When adopting Camunda for our organization, what specific challenges or pain points should we consider addressing?
When you’re considering Camunda adoptions, you should carefully look at your pain points and challenges. For example, if your organization faces manual and time-consuming approval processes, Camunda is a really good automation framework for that sort of thing.
It can help you streamline processes by automating tasks, assignments, approvals, and notifications. It’s really, really good at that, and that reduces manual errors, reduces bottlenecks, and improves your overall turnaround time. Also, if you’re dealing with complex and fragmented workflows, what we call heterogeneous integrations, Camunda can really help you with that by pulling it together into an orchestrated solution.
So, just like an orchestra conductor, you can take a little bit from here, a little bit from there, put it all together, and create music with all of that. If you’re visually representing your solution, especially if it’s a complex workflow, it’s much more likely that you’re able to see what’s wrong and able to fix it.
You also need to think about the real-time visibility of the dashboards that you need to provide. So, you need to think about what information you need to know to determine your success in your orchestration. Who’s going to provide that information? Who’s going to consume that information? You’ve got to get a real sense from both your users, consumers, and leadership in terms of how they want to use Camunda.
What should organizations keep in mind when integrating Camunda within their existing infrastructure?
Integration is a critical consideration when you’re adopting Camunda. Organizations need to assess the technical requirements and compatibility with their existing infrastructure.
For example, if you’re already a Java shop, in case you are, then if you’re using Camunda 7, you may want to think about deploying Camunda as a Spring Boot application. On the other hand, if you’re going to be using Camunda 8, then you can think about it as a sort of headless utility that you can utilize using RESTful APIs.
That becomes part of how you set up your connections. And for that matter, if you do that and you have an API management system like Apigee, MuleSoft, or Kong, that’s going to serve you really well. You also need to think about how you’re going to deal with synchronous and asynchronous messaging. Are you going to use Apache Kafka or something along those lines so that you can integrate with systems like SAP, Salesforce, and others? To ensure successful integrations, you should evaluate factors such as network connectivity, security protocols, and the scalability of both your backend systems and the needs of your workflow.
It’s really essential to work closely with the IT team and the security team to assess infrastructure readiness to make sure that you’re not introducing change that’s unsupportable by the larger organization. In this context, for example, you need to think about what your patching strategy, upgrade strategy, and disaster recovery strategy is going to be like.
You’ve got to work with a partner that understands these things. Now, when I say work with a partner, I don’t necessarily mean that you have to hire someone like us, but you should definitely work with someone who’s done this before. I think those are the key things that you want to think about, in addition to the obvious things like security and compliance.
Camunda actually has very good security features, including data encryption, access control, and authentication mechanisms. You just need to make sure that you’re ready to integrate with us.
Change management is often a critical aspect of any new technology adoption. How can organizations effectively manage the transition to Camunda and ensure widespread adoption?
That’s a really pivotal question, and it’s going to be key to success. What you need to do is think about the impact of Camunda on employees, processes, and the overall organization. For example, we’ve implemented Camunda where the front-end people who are using it didn’t even know that they were using a workflow engine.
They were used to, for example, checking items into SharePoint that had the right information for a loan application. From Camunda’s perspective, what we did was set it up so that Camunda was listening for that check-in, and then from there, extracting key data from the Excel file that was uploaded and using that to trigger a process that would message back to the person and ask them questions. “Can you confirm the annual income? Do they have three years of employment?” Whatever that may be.
What you want to do is make sure you’re making as little of a disruptive splash as possible when you’re engaging your existing people. You also want to make sure that you get stakeholder engagement right. You want to make sure stakeholders across various departments understand what the value is and that you have their buy-in. If you don’t, you’re going to have a bad time.
You also want to have comprehensive training programs, especially for your business users who are going to be articulating your processes. They have to know how to write diagrams that meaningfully convey both their problems and the solutions that they want you to influence. You have to have change champions; people within the organization that can advocate for process adoption, that have the support of their peers in the transition, and can actually share success stories. You have to think about continuous support. You’ve got to be able to log bugs, you’ve got to be able to fix things, and you’ve got to do all that in a way that’s non-disruptive. So this really goes to making sure that you work through the kinks of, how do I say, patch my Camunda application, or how do I update the database? Or how do I apply a security fix? You’ve got to know this.
And finally, you’ve got to have your KPIs well defined. KPIs obviously being key process indicators. You have to make sure that you’re measuring things that are meaningful and not just vanity statistics. You have to monitor those regularly. You have to evaluate the impact of the adoption and make sure the things that you’re measuring are actually things that matter to your organization. And you may find that that’s a temporal truth. Things that matter to you at the beginning are not necessarily things that are going to matter to you six months or a year in. And if that’s the case, you’ve got to have the flexibility of mind and culture to be able to change and measure new things that potentially mean more as you go through the process.