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While predicting the future is always an uncertain endeavor, Forrester analyst Connie Moore is confident about one thing: "By 2020, we'll have hit a point where a large number of companies are process-driven."

That forecast and others like it are based on a host of transformative changes in business, technology and culture.

Some process-driven shifts, such as a focus on customer engagement and BPM programs oriented toward the whole enterprise, are already underway in some organizations. Still, says Moore, a vice president and principal analyst on Forrester's Business Technology Futures team, "We don't think many companies are process-driven enterprises today."

Experts advise today's CIOs, IT leaders and business executives to get a head start on the future of big process by embracing, rather than resisting, the coming change.

According to Celia Wolf, publisher and CEO of BPTrends, having a process-driven enterprise means "managing and measuring your organization according to your processes." Those processes should be focused externally, on the customer, she says.

The concept is far from new.In 2005, a BPTrends report noted that an increasing number of companies were discovering the performance benefits of a process-driven approach to business. Until recently, however, the business- process landscape was lacking enough pressure from the correct factors to make the approach widespread.

Several changes have begun accelerating business adoption of process-driven development. In her 2012 report, "The Process-Driven Business of 2020," Moore defines five key forces at play:
--Customer centricity
--Operational excellence
--New regulations
--New business models
--A global workforce

To stay competitive in those areas--and to keep up with ever-faster rates of change--businesses in many industries are increasingly turning to the process-driven approach. "When things are changing externally so rapidly and the competition is increasing so dramatically, you need visibility into how your organization works in order to make decisions to stay competitive," Wolf explains. "Also, you really need to have good, strong measures in place. Most organizations aren't using the right measures."


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