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Process Orchestration in 2024: Top 5 Tools & Best Practices

Recent trends show that:

However, despite the high numbers, only 16% of companies establish sustainable process transformation. One of the reasons behind low success rates is the complexity of processes.

A complex process is difficult to model and understand, prolonging automation efforts and digital transformation initiatives. Also, such processes reduce process performance KPIs and lead to high costs and low customer and employee satisfaction. 

Business process orchestration is a relatively new approach that can help understand complex processes to increase process KPIs and ensure the success of automation and digital transformation. The global process orchestration market is expected to grow by 18.4 % between 2022 and 2031. 1  Despite the increase in revenue, business leaders and process analysts might lack a clear understanding. 

Therefore, this research will explain the following: 

  • What is process orchestration
  • Differences between process orchestration vs workflow orchestration
  • Process orchestration use cases 
  • How to apply process mining for better process orchestration.

What is business process orchestration? 

Business process orchestration involves

  • Coordinating and managing multiple interdependent business processes 
  • Merging these processes into more complex processes. 

The activities of orchestration include designing, implementing and monitoring process elements, such as:

  • Workflows 
  • Tasks 
  • Activities.  

Business process orchestration aims to align these elements and ensure they work efficiently and effectively. 

The visual represents a BPMN model where booking processor receives a request and transforms it to credit card, hotel reservation, flight reservation until it reaches to confirmation section and response. The model serves to understand how to orchestrate the entire process flow.
Figure 1: A BPMN model of process orchestration for travel booking, Source: 2 

Business process orchestration is associated with service-oriented architecture (SOA) and application integration. It typically involves integrating multiple systems, applications, and data sources to create a seamless and cohesive process. 

What are the process orchestration benefits?

Business process orchestration can be applicable to a wide range of industries and business functions. Some of the ways orchestration can help these firms to achieve process excellence includes:

  1. Increase process visibility: Process orchestration requires process discovery and modeling, enabling organizations to understand their processes better. 
  2. Improve process efficiency: Process orchestration coordinates and streamlines multiple process workflows, boosting productivity and ensuring faster cycle times
  3. Optimize process quality: Process orchestration standardizes process flows, which increases process quality and consistency. Consequently, organizations can obtain higher customer satisfaction and compliance with rules and regulations. 
  4. Streamline process automation: By understanding and improving processes, businesses can locate areas that can benefit from automation the most. By strategically automating the correct tasks and activities, business analysts ensure the success of their digital transformation. 
  5. Enhance agility: Businesses that successfully implemented automation and collaboration can provide their products and services to the market quicker than their competitors do. 

What are process orchestration tools?

Some of the tools to orchestrate processes include:

Process analysts can combine some of the above mentioned tools while orchestrating their processes. For instance, analysts can leverage process mining to discover and model their operations and use automation tools and business intelligence to orchestrate and constantly improve these processes (See Figure 2).  

The visual suggests discovering process data with process mining, designing with process  modeling, automating by using process orchestration and improving it with business intelligence tools.
Figure 2: How to use process orchestration tools together, Source: 3 

5 advice when choosing the best process orchestration tool 

Consider these key points while deciding which tools to use:

  1. Integration capabilities: The platforms you aim to choose must integrate with enterprise systems (e.g. ERP, CRM) and applications your business is using. 
  2. Visualization features: The tool should offer an easy process designer to generate and edit workflows, charts and graphs. 
  3. Ease of use: Orchestration platforms should be a low-code/no-code tool with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation to avoid training your employees or hiring people with such specific skill sets.  
  4. Scalability: The platforms should correspond to your business needs and process complexity.  
  5. Personalized KPIs and analytics: The tools should promote data-driven decision-making by offering analytics and customizable KPIs. This way, they can allow users to monitor process performance, identify inefficiencies and develop strategies in real time. 

5 reasons to use process mining for process orchestration

Process mining can be applied to orchestrate business processes since:

  • 78% of executives consider process mining as a key enabler of their RPA efforts. 
  • In the process improvement case studies we gathered from different sources, automation and process mining were the top tools by 31%. 
  • BPM trends indicate that process mining is overtaking the BPM market. 

Some of the ways process mining can enable process orchestration include:

  1. Collect data: Process mining can seamlessly extract event logs data registered in IT systems. Some process mining tools provide task mining capability to capture user interaction on web applications, spreadsheets and other documents. 
  2. Model process data: Process mining offers automated process discovery capability to automatically:
    1. Analyze the data that has been collected.
    2. Map the process workflow, showing relevant details (e.g. parties involved, resources used). With process mining, analysts can identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies and variations. 
  3. Assess process performance: Process mining offers data-driven dashboards for analysts to measure process KPIs. Based on such insights, orchestration teams can choose the processes they must focus on and start improving them.
  4. Optimize processes: By identifying issues in process flow and estimating process efficiency and effectiveness, process orchestration teams can decide on improvement remedies. For example, they can automate certain tasks or activities, re-assign them or simplify communication across the employees.       
  5. Monitor and manage: Once processes are understood and optimized, analysts must sustain the results by constantly monitoring the performance and managing the processes. This way, analysts can remain up-to-date and intervene when data indicates an issue. 

Process orchestration vs workflow orchestration

Process orchestration and workflow orchestration might confuse business leaders and process analysts since they both use technology and automation to optimize and facilitate business operations. However, the two concepts differ in terms of:

  • Focus area: Process orchestration focuses on multiple interdependent processes. On the other hand, workflow orchestration manages a single workflow or a sequence of tasks and activities. 
  • Complexity: Process orchestration is typically more complicated and high-level, involving various workflows and activities, while workflow orchestration is more concentrated and simple, managing a single workflow.   

Process orchestration vs. process automation

Process orchestration coordinates and manages multiple processes, while process automation concentrates on automating tasks and activities of a given process. 

Process automation and orchestration can support each other:

  • Process automation automates routine and repetitive tasks, providing more time for employees. As a result, employees can focus on coordinating and managing more complicated processes, strategic activities or high-cognitive tasks.  
  • Process orchestration helps in understanding and optimizing complex and interdependent processes. Consequently, analysts and leaders can choose the right process, task or activity to automate and streamline the digitalization journey.  

Further reading

Discover more on process mining and other process technologies that can help you orchestrate your processes:

Check out our data-driven and comprehensive process mining vendor list, if you believe you can employ it for process orchestration.

If you have more doubts, let us know:

Find the Right Vendors
Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Hazal Şimşek
Hazal is an industry analyst in AIMultiple. She is experienced in market research, quantitative research and data analytics. She received her master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Carlos III of Madrid and her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University.

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