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How will mobile continue to impact BPM?

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As Keith Swenson writes on Dion Hinchcliffe's recent keynote at AIIM2012, "The shift to mobile computing is the most dramatic technology transition in history.  Ever."  So how do you think mobile will continue to impact BPM?

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  • Mobile furthers the efficiency factor in BPM solutions. There was always the inherent lag in responses due to the need to be at a computer to complete an action and progress the process.

    With smart mobile devices we now have the ability to customize the user interface to facilitate real-time or near real-time response. This has generated an entirely new BPM audience.

  • Mobile furthers the dis-integration of businesses. With smart devices attached to everyone all the time, and these devices attached to larger corporate data stores, what reason does anyone have to physically go into an office?

    I love the example of companies giving employees allowances to buy their own tools. I wonder how long it will be until we're all effectively contractors, all providing our services to the highest bidder.

  • It means that "just in time" processing will soon become "always available" instead.
    Processes will discover who is available to action no matter where they are located or from what device. Organisations will become ambiently aware of themselves as the amount of data and ability reach participants becomes exponential. True process intelligence is inevitable.

    When Facebook becomes a BPM platform that's when things will get exciting ;)

  • There are so many ways to respond to this.
    The tactical:
    * mobile BPM user design (UI/UX) requires radical improvement.
    * process designs need to take into account location, geofencing, and other innate capabilities of mobile phones. Currently most processes never assume we know where someone is, physically. Nor that this person can relocate themselves while participating in the process.
    * BPM practitioners need to stay up to date with mobile tech
    * BPM needs to bring the process context to mobile. Don't just notify me of everything. Know WHEN to notify me, and why, within this process that you're notifying me. (All the platforms do notifications, but who cares - what matters is getting the right information at the right time in order to enable you to manage your process).


    The strategic:
    * there may be a new BPM entrant that is mobile-first. Think about instagram vs. facebook - which exposed that facebook's mobile strategy was pretty poor (HTML only, pretty bad response rate, etc.). Instagram's slick native app ran circles around it.
    * New enterprise applications will be built with mobile processes and BPM capabilities (to an extent) baked in.
    * Existing BPM vendors will add mobile capabilities and tooling (by building or acquiring)
    * The net result is that all of these players will be putting pressure on each other.

    BYOD is quickly turning to "give me an iPhone" or "give me an iPad"... I predict a lot of the enterprise applications will standardize more often on iOS because it is the de facto standard for tablets. Hardly anyone complains when their company gives them an iPhone to use.

    http://www.bp-3.com/blogs/2012/04/imagine-a-better-mobile-bpm/

  • Mobile changes everything about BPM, from the design and use of forms, to notifications, to approvals, to document review, to authentication, and on and on.

    Here are a few things for buyers to consider now that process actors can be anywhere, from somebody's porch delivering a package to a hotel conference room listening to a presenter:

    1. Do forms automatically recognize the smaller area of a mobile display, and adjust accordingly?

    2. Can users apply authenticated approvals when their mobile devices don't have direct network access to the server (via email, for example)?

    3. Can reports be displayed on a range of mobile devices, even Apple devices (which don't support Flash)?

    These are just a small sampling of the issues that BPM solutions must address as IT grapples with the deterioration of the network perimeter as a workplace boundary.

    • I think rather:
      1- "forms" need to be designed FOR mobile screen sizes, rather than just resized. Resizing is a pretty bad user experience.

      2- authenticated via an app rather than email. The app can store the approvals until connectivity is restored

      3- absolutely. flash just isn't necessary. and btw, it doesn't work on any of the other devices anyway.

  • Mobile capabilities will continue to enhance BPM success by further supporting and insuring that the right information is in front of the right people (no matter where they are or with what instrument they are participating in the processes) at the right time. I just blogged on this today, but so often those most basic elements are overlooked, and their omission can have really dire, very expensive, consequences. ( http://www.elegrity.com/corporate-legal-blog/)

  • Yes, I want a BPMN modelling tool on my Iphone (come on emiel don't start this again...)

    Serious, If it makes executing and managing of your organization by process (that is what BPM is about isn't it? ) better (please think a few minutes of what means 'better' for your processes)it's fine to me, dear mobile lovers.

    But be aware: making a process perform (please think a few minutes of what means 'performance' for your processes) needs so much more than al those nice techniques.

    • And as you are all thinking for a minute now, be aware that a lot of companies didn't think so well about 'what their (useful) processes are.

      In that case applying all those nice mobile things can easily lead to good old 'suboptimization'

      'We are very mobile in doing the wrong things'

      ...enough thoughts for today.

  • I am sorry, but mobile and BPM is not about device types or screen size factors!

    The problem with BPM is not how it gets presented to a mobile device, it is actually the idea that a process is a flowchart that is the problem. Rigid processed don't get improved by giving people an iPad. So before mobile will show a substantial benefit to a business the current 'flowchart-coded' BPM systems will have to go away. And I don't mean improved but actually be discontinued! And yes, maybe mobile users will be the kick that is necessary to get rid of that totally non-sensical idea of flowcharting.

    Process is user-driven, goal-oriented people interaction about business content mapped to business data. Put that on a mobile device and link a business strategy and architecture as goal-defining layer on top and you will suddenly see everyone in a business including executives, management, process owners, performers and even their customers doing BPM on their mobiles. We still call it ACM, but I guess it is only matter of time ...

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    Processes needs events to stay alive, the more events => the granular process. Mobile devices will not only shorten the distance between the event sources and the event handler, but also make it possible to catch more events than before. Ultimatly those events are sourced from technologies like Radio Frequency Identification and embedded systems. I guess ... :)

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