Smart workflows – A complexity shield for your organization
by Jonathan Sapir, on
You need to build smart workflows.
In order to truly become a customer company, you need a customer platform – a platform in which sales, service, marketing and applications, even products can leverage shared customer data and processes.
Cloud computing makes it possible to create new “business operations platforms” that will allow companies to change their business models and collaborate in powerful new ways with their customers, suppliers and trading partners – stuff that simply could not be done before.
-Peter Fingar, Dot.Cloud: The 21st Century Business Platform
No matter how good your user development tools are, it’s going to be exceedingly difficult to build smart workflows that are stable, coherent, efficient and effective software solutions for your organization when your system environment looks like this to business users:
Users need the ability to build processes that are independent of the underlying systems. They need to be shielded by a single business operations platform where they can get the data and services they need when they need them, in order to create solutions quickly with others.
Collaborative work management needs to have a simple communication and collaboration layer where everyone can interact without regard to the existing systems. The existing systems provide services and data, but they do it through the platform, making it much simpler for users to manage.
“In the cloud, on the Web, there’s no distance to slow us down, no custom infrastructure we have to build, no paperwork to get lost. We can make connections, harness resources and start interacting without ever having to wait for physical stuff to happen first.”
– Phil Wainewright, “From Fixed to Frictionless Enterprise,” ZDNet
Look at it this way: If you were building a railway, you would need an entire foundation to be built before trains could even think of getting going. This would require a lot of planning up front, construction would be long and complex, and at the end of it all, riders would have to conform to predetermined routes and inflexible schedules. Taxicabs, on the other hand, can be on the road immediately, have completely undetermined routes, and no schedules.
Taxis can do this because the foundation is already in place – roads, traffic lights, gas stations, electric cabling, telephone lines, and so on. This is a vast, interconnected, and mostly unnoticed network that operates to support the business activity.
Taxicabs only have to worry about their business. They don’t have to be concerned with building and repairing roads and bridges, installing traffic lights, or monitoring that no one is abusing limits put in place to protect all users. They don’t have to provide the services necessary to make it all work, such as traffic cops or gas stations.
To decisively change the application development paradigm, a complete foundation and supporting services must be able to be taken for granted. That is what Salesforce App Cloud will provide you and your organization.
Salesforce App Cloud acts as a complexity shield below, and an enabling platform above.
The unified platform is made up of four key layers: the infrastructure layer, the database layer, the social layer, and the mobile layer. Put together, these layers form a powerful platform that allows users to do complex things, without addressing what makes them complex.
Each layer provides the core functionality that Collaborative work management needs to thrive.
When you build smart workflows, you improve the workflow process. So start improving your process management by requesting a copy of our white paper.