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Workflow Engines - what they are and why you should use them too.

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Workflow Engines - what they are and why you should rely on them too

Workflow Engine. One of those new, important-sounding terms that disappeared from the scene after a short time? Not at all: a workflow engine is a software application that manages your business processes and is thus closely related to workflow management. What are workflow management, workflow management systems and a workflow engine?

So before we get into the Workflow Engine, we first need to clarify what Workflow Management means. Workflow management is about supporting business processes with software and automating them partially or even completely. Step by step, business processes are handled in this way - in other words, they are processed in workflows. This results in a workflow management system: It comprises all the steps that are run through in the course of a workflow - and this is precisely where the workflow engine comes into play. A workflow engine is software that manages and monitors all the processes involved in workflow management.

Anyone who looks into the subject will be surprised: Most companies already have such systems in use and use them to automate their processes. Typically these are:

What are the benefits of Workflow Engines?

Workflow engines develop different benefits from company to company, because each company uses them slightly differently. However, these points apply to every company:

  1. More results

Because a workflow engine ensures that work steps happen at the appropriate time, correctly, and in the correct order, you save time. This means you have more resources to devote to your actual tasks and achieve more results.

  1. Better processes

Instead of thinking in terms of one big process, with a workflow engine you work in small sub-steps. These, in turn, can be changed much more easily than a complete process.

  1. Enjoyment of the work

So far, you can find out whether you can already tackle the next work step by asking the colleague whose turn it is. Annoying and time-consuming. With a workflow engine, you are automatically informed as soon as it is your turn. This saves nerves and you do your work better.

What makes a workflow engine?

Now we know what is meant by workflow engines, what areas they can cover, among other things, and what advantages they bring. But what are the characteristics of a workflow engine? Mainly, there are two:

Automation: Workflow engines are good at automating processes in the respective system - for example DMS, ERP, CRM. Communication: They can communicate with the outside world in various ways.

Does a workflow engine also have limitations?

It is no exception that enterprise-wide business processes span multiple systems at once, crossing the boundaries of other systems. Examples of this are:

Many companies nevertheless try to get a grip on these processes with their already existing workflow engines. The result is often sobering, as the engines are overused. Is this the right way to go? Definitely not, because:

But how can these overlapping processes be mapped instead?

The secret is: suitable workflow architecture. This is often cheaper and easier to implement. This can be realized with low-code software.

The low-code solution serves as an overarching workflow that unites all affected processes under itself. Via standard interfaces, the overarching platform can communicate with the individual underlying engines - ERP, CRM, etc. - and thus serves as an orchestrator. Data can be transferred, processes started and results received. It is important to know that the entire business process is related to the respective systems that are used. In this case, the orchestrator takes over the control of all sub-workflows and distributes the data and results between the individual engines. For users, this has one particular advantage being that the Orchestrator provides an overview - at all times.

Because more and more diverse workflows are being tackled, especially in the context of digitalization, a workflow platform represents the ideal collection point to bundle the tasks of the individual employees. From here, they can jump directly into the processes. That is why you should also rely on a comprehensive workflow engine:

If you are interested in the workflow engine, please reach out to us.