SharePoint Usage Survey 2017 - Workflows and Business Processes
Since 2014 Prof Arno Hitzges and Wolfgang Miedl have published 3 SharePoint surveys on the usage of Microsoft products in the DACH region. This year they published a special survey covering the usage of business processes and workflows in combination with SharePoint.
They decided to do a more specific research on workflows and business processes as the focus of the market is more and more shifting away from simple document management systems to more complicated solutions. The last survey from 2016 already showed the growing interest in digital supported business processes and the lack of solutions for these needs.
Microsoft provides the basic tools for automation and process support with the built-in workflow enhancements since SharePoint 2007. However, the capabilities of this tool remain very limited today, so that many companies either program their own extensions or look for professional alternatives in the growing market of workflow and process tools.
The needs of users, their expectations of the manufacturers and the opportunities for established and new providers are examined by the present study. The aim was to provide users with more transparency and to help them deal with the topic.
Business Processes and Workflows with SharePoint
Process management or business process management (BPM), includes the identification, design, documentation, implementation and control as well as the associated optimization of processes in companies. Here, not only technical issues, but above all organizational backgrounds, such as the organizational culture, the strategic orientation or the involvement and leading of all process participants are considered.
Every company is unique and each company has its own unique processes that help differentiate and gain advantage over competitors, and ensure the company's business success through the efficient use of operational resources.
A workflow is a sequence of actions in an organization. In contrast to the business process, detailed value is placed on the operational level, as the workflow descriptions divide the process into components that are unique at the IT level. The support of various applications and databases should help to use workflow models and ensure the organization's workflows.
Using a workflow management system, business processes can be analyzed and designed. Simultaneous and sequential processes such as roles, tasks, conditions, times and relationships are coordinated in this way.
SharePoint Asserts Itself as Workflow-Platform
The idea of SharePoint as a universal, enterprise-wide portal implies, in addition to the central portal concept, that employees can access the most diverse processes via one central location. Important business processes should be able to be mapped and provided via this hub. SharePoint comes with two things: First, it includes a simple workflow engine and designer to set up basic document workflows. On the other hand, there are many interfaces to all conceivable business applications, such as reading and writing data from, for example, SAP and other leading business systems.