Where are the traffic jams in your organization?

13 augustus 2018, 4 min leestijd

It is quite challenging these days to monitor all of the links in a business process as these processes often run through all sorts of separate (best-of-breed) applications, operating at several different locations. In addition, the integration of all these applications is increasingly becoming a more determining factor for success. Can you be confident that all the applications that are being used for the purpose of streamlining the processes are communicating properly with each other and to the right extent? Well with Business Process Monitoring, this is definitely possible.

It is the holiday season, a time in which we travel to France, Germany or other destinations en masse. But no one going on a holiday will prepare for this trip by only checking one motorway for possible traffic. It is about the route that you will take as a whole, and the different roads and countries you will pass through as you follow this route. Which junctions are known for their poor flow? Where are the roadworks? Are there alternative routes?

Business processes require exactly the same way of thinking. It doesn’t make sense to check every separate link in the process for possible ‘traffic’, success is to be found in the sum of all these separate links. It is, however, getting more and more difficult to calculate that sum, because the roadmap of the application landscape is experiencing constant additions in terms of side roads, border crossings, and complex junctions. But how can you monitor the performance of an entire business process that passes through dozens of loose applications, and one that also operates in different locations (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and on-premise)? And how do you get better insight in the more critical transport routes, or: the junctions between applications? Business Process Monitoring offers a solution.

What is Business Process Monitoring?
Because people are now working more often in loose applications within multi-cloud environments, we are getting more dependent on the integration between these applications. Applications might work perfectly fine on their own, but if they fail to work properly together, they will eventually not deliver what it is promised. Business Process Monitoring helps with that; it provides organisations with insight into the message exchange that takes place between applications. Do these meet the requirements you’ve set as an organization or department in order to be successful? These are the critical transport routes or junctions that I’ve mentioned above.

I would like to illustrate this with an example:
In organizations with an online store, the complete order-to-cash process runs through multiple applications that are running at different locations. If 50 orders are placed within a single hour, then this should eventually result in the same amount of orders that have to be picked, sent, and invoiced. The orders must therefore run smoothly from one application to the other, and if something goes wrong, you want to know exactly where a mistake occurred.

How does Business Process Monitoring work?
You often have a monitoring dashboard that gives you insight into the performances of separate systems and applications. At Ctac we take this a step further and design dashboards that also give an insight into the message exchange (the integration layers) in the entire chain, across all clouds. In that way, you will see at a glance how the processes are functioning and where things can be improved. Not on a technical level, but in terms of impact on the business. For example, think of an app for logistic managers allowing them to easily monitor certain KPIs. Is the number of orders placed equal to the number of orders that are being sent? Can they meet the target of sending out three hundred orders an hour? If all of the KPIs in the app are coloured green, then everything is running smoothly. As soon as something turns red, logistic managers will know that they will, for example, have to deploy more trucks or that something might not run smoothly in the integration between the warehouse and the external logistics party.

Get started with Business Process Monitoring
As a business owner, you naturally don’t want to be concerned with the integration layers between applications, but you do want to be aware of your KPIs and your customers’ satisfaction. Well, Business Process Monitoring provides you with exactly this information that you can use for guidance. You no longer have to guess what is going wrong in a process and where, but you will be able to see it in your dashboard across all clouds. It will also give you insight into the complex road network of your processes, and you can subsequently use that knowledge to prevent possible traffic congestion. Ctac would love to help you out with that. How? We will tell you that on Thursday 27 September during an informative webinar about Business Process Monitoring and Chain Monitoring.