We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.
Start a Discussion

How do you think the cloud will change BPM?

Vote 0 Votes
Yesterday I asked the forum, What lessons should be learned from Amazon's recent cloud outage? which made me think of today's question: How do you think cloud computing will change BPM?

11 Replies

| Add a Reply
  • I don't think cloud technology will directly change BPM. It's technology! The cloud may enable different approaches, but it is people who will develop, change, optimize those processes.

  • Faun is right, it's just an enabler. If you have a global organisation then having the processes hosted outside of it's own infrastructure may make more sense than having to create your plus numerous continuity plans and disaster recovery scenarios.

    If anything I want to see a cohesive and combined Social + Cloud + 'AppStore' BPM strategy from the ground up emerge from someone/ vendor, not a kludge attempt at all three then thrown together with tape and blu-tack.

  • I agree with Faun and Theo, Cloud will not change BPM as such. Technologically, there's a set of convergence areas we've all been looking forward to. As an approach BPM continues to adopt new trends too which is a good thing as well. But, not much that one can attribute directly to cloud.

    One indirect impact would be the movement of traditional relevant decision centers from IT to business. That should actually help BPM in essence. I had written a post on the changing role of IT due to the advances in cloud areas, which incidentally is one of the best practices for successful BPM execution too. This time enabled by the advances in cloud but indirectly. http://ashishbhagwat.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/the-new-role-of-it-from-cost-center-to-business-platform-provider/

    There are certain areas that are overlapping and converging between APaaS (Application PaaS)and BPM, which should also help. The acceptance of such citizen developer models and more ownership with Business is the area that I see as a convergent point as well. http://ashishbhagwat.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/white-collar-developer-you-can-smile-now/

    But, at a high level, I see the whole ecosystem changing drastically and as Theo pointed out, Social + Cloud + App Store is a great combination - BPMS's need to find a sweet spot and address the gaps.

    PS: I will end my note with a reminder to a post that ruffled some feathers that time, some of that still remains as a bother since I, in my mind, don't think BPMS and BPM are the same thing. http://ashishbhagwat.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/bpm-in-cloud-really-not-anytime-soon/

  • The cloud does offer the potential to accelerate adoption of BPM by lowering the barriers to entry, in terms of software acquisition and operational costs – especially for small and medium enterprises. We have already seen the emergence of cloud-based applications that provide workflow functionality for relatively standard processes like payroll, leave management, expense management, even CRM and workforce automation. But this is still a far cry from a full-fledged BPM implementation on the cloud.

    Technically it is already possible to deploy a multi-tenanted BPM platform on the cloud that would allow the modelling, execution, management and optimization of bespoke business processes. But there are still many issues clouding BPM on the cloud. These include the issues of control, security, IP Protection, seamless integration to in-house application, among others. As a result, I think we will continue to see organizations moving some of their more standard processes to the cloud. Smaller organizations may even be able to move all their processes to the cloud, but for larger, more complex organizations, BPM on the cloud is still some distance away.

  • Cloud (elastic computing resources) will assist BPM like SOA, Web Portals, and other applications. Cloud is an enabler for volatile resource demands and high availability. But that's about it. In TOGAF terms, BPM is in the Business and Application domains and isn't directly impacted by the underlying Technology domains.

  • We are seeing a different impact of the Cloud. Fpr business users it speeds up implementation, reduces cost and risk.

    Business users have a transformation project and they want to start mapping to understand/optimise their processes. Note: I am not talking about BPMS/automation which is a different situation which has been covered in the previous asnwers.

    Previous options for teh business users were
    - get IT to install a repository based app/tool (ie wait 3-6 months)
    - be forced to use an inappropriate IT modelling tool
    - just start using MSOffice (visio, powerpoint) with the obvious limitations of lack of central management, collaboration and governance.

    With the cloud users can get going immediately using the right tool for the job, and also prove the business case for wider rollout with reduced risk. Then after 6-18 months we are seeing many (but not all) clients then installs the application on premise. This is because of the tight integration with the core systems (Active Directory, email, document management, business intelligence, enterprise applications).

    A couple of quotes:

    "Using the XXX hosted services helped us quickly get a pilot project underway and prove that our lean operations initiative was working" Toyota

    "We met the CFBA’s compliance requirements on time thanks to the rapid implementation made possible with XXX hosting capability" ING Bank

    "The project has been aided in a huge way because it was hosted by XXX" Carphone Warehouse

  • Perhaps a better question would be: "when will we actually see applications in the cloud?"

    After the big Amazon EC2 outage in Virginia, I think many people are starting to wonder when applications will actually begin leveraging the cloud. Cloud has become equivalent with SaaS just with simpler and faster deployment options. The Cloud, however, has always had much grander architectural aspirations. In other words, if EC2 in Virginia goes down, a cloud application shouldn't go down because it should be distributed across one of their other four "availability zones" (Amazon's current zones are Northern Virginia, Northern California, Ireland, Singapore, and Tokyo.centers)

    Most applications today, unfortunately, are not yet taking advantage of a multi-site architecture so many of the benefits of cloud have yet to be seen. So, until now, most of the benefits are related to cost and speed/ease of deployment.

    -Brian Reale

  • I have a different take. The exploding use of cloud applications (i.e. SaaS) makes it possible to embed process guides into existing applications, where the guide helps the user follow the right process in the context currently being shown in the application. This is much easier for companies to adopt than trying to replace their application with a BPMS task-list-based application. Take a look at how this was done with SalesForce.com using a technology called Cloud Extend.

  • The abstracted design time model want be impacted too much, since it is technology agnostic, but the runtime execution of the model certainly will be impacted. A runtime model that needs to hop off-premise and back on-premise while the transactions flow across the model (ping pong) will have performance considerations.

  • I completely agree with Michael. This is the way forward and it was highlighted in a Gartner session at their BPM conference called "ERP needs a process layer".

    Cloud Extend looks like a great idea, when it launches.

    Nimbus Control has been providing this capability for 14 years, 5 yrs of which has been in the cloud, for SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and others - at scale - on a variety of devices.

  • It all depends ...

    BPM as a methodology (and the tools to enforce it) can clearly benefit from a Cloud-based deployment. The question is what the true benefit of such tools is. I still doubt (because there is no proof beyond vendor anectodes) that documenting and enforcing flowcharted processes has a viable long-term business benefit. Process thinking in terms of outcomes and empowering the right people to achieve goals with means can provide long-term benefits because it can adapt to changing needs much easier. The business culture must however be able to live that.

    I wonder if a Cloud-based BPMS will soon be a viable choice for an Enterprise customer. Especially if it is a future-proof BPMS that has tight integration with ERP and application systems and also carries business data. The complexity of curent process IMPLEMENTATIONS will make this difficult to achieve. Once businesses will accept that processes are no longer designed and enforced but are created by business users as they excute them (i.e. Adaptive or simpler IBM LOmbardi) then a Cloud solution could be viable if all business applications are Secure-SOA enabled.

    The problem is that a truly viable adaptible process infastructure has to be based on a Buiness Architecture and needs to follow the application lifecycle. I don't see BPMS on the Cloud horizon to match that. Thus I guess that CLoud-BPMS are some time off.

Add a Reply

Recently Commented On

Monthly Archives