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What are your BPM predictions for 2012?

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It's that time of year again when we take a look forward at the year ahead: so what are your predictions for the year ahead in BPM? 

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  • With a new Gartner Quadrant out for business process analysis tools, I think you'll see:

    1. Competition heating up between the top 4 of OpenText/Metastorm, ARIS/SoftwareAG, IBM, and Nimbus/TIBCO. Never mind the Gartner positioning...these are the true top four.

    2. Focus on the technology stack versus the point solution. BPM has such a diverse following that only a solution that works for many can have wide acceptance across business and technology folks. The question will be, "What can you give me for automated and non-automated work?"

    3. Race for the eyes of the end user. The many debates around BPMN are the evidence that people are starting to understand the importance of making it easy for end users.

    4. Big Data and complex event processing will have a play as companies need to make their processes very Big Data aware BUT IN CONTEXT...see my Safeway example from this weekend at BPMForReal (http://bpmforreal.com/2011/12/18/you-had-me-at-would-you-like-a-grande-latte-bigdata-personalization/)

    5. Mobile applications that make sense. The world is moving away from the Web and toward an app-enabled world. Apps that allow for rapid capture, communication and change of business processes will take off.

    I had one more around customer-centricity, but it is still half-baked.

  • I think more vendors will get serious about balancing BPM and Decision Management. The power of decision management using business rules and predictive analytics to make for simpler, smarter and more agile processes is real. With Pega/Chordiant, IBM (ILOG/SPSS) and now Progress/Corticon w are seeing some serious commitment to this approach and I expect that to continue.

    • @James - I agree. that's a component of the stack that I'm referring to. A balance of BPM and Decision Management. There is a need to sort the world of Big Data so that important events can be 'discovered'. If I were to portray my own view of the BPM stack, it looks like this:

      - Human creative activities (Least defined and most collaborative)
      - Human repetitive activities (Least predictability and control without the aid of technology)
      - Analytics (Which have a human side and an automation side)
      - Workflow and Rules (the order depends on the event as rules discover and determine reaction to events but also are part of automation)
      - Event processing
      - Data management (lowest level and most commonality across applications)

      Crossing all of these are the tools used to capture, analyze, communicate, collaborate, automate and change pieces of the stack. Also, real work and value moves up and down the stack (maybe multiple times) as work flows through the value chain.

      This is a very complex environment and the reason why BPM is such a loaded term.

  • Today's nascent technologies become future failures, fads or features. A few technologies in that nascent realm will see their way into interacting with BPMS so that humans don't have to. Here are three to watch, you decide which is a failure, a fad or a future feature:

    Many of the software tools we use today have the ability to communicate with BPMS's. We should never have to step from one tool to the BPMS tool to record an action we just completed nor should we EVER have to cut and paste data. All of our business apps that can be orchestrated into the BPMS will be: especially those on mobile systems.

    With Apple's Siri fast becoming our new best friend the BPMS will call us and ask for our guidance and we will answer back. Voice Recognition is now mobile capable: it's time to rethink our user interfaces to BPMS's. "Hello Dave, inventory is at critical and Frank hasn't reordered for 72 hours. Do I have your approval to reorder?"

    Data mining, augmented reality and business analytics will also change the face of BPMS dashboards. We will be able to see the impact of our interactions real-time and graphically and they will pervasively mesh with other systems. Bring up the organization chart and see which employees have the biggest backlog of tasks and the work flowing on the org. chart from employee to employee. Get an email from a department head and see how many of her requests are in your queue. Reply to the controller and append your current departmental KPI's.

    2012 will be the year of UI leaps.

  • @Kevin,

    1) > cut and paste data - future
    2) Voice recognition mobility and BPMS' UIs - failure.
    3) Data mining? Already here, been here a few years. Where you been?

  • In 2012, certain aspects of BPM will gain in importance.

    • Time. Time has been short-shrifted by BPM for too long. Time's time has come.

    • Reporting. The more broadly BPM is rolled out across an organization, the more gems it uncovers. Your business is the sum of your processes. Increasingly, users will exploit BPM's intimate knowledge of their business to create actionable reports for process actors, process owners, and senior managers.

    • Mobile. We've seen a huge leap in interest in this area already. Mobile users expect to be able to participate fully in business processes, but there are so many elements to consider, with UI design and security leading the group.

    I'm very excited about 2012. This year is ending with a bang, and it seems clear that in 2012 BPM will gain more traction than ever before.

  • With a ‘dose’ of trepidation here are my ‘predictions’ for 2012:

    Analytics: increasingly users have and will continue to understand the value of generic ‘in-flight’ analytics including process analytics.

    Mobility: again, I have seen a marked increase in the level of interest in mobile solutions as users need and expect to ‘stay connected’ irrespective of location, time zone etc.

    Social Media/BPM: this is a relatively ‘new’ phenomenon; however we are now seeing clients express significant interest in as well as deploying, the integrated social media/BPM solutions we provide. I can only see this trend developing further and faster.

  • Things you should watch for is 2012:

    1. Operational Intelligence: Call it the intersection of Business Intelligence and BPM. BPM allows for the possibility of data analytics in the context of the business processes that is generating the data. Existing BI technology will be embedded into BPM providing real time (and automated) process centric analysis of business data as it's generated in the business process. Process mining will be to Operational Intelligence what data mining is to Business Intelligence.

    2. Optimization: The BPMS solution space is over represented in modelling, execution and monitoring technology, but severely under-represented in real optimization technology, even though optimization is a key component of the BPM life cycle. Look for real time optimization technology around staffing (e.g. integration of BPM with workforce management), business rules, and remedial scenarios (changing the process definition on the fly to meet a specific goal). Traditional simulation vendors may start taking a second look at the BPM market for integration opportunities in the optimization step (versus the traditional design step) of the BPM life cycle.

    BONUS Prediction: Scott Mentor will embrace simulation and BPMN in 2012.

  • Mobile, as it has been said I think this is going to be a big hit and honestly for many vendors, this technology has already been perfected and adopting it in 2012 means you are already behind.

    People, focusing on the people part of business processes is going to continue to grow.

    In this field, you need to give users and businesses what they need before they realize they even want it, that is the mark of the truly successful. Intuitive technology and forecasting is what is going to start separating the truly 'best' versus the big guys that claim the market by sheer size.

  • Ok, lets split this into Methodology and Technology. This is really more of a wishlist than prediction, so I've hung up my stocking by the fire and I hope Santa is listening...


    > Alignment of process methodologies to reflect the change in process thinking given the impact of Social BPM and social technologies. You simply cannot run an organisation embracing the bleeding edge that sits on a mountain of archaic processes and improvement techniques.

    > Kind of middle of the two here, but someone like the ABPMP or other open BOK effort needs to collaborate with a vendor who has an existing 'BPM university' (and vice versa) to merge the two ways of approaching BPM and BPMS into something else. I think the two have been at arms length for too long now. It can still remain technology agnostic before you apply your jerky knee to the idea. Time for BPM to grow up a little.


    > More mobile, touch-screen based modeling please. Tablet, table, wall. Use your imagination.
    > A little less 2D and more 3D approach to modeling and visualising organisational structures
    > Self-appraising and aware process execution. Exception handling and data become a catalyst for self-healing processes.
    > A more 'Apple' focused approach in delivering a software product, make BPMS beautiful to use. Someone.
    > Real world external feeds that are able to reshape processes according to how the world is reacting to real-time events

    Hope you guys on the forum have a great Xmas and New Year :)

  • Because of all kind of economic crisises here in Europe, I think BPM will not look much different in 2012 than it did in 2011. I think it will even loose attention, because companies are focusing on short term survival

    We (as proces-lovers) know so many problems can be solved with BPM (the methods, absolutely not the tools), but it is always hard to make clear the ROI of BPM. At least for the short term.

    In 2012 I, myself, will focus completely on execution (some of you call it end-user).

    I think a lot of BPM- practitioners (?) are too much focusing on design, tooling, ideas for improvement, but the implementation seems something the change-manager can do on a sunday afternoon.

    But what is the most important of a process? I think that's its execution. What you don’t execute has no use to be managed or improved.

    So in all my projects I will keep the focus on the fact that processes must be executed. So the customer of my customer is my largest concern. He must become happy because processes are executed well.

    By focusing on the execution I hope the work floor will join BPM and it will not be “a thing” for management, gurus or that improvement team. Power to the people (in the process)!

    And I still have 10 days to figure out how I will do that ;-)

    A merry christmas to all of you!

  • I believe that 2012 will definitively be the year of mobile BPM regarding the availability of good mobile hardware with big screens, high battery life and ubiquity of internet connection. At last this will be a dream that will come true.

  • “I believe 2012 will be a promising year for BPM to make work ‘simpler’ and ‘smarter’ for the new age business. Early technology forced us to dumb down work into transactions, thus work has been forced to conform to rigid data entry and robotic steps. The context of work in technology did not equate to real world behavior. Today BPM is at the cusp of evolving into an agile and intelligent platform that will cut out many of the transactional steps to deliver the same results more quickly and more efficiently. In 2012, businesses will see the following trends evolve further - catalyzing the BPM environment and bringing the technology closer to the ‘right work context’:

    • An increasing role of dynamic case management in BPM ,integrating people and processes in real time
    • Predictive & decision analytics further improving and optimizing the decision making process in organizations and driving processes in real time
    • Leveraging adaptive case management techniques to react to dynamic business scenarios and changing processes more quicker
    • Further improving real time collaboration of diverse stakeholders in process development and implementation through mobility and social media.

    My recent blog post on BPM in 2012 delves deeper in to the impact the above areas will have on BPM. As we go into the future, BPM will be expected to deliver ‘better, faster, cheaper’ outcomes, thereby paving the way for technology to revolutionize business operations.”

  • Enjoy all the in-depth comments above, I would say, beyond traditional process automation/content management, with the emerging digitalized technologies such as cloud/mobile/social/advanced analytics, BPM in 2012 should strengthen its muscles through:

    --Process Optimization: no matter it's decision making, customer experience optimization or operational effectiveness, BPM can bring up the value and keep it simple;

    -Process Innovation: innovation could be the only limelight via the dark tunnel of economic downturn, BPM can take drive to manage innovation by engaging talent and taking advantage of the right technology and process.

    No matter it's agile BPM, BPM-on-the-cloud, or dynamic case management, BPM need do more with less, also set up the right metrics. thanks

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