BPM is now front and center for many organizations, acknowledged by business leaders and experts alike as a necessary ingredient for business growth in the resurgent yet still highly turbulent global economy.



At ebizQ's latest annual BPM in Action virtual conference, some of the industry's most forward-thinking BPM proponents explored emerging developments in the cornerstones of BPM in the 2010s: business event processing, business rules management, decision management and dynamic case management.

The converging roles of business intelligence and event processing were explored in detail by W. Roy Schulte, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Inc., and co-author of "Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies" (McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2009).

Moving to an event-driven business culture requires a significant shift in the way organizations are structured and managed, Schulte said. Previously, organizations have been set up along the lines of the military's "command-and-control" structure, designed as a way to see through the fog of war. The challenge now, in Schulte's view, is employing the right kinds of tools and organizational structure to be able to see through the "fog of commerce." Real-time operational intelligence, incorporating data feeds from both external and internal events and driven through analytical systems, is the key to such visibility. To get there, enterprises need to "embed business intelligence directly into business process, prescribing various activities, what's happening at the moment," Schulte said.

That approach is something that quickly gets the attention of upper management, he added: "The notion of intelligence inside of companies is pretty well accepted." But turning this information into actionable analytics is another challenge.

To get to a state in which processes deliver business value, companies need to look at the rules being applied to those processes. Kathy Long, president of Innovative Process Consulting, discussed the importance of achieving a "collective view" of process and rules. She explained why organizations need to employ an approach combining processes and rules, and why managing rules often is a critical component for attaining significant results in key business processes.

"Eighty percent of the benefits seen in processes will come from changes in rules," Long said. That's because even through business processes may be applied across the enterprise, individual departments and business units often have their own rules attached to those processes.

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