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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Anne Stuart

BPM forecasts for 2011

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A slightly belated Happy New Year to all. For my first blog post of 2011, I thought I'd share a few thought leaders' forecasts for BPM trends worth watching this year:

BPM and customer service: Forrester Research Senior Analyst Kate Leggett notes that analysts started to see front-office usage of BPM last year from organizations looking to standardize service, streamline training, ensure compliance and cut costs. "Expect to see continued focus on guiding agents through the service-resolution process as well as focus on the end-to-end processes that may involve back-office tasks," Leggett writes in her blog.

Social BPM and the value chain: Among other predictions, Clay Richardson, also a Forrester senior analyst, recommends using social networking to move BPM beyond its traditioanl narrow internal silos. Says Richardson: "In 2011, BPM teams should look to connect social to the entire process value chain -- leveraging social networking approaches to deliver a better process experience for customers, partners, suppliers and frontline workers."

Richardson also recommends intertwining master data management (MDM) and BPM initiatives to increase the chances that both will succeed. Read more about Forrester's research in this area in this ebizQ article.

BPM by the 2020s: Gartner Research Vice President Jim Sinur takes a longer-term view, blogging about his top five "BPM impacts" for the 10 years. Briefly, Sinur expects that, during the next decade, BPM will:

  • --Continue delivering savings--with very little investment.

  • --Reach more small and midsize businesses.

  • --Enable better work force management.

  • --Improve quality in many areas.

  • --Drive business innovation.

What do you see in the future--short-term or longer-term--for BPM? Let me know with a comment here, or e-mail me at astuart [at] techtarget.com.


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Jim's 'BPM Impacts' seem reasonable to me. I would only add that BPM software should continue to get easier to implement...

We see the use of Cloud Computing for BPM growing exponentially, especially with cost-cutting becoming more important and the continuation of improved security in cloud delivery in the next couple of years. We have seen this trend already in our US sales and Europe won't be far behind. Also, more and more of the BPM projects we see are about mission critical applications such as service delivery, R&D, production, customer's correspondence, project management, etc. BPM technology expands in giant steps from the administration process to the business core processes.

BPM has traditionally been appealing to companies for handling tasks that they found frankly distracting: expense reporting, new employee onboarding, and so forth.

Having succeeded in those areas, with less investment than they ever imagined, companies are opening their eyes to the heretofore rarely-exploited ability of BPM to have an impact on their core business processes as well.

So, in addition to the trends I identified in my own 2011 BPM prognostications, I'd agree with Forrester's Leggett that front-office BPM is on the verge of terrific growth.


2011 is likely to see a huge expansion in App Stores, not only for mobile applications but also for web-based ones. It is a distribution model that is long overdue, and mobile computing vendors last year opened the floodgates to it.

This provides the opportunity for a paradigm shift in BPM. The combination of the App Stores' commercial platform with SaaS BPM platforms means that any small business can bring its service to a global market through the App Store (via 'Process App'), with BPM encouraging technical innovation and providing business scalability.

Two innovations will be needed - new or extended BPM platforms that support Process App Development (eg by providing App Store distribution for developed processes); App Store distribution for Web Services, including Web Services that themselves embed Process Apps.

My own view is that this market is at least as likely to be made by an App Store leader moving into BPM, as by an existing BPM vendor.

For more detail you could check out my recent blog on this topic http://bpmfutures.com/2011/01/18/where-are-the-process-apps/.

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Business process management and optimization -- philosophies, policies, practices, and punditry.

Anne Stuart

I am the editor of ebizQ.

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