The Business Operations Platform externalizes the control of processes away from individual applications. It makes them equal peers, subjugated to the Business Operations Platform layer that controls the execution of the processes, the provision of services, and the delegation of tasks or activities to the individual applications according to their specific uses and needs.
– Peter Fingar, The Business Process Platform in the Sky
Need to eliminate process silos? We can help!
Like a digital nervous system, a platform is much more powerful than the sum of its parts. The functionality provided by the situational process platform is designed to work together. So, for example, every application is automatically social-enabled and mobile-enabled, and a single permissions schema is used in all the different functions, including workflow, reporting, and social networking. This dramatically reduces the time required to build function-rich solutions.
Having just one platform to deal with allows users across the organization to start building solutions immediately and deploy them quickly, globally, and inexpensively.
You could create your own business operations platform by cobbling together disparate social, mobile, process and cloud products. Or you could simply use a comprehensive, integrated, extensible, and ready-to-go platform.
An integrated set of building blocks in a complete platform is like a car in the sense that it’s a complete unit of transportation. The user, of course, would rather buy a car than have to mix and match pieces of hardware to build her own car.
Additionally, the superiority of an individual component – like a carburetor or transmission, in the case of a car – is of little use if the car doesn’t have wheels or a dashboard.
While it takes many different working components to assemble a car, make it run, and keep it running, a buyer doesn’t need to know exactly what they are. All the pieces just have to all be there so the car can run and keep running over time. In the same way, having a fully integrated platform with all the building blocks needed to develop solutions is more important than relative power of the individual building blocks. Having one audio speaker is a lot better than having none – the difference between zero speakers and one speaker is infinitely greater than the difference between one speaker and twelve.
For example, many companies just need a small percentage of what’s available for document management, the basic functions without the complexity. They need the equivalent of one speaker, and they wouldn’t care about or maybe even hear the difference provided by twelve. The platform needs to provide at least one of each of the essentials to make the driving experience more of a pleasure and less of a chore.
The key to a robust situational process management platform is that if you need those 12 speakers, you can go to an app store and plug them in – much like you can add luxury packages to a car.
Benefits of a single platform
The value of a tool that everyone can use comes when everyone uses it… for a thousand little things.
– Ian James, The Process Consultant
The other benefits of using a single platform include:
Decreased time to market by eliminating the decision-making process regarding what technology to use, what hardware to procure, and what software to install and maintain.
Reduced training and support costs, by making community support more effective with a greater number of participants.
A consistent approach to applications, allowing the organization to benefit from reuse across multiple solutions—reuse of processes, technology, and people and their skills.
The same security profiles and authentication methods are able to be used consistently across all solutions.
A single place for information sharing is provided through a common repository that includes files, content, videos, images, etc.
A holistic view of the organization across applications, departments and information silos is facilitated.
Access to an extensive ecosystem of developers, applications and services that can simply “plug in” to the platform. The ecosystem also reduces the need to reinvent the wheel.
Effective social networking by having everyone on a single platform.
A single place for customers to interact with your organization, instead of having multiple points of contact.
Licenses costs are spread across multiple applications.
The database becomes more complete and reflective of the organization.
Cross-functional workflows are easier to implement.
A cadre of experts in the platform will emerge faster.
Building and deploying small applications is much easier if a common platform is used, where everyone can share the platform’s database, authentication, permissions, workflows, etc.
Having a common application development environment assists greatly in long-distance collaboration and support. Developers, subject matter experts, and business and industry specialists have the ability to work from anywhere at any time, enabling collaborative teams that span continents.
Over time, the value of the platform increases. Because a platform provides a consistent approach to applications, the organization benefits from reuse across multiple projects – reuse of processes, technology, and people and their skills.
Organizations can start small, realize immediate value, then scale quickly to meet more and different business demands.
When new functionality is provided by the platform, all the applications already built on the platform automatically and immediately inherit that functionality.