BPM Tools Poised to Mature, Automate, Connect
By Marie Lingblom
Tools such as messaging and collaboration make business processes more efficient. The ability to connect immediately is changing everything, particularly the ways in enterprises can boost productivity. The goal: better controlling automated business processes and flexible interaction.
Cloud computing and smart devices are driving growth and evolution in the business process management market. While there are still growing pains such as skills development to overcome, industry market watchers peg business process management (BPM) on an upward trajectory over the next five years.
Vendors gaining market points are those extending functionality to encompass more “everyday” business process interactions.
“As enterprise managers work to implement apps that make automated process more responsive to the needs of customers, partners, suppliers, and distributors, people are using BPM as the tools to help workers, said Susan Eustis of WinterGreen Research.
Eustis’ observation accompanied this week’s release of a WinterGreen report she authored that predicts a global BPM market that now stands at $2.6 billion will reach $7 billion by 2018.
Gartner’s John Dixon, meanwhile, told those in attendance at an August BPM Summit that though poised for significant growth, BPM maturity levels are increasing but remain low. He attributes the lack of maturity to the influx of organizations newly exploring BPM, and observes there is still work to be done to deliver the “game-changing performance improvements BPM promises.”
Recent Gartner surveys, for instance, indicate the lack of trained and experienced BPM professionals is negatively impacting the ability of organizations to deliver against enterprise objectives. The result is a challenge for BPM hiring managers in search of the broad skill sets required to be successful in BPM. But BPM certifications are on the rise to meet the challenge.
Business managers, meanwhile, are being asked to make faster and better decisions in an ever-changing business context, according to Gartner, but cannot do so without improved visibility into their operations and environments. Market-leading enterprises are answering by seeking to make business operations more intelligent by integrating analytics into processes and the applications that enable them. Gartner identifies this trend as a new usage scenario for a BPM, called “intelligent business operations.”
As a result, says Dixon, Gartner has evolved its definition of the BPM market to include a new generation of BPM systems, which the firm identifies as intelligent BPMSs or iBPMS. He refers to it as a developing space because “intelligent” processes are still a considerable distance away for many organizations.
Emerging technologies – including social software, mobility and cloud computing – offer transformational benefits that Gartner believes will drive further growth in BPM.
“Social BPM and social network analysis are emerging technologies that are expected to take five to 10 years to reach mainstream adoption, yet deliver transformational benefits,” said Dixon.
And when it comes to cloud computing’s effect on BPM moving forward, Gartner predicts that BPM platform-as-a-service and cloud-enabled BPM platforms will become mainstream in two to five years.