Really could not decide whether to jump in on this one, for fear of simply pouring more fuel on the fire, and have now decided what the heck.
For the first part I think we are hung up on initials, rather than thinking about why the question might have been posed and what causes people to think or act like that. I do smile when I read comments related to "only pushing a certain view to sell ones wares" - so let me get this right, nobody else responding to the post or the question has a product or sell to an audience? or feels that they need their view to be heard above others? - yeah right :-)
So to the question, if BPM does not change surely it will die, it is only natural everything has to evolve and the business environment we are in now is already so different from when we first started promoting the ideas around Business Process Management. From a technology perspective it is true that the need for process automation will not go away, but already it is very different from the workflow solutions of the mid nineties, I would suggest that in that respect BPMS (which some of you think about as BPM! is in danger of becoming less relevant. Process automation is being included more explicitly in just about every type of enterprise software, so the original needs have changed. Personally I hear many organisations telling me they already have lots of automation engines and that another is not the answer they need. These organisations suggest that orchestration and user interfacing is of more interest to them, e.g. getting the systems they already have working together better, and providing users (or customers) with a seamless experience. They also say that they still perceive BPMS as automating what they already do, rather than creating new ways of doing business - this is less to do with what the technology can be used for and more to do with the way it has been marketed, in this respect change is required by BPMS vendors if they still wish for their solutions to stay relevant,
Back to BPM as a practice or a discipline, much as we might like to hope or think otherwise, sadly BPM as a practice has not permeated organisations, who still prefer to use Lean, or Six Sigma type thinking, personally I think this is because they perceive BPM as a technology first and improvement second, which we know is not really the case, but perception is reality. So in this respect BPM has to change, it has to demonstrate that it can equally well be used in non-technology improvement initiatives. Failure to address a broader range of initiatives will see BPM being overtaken by the next big thing, whatever it might be and whenever that might me.
We still don't have the ability to see into the mind of another, so I can't guess what was in Elise Oldings mind, I can only suggest how I would interpret what she says. In my mind, her post was to act as a wake up call, to cause us to question ourselves and to ask, are we part of the solution, or part of the problem. Take some time and read through the responses we all make to the questions posed right here on this forum, how many people actually change there views? How often when someone challenges our thinking do they get attacked for suggesting something different? - so I ask what is it we are afraid of? Could it be that as proponents of change, we are in fact hypocritical? suggesting that others should change their views or practices, but not in fact being willing to change our own?
BPM, BPMS or XYZ, whether technology or practice has to change or die. Just as surely any business has to change to survive, and yes the speed of that change is like nothing we have seen before, so let's get used to it and think how we can help and support both the businesses who want to change, and those who seek to help us change the way we think, in the hope of keeping ourselves relevant.
Whether you prefer Forrester's "Customer Age Thinking" - which of course I like, having written a book on this subject a few years ago :-) or Gartner's "Business Outcome" approach, which I also love having been a strong proponent of relating any BPM/BPMS initiative back to what is relevant to the eyes of the business owner for many years, does not matter. What matters is that as we emerge from the crazy economic downturn the organisations that survive will be those that a) Focus on delivering great customer experiences b) Focus on customer acquisition and revenue growth and c) Adopt new technology and apply it in innovate ways to create new business models.
In these respects BPM/BPMS has to change to address that agenda in full, it is no longer enough to simply automate what we already did, or reduce costs, or help maintain the status quo - we have to accept that our world is changing too and deal with it.