Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BPM is Not Dead: Process Management is Alive and Well.

Every other year, someone writes an article stating "BPM is dead". Well, the facts do not support this theory, but BPM is transforming to something better. Bigger scopes and new features are happening. Might we call it a nice new name to make it sound new and shiny? I'll let others do that as this is above my pay grade.


BPM Benefits are Real:

I have been privileged to see many completed BPM projects and successful programs and the is a resounding positive track record. I have heard of few failures, so I am convinced the benefits are there and I have seen case studies that deliver multiple benefits from the list below:

Proven Revenue Lift
Proven Cost Containment
Proven Time to Market Delivery
Proven Innovation
Proven Visibility
Proven Accountability
Proven Adaptability

There is a shift going on in organizations from a cost savings push to a revenue generation set of efforts. We need to let our executives know that BPM does help lift revenue while saving costs. IT folks are way too aimed at saving costs alone. This has to change.

BPM Vendors Are Consolidating:

While the overall market is growing north of 13%, by conservative measures and estimates, the number of vendors are going down. This is normal in all markets. There a winners and losers and some of the early players get bought as the market plays out successfully. This is not a sign of problems; it is normal. In fact new players are still merging as niche geographical players.

Winning BPM Vendors are Doing Well:

I am aware of several BPM vendors with strong momentum despite not having a new and shiny label. The winners are leveraging the shiny terms inside their architectures. There are many examples of social, mobile, cloud, Internet of things, adaptive flows, real time, complex events, poly-analytic and big data features being leveraged. There are even examples of Agent Oriented BPM out in the market today.

Processes are Taking on Larger Scopes and More Complexity:

Because of these proven BPM benefits, organizations are moving forward with more ambitious process efforts that are successfully crossing organizational boundaries to the level of supply and value chains. I have seen many innovative and business model differentiating processes roll out in the last few years. I expect even more case studies.

Net; Net:

"BPM is dead" seems a shallow call to me based on the facts. BPM may not be shiny and new, but BPM and the BPM vendors deliver. Let's not be hysterical :)  IT and the IT prognosticators want shiny new names to get funds. Business professionals do not, so BPM works for them.