BPM app set-up? No problem. Getting it to do something useful? Totally different story.
By Larry Walsh
Lori MacVittie has done a great service by taking a close look at just what typically happens in the rollout of a BPM application. Getting the BPM app up and running is no big deal – but getting it to do something useful and thereby to justify its existence is quite another matter, she points out.
The devil of BPM deployment is in the details, including integrating with corporate data and getting buy-in from the workers whose processes it will change. That remains the same regardless of where the application is running – on a server in your data center or out in the cloud, MacVittie contends.
Indeed, putting BPM in the cloud can add complexity, she asserts. Lori says it in her own words, but as I understand her point it’s this: that the use of object-oriented technologies and the need to tie the BPM app into existing apps is harder in the cloud because of the integration work that’s needed.
However, there are strides being made in cloud-based integration. I’m not sure if these address Lori’s concerns exactly, but IBM snapped up Cast Iron in May to add Cast-Iron’s cloud-based integration capabilities to its portfolio and year earlier, IBM rolled out Webspan, which offered a different wrinkle on cloud-based integration, emphasizing collaboration among business partners:
In any case, Lori concedes that using a cloud for BPM confers the benefit of getting started quickly as well as enabling scale-up at a moment’s notice – and that can be an important means of aligning IT with the business mission of BPM.
Thanks very much Lori for the enlightening perspective. I think we can agree on this: If cloud computing is going to work better than on-premises IT, it’s going to have to do a whole lot of things well, not just a few.