Taken from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Resource Center which full of documentation, tips and tricks, and links to more information. This is an example of the content available to you on the Resource Center.
The goal of customizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to tailor the application to fit your business. Although workflows are not located in the area where other customizations are applied, they represent a way to perform automation that would otherwise require a significant amount of development work. Always consider whether a customization objective can be achieved by using workflow when evaluating your options.
Workflows are sets of logical rules that define the steps necessary to automate specific business processes, tasks, or sets of actions to be performed on Microsoft Dynamics CRM records.
You can automate business processes by creating workflows and applying them to records or allowing Microsoft Dynamics CRM to apply them automatically. By using workflows to automate your business processes, you can:
If you have the System Administrator or System Customizer security role, you have the necessary permissions to create workflows that can affect records throughout your organization's implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. However, even if you do not have one of these security roles, you can still create workflows that affect the records that you own.