How Do I Choose the Best Workflow Portal?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

A workflow portal is an interface that professionals can use to manage documents as they are passed through the stages of a process. For example, in the insurance industry, an individual might use a portal to work on a claim, which he or she then can pass to the next stage in a claim filing process. To choose the best workflow portal, you first should search programs and applications that are designed specifically for a field in which you work. In other words, the best workflow portal for an insurance company probably is not the best for a professional photography processor.

Many individuals choose to use trade publications and informational websites to learn about different workflow portal options. It is important to remember that any workflow program can directly affect your organization's productivity and efficiency. For this reason, you should become familiar with different features of workflow portals prior to choosing one. You might even want to access demos that enable you to learn about portals' usability and effectiveness.

You also might want to consider compatibility with your current business system. In short, there are two different kinds of workflow portal options. On the one hand, you have full programs that need to be implemented into a system. On the other hand, there are plug-ins or applications that you can add to your current process, which do not need to be fully implemented. A professional who is interested in restructuring the way in which his or her organization functions daily probably is interested in implementing a workflow portal that is part of a larger system. Professionals who simply want to improve certain facets of their systems might choose to install plug-ins.

Another factor to consider when choosing a workflow portal is the kind of access model you prefer. Professionals can choose from programs that they purchase and install or programs that they access from a website. The latter option also is known as software on demand. Individuals who choose this option benefit from the fact that web hosts tend to provide updates, enabling users to be less reliant on information technology (IT) services.

Some other factors to consider might be contract terms, support, and cost. For instance, you might feel that paying a little more for a workflow portal offered by a vendor that guarantees technological support is well worth it. A professional who is unsure about his or her long term workflow needs might choose software on demand that can be accessed through a monthly subscription.

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      Businessman with a briefcase