Everything You Need to Know About Process Orchestration in 2024

Process orchestration is becoming critical for companies striving to optimize workflows, enable digital transformation, and harness intelligent automation. With 76% of businesses adopting automation and 70% implementing digital transformation strategies, technology-driven business process improvement has become pervasive.

However, despite these high numbers, research shows only 16% of companies succeed at establishing sustainable process change. One key reason is process complexity – convoluted workflows with too many systems, data sources, and interdependencies slow down transformation initiatives.

This is where process orchestration comes in. By providing an integrated approach to managing and optimizing complex business processes, orchestration addresses the headaches of fragmented, disconnected workflows.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know to leverage process orchestration for your business, including:

  • Clear overview of what process orchestration entails
  • Analysis of leading orchestration platforms
  • Proven best practices for successful implementation
  • Using process mining to supercharge orchestration
  • Key differences vs workflow orchestration and process automation

Let‘s get started!

What is Process Orchestration?

Process orchestration involves coordinating, integrating, and optimizing multiple interdependent business processes to create an end-to-end workflow. Key activities include:

  • Designing individual workflows, tasks, and activities
  • Implementing and connecting various systems, applications, and data sources
  • Monitoring and managing the orchestrated processes holistically

By aligning disparate systems and stitching together workflows, process orchestration creates seamless, efficient business processes. It is closely associated with service-oriented architecture (SOA) and application integration initiatives.

BPMN model of process orchestration

Figure 1: A BPMN model of process orchestration for travel booking. (Source: Dahman et al., 2010)

For example, orchestrating an order-to-cash process could involve connecting CRM, ERP, inventory, fulfillment, payment systems along with data from documents, spreadsheets, emails, and more. By unifying these components, processes can be optimized holistically.

According to Allied Market Research, the global process orchestration market is projected to grow at 18.4% annually from 2022 to 2031 as more companies adopt these solutions.

Why is Process Orchestration Important?

Process orchestration yields significant benefits across business functions and industries. Organizations can leverage it to:

  • Increase process visibility – Orchestration requires in-depth mapping and modeling to understand workflows. This enhanced visibility allows processes to be truly improved.
  • Boost efficiency – Coordinating interconnected processes eliminates redundancies and bottlenecks. Streamlined workflows translate to improved productivity.
  • Enhance quality – Standardization and consistency across orchestrated processes results in fewer errors and higher quality output.
  • Enable automation – Deep process understanding allows targeted, high-ROI automation of manual tasks via RPA and APIs.
  • Achieve agility – Smooth coordination between systems, data, and workflows enables faster adaptation to changing business needs.

Companies like IBM, Cisco, BMW, and Capital One have orchestrated processes to reduce costs, improve customer experience, and support growth.

Leading Process Orchestration Platforms

A variety of enterprise software platforms provide orchestration capabilities. Here are 5 leading options with key details:

Oracle Process Cloud

Oracle Process Cloud delivers BPM-based orchestration for complex workflows. Key features include:

  • Prebuilt connectors for ERPs, CRMs, and apps
  • Low-code process modeling and automation
  • Real-time and historic analytics
  • AI and machine learning capabilities

Ideal for large enterprises, especially those running Oracle ERPs and cloud apps.

Pega Platform

Pega provides full-scale process orchestration and workflow automation. Capabilities include:

  • Drag-and-drop process design
  • Real-time dashboards and reports
  • Predictive analytics for optimization
  • OOTB connectors to common apps and data

Used across industries from financial services to healthcare. Customers include AXA Spain, Transamerica, and Aflac.

IBM Business Process Manager (BPM)

IBM BPM enables modeling, execution, monitoring and redesign of orchestrated processes. Features:

  • Comprehensive process modeling and design
  • Integration adapters for apps, data, and services
  • Real-time operational intelligence
  • Capabilities for RPA, rules, and case management

Especially popular in banking, insurance, telco, and government sectors.


Bizagi provides an integrated platform for process orchestration and automation. Key capabilities:

  • Rapid low-code process design and simulation
  • Seamless connection of enterprise apps, data and devices
  • Real-time process performance dashboards
  • AI-powered continuous process optimization

Used by 3500+ customers including UPS, Discovery, Cisco Meraki.

Nintex Workflow Cloud

Nintex automates and orchestrates workflows across legacy and modern apps. Features include:

  • 500+ prebuilt connectors for apps and data
  • Workflow automation and forms
  • Visual process mapping
  • Centralized analytics and reporting

Especially popular with IT departments to create and manage digital workflows.

Key Selection Criteria

When evaluating orchestration platforms, ensure they meet key requirements:

  • Seamless integration and connectivity to your existing enterprise systems
  • Powerful visual workflow design and simulation
  • Scalability to handle your workflow complexity
  • Real-time, customizable analytics and dashboards
  • Ease-of-use with low-code accessibility for business teams

Best Practices for Process Orchestration

Once you‘ve selected the right software platform, what‘s the best way to implement process orchestration? Follow these proven steps:

Discover and Map As-Is Processes

The first step is gaining visibility – you can‘t improve what you can‘t see. Use process mining technology to automatically discover and map existing as-is processes from system event log data. Key benefits include:

  • Unbiased visualization of real processes, not perceptions
  • Identification of bottlenecks and pain points
  • Objective measurement of process KPIs like cycle times
  • Quantification of process variations and exceptions

Top platforms like Celonis Process Mining provide powerful discovery capabilities out-of-the-box.

Design To-Be Processes

Next, create optimized to-be process designs that address the pain points and bottlenecks uncovered via process mining. Typical steps include:

  • Simplifying process flows
  • Standardizing variants
  • Removing redundant activities
  • Defining clear process owners

Conducting design thinking workshops can help capture insights from process participants. BPM software provides user-friendly modeling capabilities to create simulations and prototypes of new processes.

Automate Suitable Activities

Leverage process insights to pinpoint the best candidates for workflow automation. Options include:

  • RPA bots for repetitive clerical activities
  • APIs to connect systems and tasks
  • Forms and document processing to digitize paperwork

Take an incremental approach – start small, test rigorously, and expand automation systematically for sustainable ROI.

Continuously Monitor and Optimize

Use orchestration platform analytics to monitor automated workflows and processes in real-time after implementation. Watch for:

  • Volume and cycle time trends
  • Process KPIs vs. targets
  • Late tasks or bottlenecks
  • New variants or exceptions

Fine-tune processes regularly based on data. Issues can be addressed via root cause analysis, RPA bot retraining, or process redesign.

Unlocking the Power of Process Mining

Process mining has emerged as a secret weapon for supercharging process orchestration initiatives. According to research, 78% of executives see process mining as a key enabler for RPA and automation. By unlocking the data within systems, it provides critical process insights pre- and post-implementation.

Here are 5 key ways process mining turbocharges orchestration:

1. Automatic Process Data Extraction

Specialized algorithms automatically extract detailed process data from IT systems event logs without any disruption. This provides the foundation for in-depth process visibility.

2. Unbiased Process Discovery

Sophisticated analytics instantly visualize as-is processes and all associated variants with no manual effort. Teams obtain an objective view of real processes.

3. Actionable Process Analytics

Interactive dashboards provide process metrics, bottlenecks, deviations, and recommendations. Teams can easily drill-down and pinpoint areas for improvement.

4. Optimize Processes with Data

Fact-based process insights enable informed decisions on which workflows to simplify, standardize, automate and orchestrate.

5. Continuously Monitor Processes

Ongoing process analytics and monitoring help sustain optimization post-implementation by identifying any regressions or new issues quickly.

Leading platforms like Celonis Pioneer make it easy for organizations to capitalize on process mining for orchestration.

Comparing Process vs. Workflow Orchestration

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, process orchestration and workflow orchestration are actually quite distinct:

  • Scope – Process orchestration coordinates entire end-to-end business processes. Workflow orchestration has a much narrower focus on a specific workflow.
  • Scale – Process orchestration works cross-functionally across departments. Workflow orchestration happens within a single process.
  • Complexity – Process orchestration integrates systems, data, apps. Workflow orchestration executes workflow steps and tasks.

With its cross-functional, overarching view, process orchestration tackles higher-level optimization across interconnected workflows.

Process Orchestration vs. Process Automation

While complementary, process orchestration and automation address different aspects of business process improvement:

  • Process automation aims to improve efficiency and quality by using technology to automate specific workflows and tasks within a process.
  • Process orchestration looks at the bigger picture – how to optimize the end-to-end process by integrating tasks, data, and systems into an efficient workflow.

Used together, orchestration streamlines high-level process workflows while automation handles tactical task-level efficiency. This drives maximum business process transformation.

Are You Ready to Orchestrate Your Processes?

Process orchestration has quickly become a must-have capability for enterprises seeking to transform complex workflows, unlock value from automation, and enable digital transformation.

By following proven approaches around platforms, integration, automation, monitoring, and optimization, orchestration can help your organization achieve new levels of business process excellence.

To learn more and get matched to top vendors for your needs, visit expertbeacon.com or speak to an expert.

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