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erwin Expert Blog Business Process

In Times of Rapid Change, Business Process Modeling Becomes a Critical Tool

With the help of business process modeling (BPM) organizations can visualize processes and all the associated information identifying the areas ripe for innovation, improvement or reorganization.

In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 has disrupted all industries and quickly accelerated their plans for digital transformation. As part of their transformations, businesses are moving quickly from on premise to the cloud and therefore need to create business process models available to everyone within the organization so they understand what data is tied to what applications and what processes are in place.

There’s a clear connection between business process modeling and digital transformation initiatives. With it, an organization can explore models to understand information assets within a business context, from internal operations to full customer experiences.

This practice identifies and drives digital transformation opportunities to increase revenue while limiting risks and avoiding regulatory and compliance gaffes.

Business Process Data Governance

Bringing IT and Business Together to Make More Informed Decisions

Developing a shared repository is key to aligning IT systems to accomplish business strategies, reducing the time it takes to make decisions and accelerating solution delivery.

It also serves to operationalize and govern mission-critical information by making it available to the wider enterprise at the right levels to identify synergies and ensure the appropriate collaboration.

One customer says his company realized early on that there’s a difference between business expertise and process expertise, and when you partner the two you really start to see the opportunities for success.

By bringing your business and IT together via BPM, you create a single point of truth within your organization — delivered to stakeholders within the context of their roles.

You then can understand where your data is, how you can find it, how you can monetize it, how you can report on it, and how you can visualize it. You are able to do it in an easy format that you can catalog, do mappings, lineage and focus on tying business and IT together to make more informed decisions.

BPM for Regulatory Compliance

Business process modeling is also critical for risk management and regulatory compliance. When thousands of employees need to know what compliance processes to follow, such as those associated with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ensuring not only access to proper documentation but current, updated information is critical.

Industry and government regulations affect businesses that work in or do business with any number of industries or in specific geographies. Industry-specific regulations in areas like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and financial services have been in place for some time.

Now, broader mandates like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require businesses across industries to think about their compliance efforts. Business process modeling helps organizations prove what they are doing to meet compliance requirements and understand how changes to their processes impact compliance efforts (and vice versa).

This same customer says, “The biggest bang for the buck is having a single platform, a one-stop shop, for when you’re working with auditors.” You go to one place that is your source of truth: Here are processes; here’s how we have implemented these controls; here are the list of our controls and where they’re implemented in our business.”

He also notes that a single BPM platform “helps cut through a lot of questions and get right to the heart of the matter.” As a result, the company has had positive audit findings and results because they have a structure, a plan, and it’s easy to see the connection between how they’re ensuring their controls are adhered to and where those results are in their business processes.

Change Is Constant

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, “The only constant in life is change.” This applies to business, as well. Today things are changing quite quickly. And with our current landscape, executives are not going to wait around for months as impact analyses are being formulated. They want actionable intelligence – fast.

For business process architects, being able to manage change and address key issues is what keeps the job function highly relevant to stakeholders. The key point is that useful change comes from routinely looking at process models and spotting a sub-optimality. Business process modeling supports many beneficial use cases and transformation projects used to empower employees and therefore better serve customers.

Organizational success depends on agility and adaptability in responding to change across the enterprise, both planned and unplanned. To be agile and responsive to changes in markets and consumer demands, you need a visual representation of what your business does and how it does it.

Companies that maintain accurate business process models also are well-positioned to analyze and optimize end-to-end process threads—lead-to-cash, problem-to-resolution or hire-to-retire, for example—that contribute to strategic business objectives, such as improving customer journeys or maximizing employee retention.

They also can slice and dice their models in multiple other ways, such as by functional hierarchies to understand what business groups organize or participate in processes as a step in driving better collaboration or greater efficiencies.

erwin Evolve enables communication and collaboration across the enterprise with reliable tools that make it possible to quickly and accurately gather information, make decisions, and then ensure consistent standards, policies and processes are established and available for consumption internally and externally as required.

Try erwin Evolve for yourself in a no-cost, risk-free trial.

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erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture Business Process Data Modeling Data Intelligence

Benefits of Enterprise Modeling and Data Intelligence Solutions

Users discuss how they are putting erwin’s data modeling, enterprise architecture, business process modeling, and data intelligences solutions to work

IT Central Station members using erwin solutions are realizing the benefits of enterprise modeling and data intelligence. This article highlights some specific use cases and the results they’re experiencing within the organizations.

Enterprise Architecture & Business Process Modeling with erwin Evolve

An enterprise architect uses erwin Evolve at an aerospace/defense firm with more than 10,000 employees. His team is “doing business process modeling and high-level strategic modeling with its capabilities.” Others in his company are using it for IT infrastructure, such as aligning requirements to system solutions.

For Matthieu G., a senior business process management architect at a pharma/biotech company with more than 5,000 employees, erwin Evolve was useful for enterprise architecture reference. As he put it, “We are describing our business process and we are trying to describe our data catalog. We are describing our complete applications assets, and we are interfacing to the CMDB of our providers.”

His team also is using the software to manage roadmaps in their main transformation programs. He added, “We have also linked it to our documentation repository, so we have a description of our data documents.” They have documented 200 business processes in this way. In particular, the tool helped them to design their qualification review, which is necessary in a pharmaceutical business.

erwin Evolve users are experiencing numerous benefits. According to the aerospace enterprise architect, “It’s helped us advance in our capabilities to perform model-based systems engineering, and also model-based enterprise architecture.”

This matters because, as he said, “By placing the data and the metadata into a model, which is what the tool does, you gain the abilities for linkages between different objects in the model, linkages that you cannot get on paper or with Visio or PowerPoint.” That is a huge differentiator for this user.

This user also noted, “I use the automatic diagramming features a lot. When one of erwin’s company reps showed that to me a couple of years ago, I was stunned. That saves hours of work in diagramming. That capability is something I have not seen in other suppliers’ tools.”

He further explained “that really helps too with when your data is up to date. The tool will then automatically generate the updated diagram based on the data, so you know it’s always the most current version. You can’t do that in things like Visio and PowerPoint. They’re static snapshots of a diagram at some point in time. This is live and dynamic.”

erwin DM

Data Modeling with erwin Data Modeler

George H., a technology manager, uses erwin Data Modeler (erwin DM) at a pharma/biotech company with more than 10,000 employees for their enterprise data warehouse.

He elaborated by saying, “We have an enterprise model being maintained and we have about 11 business-capability models being maintained. Examples of business capabilities would be finance, human resources, supply-chain, sales and marketing, and procurement. We maintain business domain models in addition to the enterprise model.”

Roshan H., an EDW architect/data modeler who uses erwin DM at Royal Bank of Canada, works on diverse platforms, including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Teradata and NoSQL. After gathering requirements and mapping data on Excel, they start building the conceptual model and then the logical model with erwin DM.

He said, “When we have these data models built in the erwin DM, we generate the PDF data model diagrams and take it to the team (DBA, BSAs, QA and others) to explain the model diagram. Once everything is reviewed, then we go on to discuss the physical data model.”

“We use erwin DM to do all of the levels of analysis that a data architect does,” said Sharon A., a senior manager, data governance at an insurance company with over 500 employees. She added, “erwin DM does conceptual, logical and physical database or data structure capture and design, and creates a library of such things.

We do conceptual data modeling, which is very high-level and doesn’t have columns and tables. It’s more concepts that the business described to us in words. We can then use the graphic interface to create boxes that contain descriptions of things and connect things together. It helps us to do a scope statement at the beginning of a project to corral what the area is that the data is going to be using.”

Data Governance with erwin Data Intelligence

IT Central Station members are seeing benefits from using erwin Data Intelligence (erwin DI) for data governance use cases. For Rick D., a data architect at NAMM, a small healthcare company, erwin DI “enabled us to centralize a tremendous amount of data into a common standard, and uniform reporting has decreased report requests.”

As a medical company, they receive data from 17 different health plans. Before adopting erwin DI, they didn’t have a centralized data dictionary of their data. The benefit of data governance, as he saw it, was that “everybody in our organization knows what we are talking about. Whether it is an institutional claim, a professional claim, Blue Cross or Blue Shield, health plan payer, group titles, names, etc.”

A solution architect at a pharma/biotech company with more than 10,000 employees used erwin DI for metadata management, versioning of metadata and metadata mappings and automation. In his experience, applying governance to metadata and creating mappings has helped different stakeholders gain a good understanding of the data they use to do their work.

Sharon A. had a comparable use case. She said, “You can map the business understanding in your glossary back to your physical so you can see it both ways. With erwin DI, I can have a full library of physical data there or logical data sets, publish it out through the portal, and then the business can do self-service. The DBAs can use it for all different types of value-add from their side of the house. They have the ability to see particular aspects, such as RPII, and there are some neat reports which show that. They are able manage who can look at these different pieces of information.”

For more real erwin user experiences, visit IT Central Station.