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.

If there’s one phrase that sums up what’s needed for next-generation business processes, it’s “real-time intelligence.” And that’s just what’s driving an emerging approach that Gartner Inc. calls “intelligent business operations” (IBO).

Janelle B. Hill, a Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, defines IBO as “a style of work in which real-time analytic and decision-management technologies are integrated into the transaction-execution and bookkeeping operational activities that run a business.” Traditionally, analytical and transactional activities have been handled separately; integrating them provides end users with up-to-the-moment data that can help them make faster, better decisions in a variety of areas.

Analysts say the approach reflects the need for BPM to go beyond simply focusing on improving efficiency, productivity and cost savings toward improving performance in terms of becoming more responsive to changing customer needs and market demands. Other factors include increased interest in “big data,” in-memory analytics and automated decisions.

Not surprisingly, IBO is also driving demand for next-generation BPM technology, which Gartner has dubbed “intelligent business process management suites,” or iBPMSs. In fact, interest in such suites is higher than Gartner researchers expected when they began working on the just-released Gartner Magic Quadrant report on iBPMSs. “We thought about 5% of the market would need this high-end suite,” Hill says. “But we’ve seen much greater adoption than we expected. I think it’s closer to 15%.”

Manufacturers, utilities, chemical companies and the energy industry are among the iBPMS pioneers. “They look at [iBPMS] capabilities—mobility, social, analytics—and say ‘I’m going to need those capabilities in 12 months,’” Hill says. “They’re overbuying and expecting to grow.”

And she and other Gartner researchers recommend that other companies begin to think about following suit. “We believe that all organizations, not just early adopters, need to factor iBPMS into their BPM planning horizon,” they recommend in their report, which evaluates offerings from 13 vendors in the iBPMS marketplace.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTELLIGENT BPMS
What’s the difference between the current generation of BPM suitesand the emerging class of intelligent BPMSs? Traditional BPMSs consist of an integrated set of technologies “for managing the interactions among all the resources--people, software systems, information, business rules and policies--that contribute to operational process outcomes,” according to Gartner’s report. “An iBPMS has all the features of a traditional BPMS, complemented with more advanced technologies.”

Specifically, an iBPMS provides the functionality needed to support more intelligent business operations, including real-time analytics, extensive complex event processing (CEP) and business activity monitoring (BAM) technologies and enhanced mobile, social and collaborative capabilities. “This new functionality focuses on adding more machine and human intelligence in a much friendlier work environment that is characterized by role-based workspaces,” the Gartner analysts wrote.

Gartner’s report identifies 10 core components for an iBPMS:

* A process orchestration engine

* A model-driven composition environment

* Content interaction management

* Human interaction management

* Connectivity

* Active analytics (sometimes called continuous intelligence)

* On-demand analytics

* Business rules management (BRM)

* Management and administration for the suite’s technical aspects

* A process component registry/repository

THE INTELLIGENT BPMS SWEET SPOT
While iBPMSs are--or should be--on the horizon for every business, many don’t yet have enough BPM experience to use these sophisticated technologies effectively, analysts say. For that reason, businesses with lower process-improvement maturity levels may find that a traditional BPMS suits their needs well for the time being. In fact, Gartner projects that mainstream buyers will continue investing in traditional BPMSs through 2014, while those at higher BPM maturity levels will begin moving toward iBPMSs.

Gartner’s 33-page Magic Quadrant report, released on Sept. 27, 2012, evaluates the following iBPMS vendors: Appian, Bosch Software Innovations, Cordys, DST Systems, IBM, OpenText, Oracle, Pegasystems, PMNsoft, Software AG, Tibco Software, Vitria and Whitestein.

READER FEEDBACK: Does your company have an interest in an iBPMS? If so, ebizQ editors would like to hear about your experience. Contact Site Editor Anne Stuart at editor@ebizq.net.



About the Author

Anne Stuart, ebizQ's editor from mid-2010 to mid-2013, is now senior editor for SearchCloudApplications.com at ebizQ's parent company, TechTarget. She is a veteran journalist who has written for national magazines, daily newspapers, an international news service and many Web sites. She’s specialized in covering business and technology issues for 20 years. Based in Newton, Mass., she can be reached at astuart@techtarget.com. Follow Anne on Google+ and at annestuart_TT on Twitter. For general questions about ebizQ, please e-mail editor@ebizQ.net.

More by Anne Stuart, Contributing Editor

-1-

1  

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More