Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gartner BPM Summit Rocks Big Change

There are over 700+ attendees at this years BPM conference in LasVegas and the place was buzzing with activity. This was a significant increase over the last BPM conference and it was good to see that folks were looking to leverage processes in building their digital business future. While the industry wrestles with the term BPM because of it's history as an operational improvement discipline, BPM is changing as radically, over time, as the businesses it serves. Though I have only attended the first day, it is clear that Gartner is encouraging companies to move to become a digital business. This means that there is a big change in store for them and their processes. This can be disruptive or not depending on how organizations approach this challenge. 

Building a Digital Business Future:

Gartner is making the case for organizations to start their journey to the digital business this is a moment in time where new opportunities and threats that are both visible and invisible. The opportunity to mix the digital and physical worlds has never been greater because of the Internet of things (IoT). This theme was prevalent in all of the keynote speeches. The most notable was Daryl Plummer and Jorge Lopez. It was a shame that Jorge's speech was keynote quality, but given the night before the main crowd arrived as it painted a great framework for Gartner's main theme and gave context for the BPM conference. 

It's Time for Innovation:

All the ingredients for creating a new or better business with process as a key contributor is here today with the IoT and Cognitive Computing. This theme started with Guy Kawasaki and trickled through the conference with sessions on next practices in innovation and designing the brain aware enterprise from Jackie Fenn. While I was personally disappointed that there was not an emphasis on using BPM technologies for incremental innovation and transformation, several of the process excellence award recipients were leveraging BPM that way. 

Disrupt or be Disrupted; Either Way Big Change:

Another prevalent theme was the notion that organizations could not afford to sit still and new entrants with this new technology could threaten established players. It was clear to all of us that managing big change was a key theme. While mentioned in all of the keynotes, it was brought to bear in Janelle Hill's digital disruption pitch. The wave of change was continued with Elise Olding's riding the tide of change presentation. The pragmatics of this Marc Kerreman's aligning change with process improvement scenarios. 

Net; Net:

I think Gartner is on point here with big change, big chaos and the chance for getting bypassed, but organizations are best wrapping their systems of record in a differentiating layer to start to cope with immediate change. Over time organizations need to look to the IoT and Cognitive Computing starting with smart processes and maybe new business models running in parallel to their existing revenue generating capabilities unless a new upstart causes panic.

BTW Gartner has not paid me to attend theses sessions, though they did comp me on the attendance and hotel. I rarely do anything for free, but I got to see my Gartner buddies and some of my favorite technology and service providers, some of which are clients

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