BPM systems are often used as integrating mechanisms for disparate systems, passing along information from one to another to ensure that they stay in sync. They aren’t the only type of systems used for integrating and orchestrating – there’s everything from the consumer-focused IFTTT and Zapier to full-on server-side orchestration – but that’s often presented as a primary use case for BPMS.
What happens, however, when you don’t integrate systems, and rely on “swivel chair integration”, where people have to enter the same information twice in two different systems? In many cases, that integration just doesn’t happen on a consistent basis, and that can cost organizations a lot of money. The news headlines here are all about how lawyers were overpaid (really? that’s news? ), but for me, the real story is buried further down:
[Lawyers’] time-off recorded in a scheduling system known as iCase was not always properly recorded in a parallel payroll system, known as PeopleSoft. Lawyers themselves were supposed to update both systems, but for various reasons did not.
In short, an organization that employs highly-paid professionals expected those people to enter their time (reasonable) – twice, in two different systems (unreasonable). And for some reason, they are surprised that the lawyers didn’t always do this.