Workflow management systems are excellent tools for simplifying business processes and ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and on time. You can use them to automate routine tasks, coordinate team efforts, and increase transparency and productivity. 

However, with technologies developing so quickly, now you have a variety of workflow management systems to choose from, and a lack of market clarity can complicate finding the best fit for your organization. 

We are breaking down the most common types of workflow management systems so you can make a conscious decision when choosing the best one for you!

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Key Points

  • On-premise workflow management systems use in-house hardware and offer high control and reliability
  • Cloud-based workflow management software can be accessed online from any place, building structure for remote or hybrid work
  • Many industries use dedicated workflow management tools adjusted to their specific needs
  • You can purchase a customized workflow management solution at HighGear, meeting organizational needs for high control, reliability, easy communication, and visibility.

Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise Workflow Management Systems

You need to get comprehensive information on workflow management systems before you decide which one to invest in. A crucial feature to consider is whether you need an on-premise or cloud-based solution.

Understanding the details that provide varying benefits to different operating scenarios will help you to understand which option you should choose for your business.

What is On-Premise Workflow Management Software?

When selecting a workflow management tool, you need to decide how you want it to be installed and operated. On-premise (or on-site) systems use in-house servers and computers, which requires buying or renting usage licenses and preparing the necessary hardware. 

All the maintenance, administration, and data backup are on your side here, so you need to hire or train employees who are capable of providing them. On the other hand, you have full control over the system’s setup, management, and security.

The Pros of On-Premise Software

  • Higher Control: If you have an on-premise workflow management system, you may have more possibilities to customize, manage, and update it. Greater control may be crucial for organizations with very specific processes or those dealing with highly sensitive data.
  • More Customization and Integration Options: An on-site tool usually creates a lot of possibilities for customization and integration with other systems to fit the exact needs of your organization. 
  • Increased Reliability: One of the key features to look for in a workflow management system is its reliability, and on-site systems are often considered to be more dependable than cloud-based ones because they do not rely on external systems or network connectivity. However, it does not mean they are completely foolproof – it is still highly recommended to implement a backup system to protect your important data.

The Cons of On-Premise Software

  • More Expensive Implementation: Implementing a workflow management system can be a more significant upfront investment in the case of on-site solutions. Namely, you need to pay for such elements as hardware, software, and the infrastructure needed to support them. Moreover, you need to take into account the ongoing maintenance costs.
  • IT Dependency: To handle the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of an on-site workflow management system, you need a skilled IT team. Such dependency can be problematic for smaller businesses or those without dedicated IT departments.
  • Scalability Issues: As your organization grows, you may need to add more servers, which can be expensive and time-consuming for your IT staff to set up. For this reason, on-site workflow management systems are difficult to scale when it comes to real-time needs, which can affect overall performance during strenuous seasons.

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What is Cloud-Based Workflow Management Software?

In the case of a cloud-based workflow management system, the data is not stored on the company’s own servers but on an external server – either bought or rented.

Contrary to the on-premise solution, you do not have to download and install the software – you can access it online via the cloud from anywhere. In this case, all the necessary maintenance, updates, backup, or any other additional services are the responsibility of the service provider.

The Pros of Cloud-Based Software

  • Quick and Hassle-Free Installation: Cloud-based systems can be implemented more easily and can be ready to use in a much shorter time than on-premise software.
  • Enhanced Scalability: Cloud solutions can easily scale up or down to adjust to the contemporary needs of your organization. 
  • Cost Efficiency: As cloud-based software typically operates on a subscription model and eliminates the need to purchase and maintain hardware, it reduces the required costs.
  • Flexible Access: All you need to access cloud-based software is a web browser, so it offers more flexible access and allows you to apply a hybrid or fully remote work system in your organization.
  • High Security: As cloud services offer compliance, reliable backups, and automatic updates and patches, they provide you with high data security. 

The Cons of Cloud-Based Software

  • Less Control: Cloud-based systems offer less control over your data privacy than on-site ones. Software providers typically implement effective security measures, but security breaches do happen and that will be a factor to consider.
  • Internet Dependence: As you access cloud services online, your business needs to have a dependable and stable high-speed internet connection. Keep in mind that weak connectivity or internet outages can make your team unable to perform their tasks.
  • Ongoing Costs: You will have to pay a subscription fee in order to continue using your cloud-based workflow management system. Therefore, it is worth preparing a cost-benefit analysis of various workflow management systems and checking whether it is better for your business to spend more on initial preparations or on a subscription.

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Industry-Specific Workflow Management Tools

Another aspect worth taking into consideration is whether a particular workflow management software is appropriate for your industry. Fortunately, you canfind systems designed with a particular industry in mind.

Some examples of industries with dedicated workflow management tools available are as follows:

  • Construction: Construction workflow management systems help contractors track projects, manage budgets, and collaborate with subcontractors. What’s more, they can also be used to automate their repetitive tasks, such as permit applications and inspections.
  • Healthcare: Workflow management software used by healthcare providers can help them manage tasks like scheduling appointments, managing sensitive patient data, and making sure their organization complies with all local and federal regulations.
  • Manufacturing: Thanks to manufacturing workflow management solutions, such businesses can track areas of work including production lines, inventory management, and quality control. They can also automate various tasks, such as scheduling and work order generation.
  • Banking and Finance: Workflow management systems can be used by banking and financial organizations for risk management and regulation compliance auditing, managing clients’ accounts and financial portfolios, and more.
  • Legal: Law firms can benefit from workflow management software by effectively tracking and managing the progress of legal cases and other processes. Other use cases include billing, client invoicing, and ensuring compliance with all the regulatory requirements.
  • Retail: Thanks to workflow management solutions, it is possible to manage the stock levels in real time and inform customers about product availability. Retail businesses can use the applications for tasks like  handling customer orders from placement to delivery and integrating online and in-store sales.

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Get the Best Workflow Management System for Your Organization

It is worth following the trends in workflow management software to stay up-to-date and make sure you are using the best system for your business. Our advice would be to invest in a fully customizable solution, such as HighGear.

Schedule a consultation with our team to find out more about why HighGear is the only no-code workflow solution that can be tailored to solve your business’s biggest pain points.

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