Workflow and BPM price. Visible, hidden and invisible costs


Historically, the price of Business Process Management (BPM) and Workflow software licenses was expensive. Expensive or cheap is a subjective perception, of course. But in general terms, for any medium or small organization, it was impossible to access these technologies mainly because of license price.

An additional aspect, and not less important, is that it was very difficult to understand the licensing model, and therefore the total price of all the necessary components. Some manufacturers sold the process modeling tool, the process execution engine, the end-user licenses, and even the analysis tool (BI) independently. To understand the total cost of licensing, a small consultancy in each manufacturer’s licensing model was required.

BPM costs

Hidden costs in the BPM price

In addition to the price of the licenses, having a complete solution running involved another (often hidden) cost: consulting services. It was necessary to have professionals who were experts in the product to be implemented, who spent several months working with the organization, to:

  • Formally model the processes (using OMG standard BPMN notation, or any other)
  • Instrument the processes modeled in the BPM software (whether a BPMN engine or other)
  • Manage organizational change (communicate, train users, etc.)
  • After using it for a while, implement the changes that will naturally be necessary.

All these tasks usually involved costs equal to or even greater than the BPM price visible in the licensing model.

Management time – the worst cost

There is a third cost, much more invisible, and of great impact. The time required from management levels, for tasks such as:

  • Monitoring the BPM implementation project, negotiating extensions, unforeseen costs, etc.
  • Make the necessary definitions in the processes. This is a consequence of the fact that when starting from informal processes, it is necessary to take a great number of decisions to formalize them.
  • Intermediating with other roles in the organization, seeking consensus on definitions, obtaining hours for people to participate in definitions, training, and other activities.

Usually, these activities were not considered when evaluating and acquiring a process management solution, so they were not considered part of the BPM and Workflow price.

SaaS: crystal-clear costs

A cloud BPM or cloud workflow Suite such as Flokzu, which operates in Software as a Service (SaaS) model, sheds light on the costs involved. It gives predictability to the real and total cost of the BPM initiative. This is because:

  • License prices are public. There are no mysteries, no hidden costs. Service plans explicitly list what they include (see an example of Flokzu Service Plans).
  • The price includes everything. Instead of having several components (modeler, engine, users), in the cloud, the BPM price includes all components and services. This makes it much easier to calculate the total cost of ownership.
  • You won’t require external consultancy. The so-called low-code and non-code BPM Suites allow non-IT users to build their processes, eliminating the costs of external consultants.
  • Immediate time-to-market. You need much less time to deploy a new process. You put your processes into production immediately. Then, you can test and correct. This significantly reduces the working hours required, the problems, and therefore the need for management intervention.
  • Fewer headaches. Since the staff members themselves implement their processes and are the ones who know them, as well as the rest of the people involved, conflicts, problems, and misunderstandings are reduced. This also reduces the need for management time to resolve conflicts

Schedule here a 30 minutes session and see how costs become crystal clear with a cloud BPM Suite!