Businesses turn to workflow software solutions in order to remove manual tasks from their processes. As with any software, not all company workflow solutions live up to users’ expectations. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to tell if the workflow software they implemented is making the impact they had hoped for.
However, if you know what your company’s workflow software should be able to do and what features you should look for, you have a greater chance to leverage the benefits it provides. Knowing this will also let you tell which workflow software just won’t cut it before you invest too much time or money into a solution that won’t work for you.
Workflow software has the ability to automate extremely sophisticated, complex processes. However, how intricate your process and workflow automation becomes is entirely up to you. Workflow software can be quite simple, and at its core it should help you do these four things:
All four of these core requirements center around the ability to automate workflows. To make communications more streamlined, your company workflow software allows you to forward documents, forms, and emails to the right person or department for approval.
More than just replying with, “Approved,” your workflow software allows you to digitally sign off on approvals and automatically forward the request on to the next step. No more long email chains where more and more people are added at each step.
The same scenario can be used to show how insight and accountability are improved with the right workflow software. You can see at any point in the process who approved or denied something, where it was held up, or any other information you need to know about a process. The software will add a layer of record-keeping on top of the processes without you having to document everything separately.
Despite all the things humans are capable of, they are prone to error—especially when tasks are repetitive and require minimal thought or engagement. For tasks like these, workflow software is a perfect solution. Since the right solution is able to pull data and information from forms and other inputs to automate tasks such as data entry, human error is eliminated. This also raises your company’s efficiency because people can spend time on other tasks to grow your business instead of tasks that you can automate with your company workflow software.
The most important feature any workflow software needs to have is a way for people to easily create workflows as well as everything that is required as part of the process. This includes forms and automation. If a good experience that is easy to use is not part of the software, then it is not the solution you want to implement.
Aside from making it easy to create both simple and complex workflows, a good workflow software solution is also going to have some other important features.
When people think of things that malicious hackers target, business processes generally are not the first things that come to mind. However, processes are considered intellectual property, and the right ones offer a competitive advantage in many situations. In addition to those processes, workflow software handles quite a bit of confidential information, so security is a key component to the right solution.
At a minimum, your workflow software solution should provide you with single sign-on capabilities so that you can leverage identity and authentication management and privileged access management solutions. Encryption is also a must for data at rest and in transit.
Powerful Rule Engine
Workflow software is only as good as the rule engine that powers the workflows and automation. As such, your company workflow software should allow you to leverage multiple types of rules that you can test before they go live.
Your rule engine should also provide you with the capability to roll back any rules should they cause errors or create any issues because of dependencies or other outside requirements.
Your company workflow software will likely allow you to create forms because this is one of the most practical means of collecting data and information. However, form management needs to go beyond the simple ability to create a form.
Version control is a must-have feature because it allows you to track changes and edits. Your forms also need to be mobile-friendly, so your software should allow you to create forms that are able to display on devices with different screen sizes.
Not all workflow software solutions are able to provide your business with what you need. When your workflow software doesn’t cut it, it winds up costing you time and money—not just on the price of the application, but also in the time wasted on tasks that your software should be taking care of for you.
To see how a leading company workflow software solution stands out from the others that don’t quite cut it, take some time to review these videos of Decisions workflow software in action. After watching a few, you can see if your current solution stacks up. If you would like to discuss your particular use case, we would love to hear about it. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.