Organizations in every industry are recognizing that in order to deliver better customer experiences, keep up with competitors, streamline operations, and improve their bottom line, they have to automate their core, mission-critical business processes. This is the digital transformation imperative – embrace automation today or go out of business tomorrow.
Because of this, the market is crowded with software products that can automate every aspect of your business. However, all automation tools are not created equal. When it comes to automating the complex processes that make up the core of your business, it’s important that you choose the right tool for the job.
What matters when choosing a process automation tool?
There are a few key questions you should ask when choosing an automation tool for your core business processes:
- Can the tool orchestrate every human and automated task in an end-to-end business process across components such as systems, APIs, microservices, RPA bots, IoT devices and AI/ML tools?
- Can it effectively manage long-running business processes?
- Does it provide actionable process analytics based on real-time and historical process performance data? Will it help you optimize your processes?
- Does it use open standards to facilitate communication and collaboration between business stakeholders and IT teams?
- Does it force software developers to adopt a proprietary programming language or vendor-specific development tools, or does it meet developers in their comfort zone so they can work in the way they’re used to?
- Does it have a flexible architecture so you can choose which parts to use and where to use them? Are there on-premises, cloud-based, and hosted (SaaS) options?
- Is the software easy to try and integrate with other IT tools and systems? Does it allow for community-driven extension and improvement?
- Does it ensure a low total cost of ownership by enabling teams to get started fast and helping them deliver process automation projects as quickly as possible?
What types of automation tools are out there?
There are thousands of software tools that can automate different types of work in your business; from internal, back-office tasks to customer-facing business processes. There are a few major categories:
- Process automation platforms like Camunda are designed to automate and orchestrate complex business processes from end-to-end, across a wide variety of systems, endpoints and types of work (including human tasks).
- Traditional business process management (BPM) suites allow you to model business processes, can execute those processes, and offer monitoring and reporting capabilities.
- Low-code platforms enable non-developers to build applications that automate simple processes without writing any code. They typically offer drag-and-drop capabilities for creating user interfaces and support basic data storage and manipulation.
- Robotic process automation (RPA) tools are a popular choice for automating single tasks, typically replacing manual keystrokes in software that cannot communicate with other systems or tools through APIs.
- Microservice orchestrators coordinate work across microservices to ensure that a business goal is achieved, ideally without forcing individual services to become tightly coupled or dependent on one another.
- Enterprise applications support all types of complex business operations at scale; they include products such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) tools, customer relationship management (CRM) software, content management systems (CMS), and more.
Comparing Camunda to other automation tools
To learn how these different types of tools satisfy the questions you’ll have when choosing an automation product, check out Camunda Compared to Alternatives: Guide to the Process Automation Landscape.