of business using a visual designer and possibly some small piece of scripting.

+ Possibility of building your custom business processes;
+ Definition of custom data structures;
+ Design custom user interfaces for tasks and activities;
+ You can modify everything described above "on the fly";
+ BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) standard support. The majority of standalone BPM solutions using BPMN for process definition, which makes it understandable by many specialists in the world;
+ You can seamlessly integrate it with your existing software and looks like a native functionality for end-user;
Conceptually, this solution has no weak points. But practically you can face a lot of nasty surprises. We will come back to this question further.

As conclusion, BPM software is a powerful tool to make the IT infrastructure of your company more flexible. It will let you follow your own processes, be unique on the market, and provide outstanding services, using approaches that your competitors don’t even suspect. But from the other side, it can be a too heavyweight weapon. It contains all the tools and possibilities any business can ever need. If you are sure that you need only a few of them, it can be redundant to use an entire standalone BPM solution.

Eventually, if you decided to choose a BPM solution, unfortunately, there is no huge number of options on the market. And we described this question in our article "8 complexities of choosing BPM Software".

Hybrid software creation

And the third solution is a mixed one which contains the advantage of both previous methods. Literally it is a classical software, which contains a custom built-in BPM engine, which allows you to customize some workflows inside your software product.

+ Possibility to manage workflows in the application;
+ Usage of the same application environment;
+ Better performance compared to using third party BPM solution;
All responsibilities are on your developers’ shoulders. This solution supposes an extension of your own application and its quality totally depends on your development team experience;
Due to the con above, you can face significant time and budget increase in your project development.

As you can see, hybrid BPM or workflow management functionality in your project can be a smart solution to make your product more flexible and preferable by your clients. In the case when your software doesn’t require enterprise-level business processes customization, you don’t need to overcomplicate your process definition language. Otherwise, you can confuse some of your product users. Hybrid process management is a nice solution to make the business process customization more casual, you can let your imagination run wild and even bring some piece of gamification.


Through the whole article, we got deeper into the typical methods of business automation and have reviewed each of them, so let’s sum up: 

If you are interested in such a powerful tool as BPM software and would like to have your own implementation in your product, I would like to give you the reference to our article about technical nuances of such solution: “Custom BPM Software Development Guideline”(coming soon).


Chief Executive Officer
11 Aug 2020
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