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Will running processes in the cloud make them more efficient?

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Reading Matt Davies Cordys blog on BPM in the cloud, he states, "Another advantage is that it is easier to orchestrate applications and data that reside in the cloud, so running BPM in the cloud makes processes more efficient."  

What do you think?

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  • Well, not so much. To be fair, Matt's comment isn't so bad when taken in the context of the rest of his post. But simply running BPM in the cloud most definitely does not make processes more efficient; all it does is change the hosting model on which those processes are based.

    The only way to make processes more efficient is to actually make them more efficient! This endeavor should be focused on how you want your work to actually flow, and the question of hosting should be considered only after that, as you next figure out the best way to architect your technology to support the meeting of those process goals.

  • Firstly - thanks Peter & Steve for reading the blog :-) Steve - I think you're right - and perhaps the wording wasn't as clear as it should be. Later on in the blog - I tried to really come to the conclusion that with a mix of on-premise software/data and some software/data in the cloud - we're making life quite difficult by creating new silos of information that just happen to be in the cloud. This idea of the "mess of many" can make it more difficult to create efficient processes. I'm not sure if I like the word "hybrid" but it is the best I've found so far. Hybrid processes that work across the people, systems and data, wherever it is, can help make your processes more efficient, simply because they can be as inclusive as possible. Not sure if that makes things any clearer but it is a good debate :)

  • Agree with Steve. More mist from the cloud that confuses core issues?

  • Simple answer is no.

    A process is still a process no matter where you stick it, you could easily orchestrate it as efficiently on-premise, Cloud does not equal efficiency as an outcome. Let's dispell some of the myth right here.

    Not sure at all about this statement:
    "Hybrid processes that work across the people, systems and data, wherever it is, can help make your processes more efficient, simply because they can be as inclusive as possible."

    By right, ALL processes are hybrid, and having one doesn't make one efficient. Improvement makes a process efficient. A process is inclusive by virtue of its existence not as a result.

    Cloud BPM: No need for a thunderstorm when there are already clear blue skies....

  • The cloud can make processes more efficient, by allowing business improvement teams to focus more on the process and less on the implementation issues associated with traditional BPM enterprise software.

    Similarly, the many canned processes (web applications basically) that are available in the cloud save businesses from having to reinvent the wheel for low-value (but painful) business operations. Again, the cloud allows focus on the business and the process, and less on the infrastructure.

  • First off an efficient process is an efficient process no matter where it is hosted / run, so the same applies to a bad process.

    Leveraging the cloud should only been seen as a benefit to a process if we start talking about connectivity to that process and from different devices. That potentially allows us to engage and interact and be part of a process more easily than if it were hosted in house, but does that make the process it self more efficient or just the way we are able to interact with it.

    Finally, good cloud platforms should be able to seamlessly blend what is in house data and security with what you have in the cloud, the cloud should be simply an extension of everything you do in house. We have delivered solutions (not BPM specific) that work perfectly in this fashion, allowing the enterprise to manage the cloud through their own in house servers, Active Directory etc etc.

  • Very interesting discussion, I would say, from elasticity perspective (faster to provision, easy to scale up&down), BPM on the cloud may present better efficiency. But when organizations intend to amplify such efficiency effect, they need have better strategy and EA ready to explore the cloud, as cloud may have its own concerns need be solved first.

    To put other way, to evaluate process efficiency, you may need think about the true business value it brings up, the process effectiveness, how does it interact with other process, and then, efficiency: weather it's the best way to do things.

  • There's an efficiency dimension related not to the processes themselves but to the "three Ps"—politics, paperwork, and price—of getting them up and running in the first place. Call it meta-efficiency. (Or don't.)

    BPM is the gift that keeps on giving: there is always another business process to be automated, improved, or replaced. On top of that, the cloud offers an opportunity to deliver BPM-enabled processes without the three-Ps overhead often associated with on-premise delivery. At the end of the day, the easier it is for me to leverage BPM repeatedly, the more efficiency I have introduced into the process of transforming my business.

  • Agree with Theo.

    The statement is too much Process = Software based.

    And another question is 'what are you actually doing in the cloud for bpm?"

    Workflow? Dashboards? E-forms? Modelling? Storage? Process mining? There is no general cloud for BPM.
    So BPM in the cloud is a strange thing to say. BPM happens in real life and toys in the cloud might support it.

    But will it make the execution and management of a process more efficient (very basic said: possible with spending less money)? Might be.

    But focusing on clouding is not a good start for managing your organization by process, in my opinion.

    Like making a car more efficient should not only focus on the engine.

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