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BPM Insights

Ian Louw

Can BPM Related Learnings Smooth Entry to the Cloud?

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There are various views in the market regarding the adoption of Cloud computing and as I have experienced with BPM,many folks are still struggling with trying to figure out what it is, where the value proposition is and how to quantify it.

Some of the more common comments supporting the Cloud computing argument include:

  • Cloud computing is expected to grow in adoption within the next five years.
  • Drivers for adoption will include the need for higher levels of service at lower costs.
  • Benefits of cloud computing include faster development speed and better payment structure.
  • SMEs may be more interested in cloud computing in the next three years, particularly when they need to build or expand their data centres.
  • <add your own here....>


Personally, I am not convinced that Cloud computing is 'one size fits all'. It is just too amorphous and arguably for the most part, unproven in certain segments due to no sustainable or demonstrable business model and value.

In certain aspects, it reminds me of the challenges we have faced in educating organisations over the past few years regarding the ROI and adoption of BPM. This hard earned education however has paid benefits and BPM, even though it is still seen to be a broad church by ideology, does seem to have found a receptive customer base for which it addresses a specific need.

Don't get me wrong, I am not discounting Cloud computing in any way but do think that some clear thought and pragmatism needs to be applied to ascertaining what are the best areas to focus on when considering adopting/developing Cloud based services. Personally I believe business processes are a key component in this approach. If you are considering combining BPM and Cloud, a good place to start is to consider:

  • Reviewing your portfolio of applications to understand what cloud computing means to you.
  • What 'commoditised' activities can be in the Cloud to help form the basis for other 'differentiating' projects that directly help your company innovate?
  • What 'turn-key' solutions are you looking for to accelerate on-boarding and minimize administration costs (as an example of cost reduction initiative)?
  • Create a viable financial model for assessing the true costs of internal hosting
  • Evaluate the potential for an internal cloud even if the numbers don't work with an external cloud provider.

These are just some of the aspects to consider but when doing so, also consider how many of theprinciples utilised for the adoption of BPM can help smooth this road to maturity for Cloud based projects.

Further Reading....

As a snapshot on the 'State of the Cloud' I have included a link to a presentation from Interop 09 Enterprise Cloud Summit earlier this year. It gives some introductory thoughts on clouds, how we got here and where it's going.

Also have a look at the recent Cloud Harbour & Cordys webinar explaining the value proposition of BPM in the Cloud.

Have your say...

I would be interested to hear about your plans and experiences regarding BPM and Cloud adoption.

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Exploring best practice and new perspectives for business improvement

Ian Louw

Ian Louw is a Transformation Consultant and Manger with more than 17 years experience in the IT industry. During this time he has worked for various System Integrators, Management Consultancies and Software Vendors in client facing and managerial roles and has setup and managed both EAI and BPM Practices. Ian has worked with organisations in both Private & Public sectors and has been a consultant engaged in business strategy, business and systems analysis, design, and development. He specialises in the design, development and delivery of pragmatic Enterprise Architectures for the implementation of business strategies.


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