Monday, December 29, 2014

Business Process in 2014; A Year in Review

BPM continued to march forward despite the fact that BPM of 2014 has become multifaceted thus creating camps of people having different views of what BPM is going forward.  I'd like to take my shot at analyzing what happened in 2104. One thing is for sure, BPM means many things today as it is not just a fixed process with happy paths only.  I categorized the 2014 themes into three categories and they are Business Impact, Market Momentum and Technology Interactions.

Business Impact:

In 2014, businesses continued to reduce costs with process improvements, but their main goal was revenue generation. This was initially accomplished through attracting new customers and bring them on board as fast as possible and showing them the promise of a savvy partner for the future. This was done leveraging social mobile and cloud. In addition organizations started mapping their customers journeys with themselves in order to keep and expand the new and existing relationships. At the same time, established organizations started to look over their shoulders at the new entrances in their respective sectors and how they were leveraging the new and emerging digital platforms.

Market Momentum:

The BPM market continues with nice double digit growth both software and services, but it is quite bifurcated in nature. There are the traditional leaders / players and new upstarts that are picking a niche portion of the market to grow forward. Some of these up starts are picking adaptive case management, cloud, social and others are picking low end simple processes. This is good for the market as it pushes the leaders to get better while offering growth niches. There were also some major marketing themes that caught momentum. Rapid development, smart applications, adaptive case management, differentiating pace layering, decision management, smart content and the internet of things all created buzz for market growth.

Technology Interactions:

2014 saw the leverage of many new technologies and technology combinations. It was good to see the aggressive use of social, mobile, cloud, big data, IoT, decision modeling and case management in real business solutions in 2014. This tells me that the cycles for inclusion of new technologies are speeding up and organizations are looking to take advantage of any technology to keep costs down, raise revenue and optimize customer attraction. This shows that BPM helps break down and leverage technology silos along with business functional silos. This is encouraging and I expect this to continue and even accelerate.

Net; Net:

2014 was a great year for BPM and I expect more exciting things for 2015 that I will start sharing after the "ball drops" and the fireworks display over all parts of the world. While 2014 had many of the process experts picked areas dig their process trenches in for their view of BPM war, the big picture BPM is one of diversity and inclusion. We are all going to have to expand our skill sets to learn to manage the new multifaceted BPM category.

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