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Untitled Document In a December 23, 2008 article for ebizQ, I looked back at 2008 trends and troubles for the approximately 100 software products and more than 50 suppliers that support the business process management (BPM) value proposition. In 2008 and during the entire decade now in its final year BPM-related products evolved to cross firewalls, to handle both event- and data-driven state changes, and to incorporate state-of-the-art rules engines and modeling techniques.

In 2009, the adoption of BPM should continue to accelerate. Whether that happens because of or despite of the current worldwide economic crisis remains to be seen. It appears that BPM can contribute strongly to turning around the worldwide economy. That’s not a certainty because there is a question about the extent to which—if at all—BPM players, your BPM supplier in particular, suffers because of the current crisis. But the outlook longer term is that BPM should become as defining for the 2010-2019 decade as ERP was for the 1990-1999 decade and Internet-anything was for the 2000-2009 decade. (Please address all emails about whether decades, centuries and millennia begin with the zero year or the year that ends in one to the Y2K committee in your IT department.)

There are three key improvements to BPM-enabling technology that seem to top your wish lists based on IT Investment Research analysis and it looks like leading BPM software suppliers will begin to deliver them in product versions scheduled for 2009. The improvements are based on more use of complex event processing (CEP) technology, various types of integration especially in support of supply chain automation, and a stronger tie to business intelligence (BI) software.

There is an overriding historical fact you should consider as you adopt or increase your use of BPM software in 2009. It is important to realize that the BPM decisions you make now are decisions your enterprise will likely live with long after you’ve left or retired. For proof, look at the number of IT departments that are still using 1980s and early 1990s technology and products in transaction processing (TP), ERP, customer relationship management (CRM), and similar solution areas.

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