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Will mobile apps and the pursuit of mobility drive more BPM adoption, will business side-step BPM and go straight to mobile app development, or are the two unrelated?
Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:00 AM
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:12 AM - #Permalink
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    Tangentially related, yes, a rising tide and all that. As databases and middleware have enabled some things universally in the past, including for BPM, so too will mobile. It makes more things possible and BPM will have those instances, those applications where it can and will leverage mobile to accomplish a given goal or objective that may not necessarily have been possible previously. But will it directly drive BPM adoption? No. Just my tuppence.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:14 AM - #Permalink
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    Any organization that uses mobility as a catalyst for BPM adoption has missed the point. BPM is all about improving the efficiency of work, and while mobility can certainly play a major role, it is simply an(other) enabler of what should be the overriding objective.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:32 AM - #Permalink
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    I won't drive BPM adoption directly, so with Patrick on this one, nor will the business side-step into mobile app dev and forgo BPM. It all depends on the purpose and use case, mobile strategies internal and external may have different goals. For example: I develop a mobile app for my sales force to submit expense claims on the go without a paper trail; that's an example of efficiency and taking advantage of newer technologies to streamline a traditional and mundane back office process, it'll drive an organization to review other processes that could innovate in the same way to make life easier and then as a consequence improve other downstream processes. That knock on effect may lead to further automation and potentially into adopting BPM tools and techniques to streamline further. But then they may not. Mobile is another channel to interact directly with process but like I wrote a while back, having 'an app for that' is not a mobile strategy.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 11:21 AM - #Permalink
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    Agree wit previous comments. BPM is daily businesses and for sure processes can benefit from mobile. And you see it in many processes these days; in hospitals, insurance, training etc. A process is not a BPMS and not a mobile application. But all those tools can be used to support the execution, management and improvement of process. So, take what fits best. Of course I prefer mobile, so I can do my job when I'm 20 feet under water in the Carribean.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 12:13 PM - #Permalink
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    Should not drive general adoption of BPM but will be included and become more prominent. "Compliance" will always be an issue but nothing that can't be addressed might even help knowing where and when business was undertaken? So Emiel you may have a few questions about what business you were doing 20 feet under water in the Caribbean!
    • Emiel Kelly
      more than a month ago
      I model processes in BPMN in a cloud application for companies who don't understand BPM but are willing to pay me enough so I can spend 6 months a year traveling.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 12:18 PM - #Permalink
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    This is an interesting question. Mobile apps represent a very interesting moment for conversion and crossover for BPM providers to move into a parallel and slightly different market. It is as if a big door suddenly opened up for BPM providers. And on the other side of the doorway is Mobile RAD. BPM providers just have to step through the door, make a slight change in marketing, almost no change in product, and voila - we all have frameworks for rapidly developing any type of mobile business app you want. Of course, BPM has always been in this market. But the BPM industry has always suffered from a permanent and constant identity crisis. Many BPM providers don't talk about processes but rather about their tool being a way to let users rapidly build applications. Both terms are a little confusing and have crossovers from one market to the other, but in the mobile world, BPM does seem to be a perfect RAD tool. Let me show you what I mean. First, have a look at this announcement from Interneer - http://finance.yahoo.com/news/interneer-announces-intellect-mobileapps-easily-140000569.html regarding their mobile apps. This is what I am talking about. I'm sure this company made no changes to their application, but in the mobile world their focus is totally different. They are spinning their product as a way to rapidly build custom mobile enterprise apps. Nice - certainly sounds a lot better than just announcing a mobile version of BPM - ugh boring! Or, look at an even better example. Look at what Ismael is doing with his new company - Stoic. After developing a very complex BPM business with Intalio, he obviously longed for a simpler world. So, he grabbed onto this idea of developing mobile apps for just about anything. Seemingly nothing to do with BPM - but definitely came from the perspective of being in the BPM world for a long time. Here is the dirty little secret - every BPM provider that is worth 2 cents should be able to do this in a few days. We all have form designers, we all have tasking and workflow. Oh, and sure - you can throw Social in there as well just to make sure you don't leave out any buzzwords. So, in summary, I don't think businesses will side step BPM and go straight to mobile app development; rather what you will see is that many BPM providers completely sidestep BPM to go straight to mobile app development. And many will see that they are incredibly well positioned in a really hot space.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 01:00 PM - #Permalink
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    [I tweeted "In healthcare, I believe it will" and Peter asked me to elaborate here. Thanks Peter!] "Drive" may be too strong, at least in healthcare. However, "facilitate" or "catalyze" certainly apply. Together with social, analytics, and cloud, mobile is indeed helping to bring BPM to healthcare. Healthcare is like a very large insular country that’s been closed off from the rest of the world for a long time but now is opening up. The same forces -- social, mobile, analytics and cloud -- affecting many industries, are also affecting healthcare. If you look under their hood, the most successful platforms have workflow automation, workflow engines, the ability to draw out a workflow or to systematically improve workflow with data. Thus SMAC, including mobile, is like an epidemiological vector. It's bringing into healthcare BPM-style workflow automation, from the traditional structured process BPM on to unstructured adaptive case management approaches. Which is not to say that workflow automation hasn’t always existed in healthcare, however, it’s not been widely prevalent or appreciated or understood. I think the BPM profile is rising in healthcare due to a confluence of indigenous workflow systems and those being brought in by influential social, mobile and analytics cloud platforms.‎ Adapted from: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Are Bringing Process-Aware Info Systems To Healthcare (on the Healthcare BPM Blog) http://hcbpm.com/the-power-of-process-webinar/social-mobile-analytics-cloud-bringing-process-aware-to-healthcare‎ Chuck @wareFLO on Twitter
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 04:33 PM - #Permalink
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    To be honest, I am pretty fed up with claims that every IT aspect that came along in the past few years (Social, Mobile, Cloud) now being the 'new thing' to drive BPM into organizations. What does that mean? Simply, that the claims of pundits how successful BPM already is are false. Social, Mobile and Cloud are about empowerment and BPM is not, as it targets more control over the business. Big Data and BPM go well together because one is supposed to reduce the negative impact of the other. I do not think it does, but I am sure that the data can be massaged to show whatever someone wants. BPM does not improve organizational efficiency overall, as at best it drives down cost in a narrowly viewed work segment - no more. How would Mobile improve on that? Someone had the silly idea of a flowchart designer on an iPhone ... how reality-blind can one be? The benefit of Mobile lies in empowering users to do their thing their way. BPM enforces all people to do the same thing the same way! Mobile app development is not a replacement for BPM and it does not bring the benefits BPM is targeting either. Mobile benefits a non-flowcharted, goal-oriented approach to process management.
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    Thursday, November 21 2013, 06:18 PM - #Permalink
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    The first response nailed it. Having said that, we'll see more drive to mobile from BPM (vendors and customers alike). We're seeing a lot of push from our customers with the mobile UI toolkit we produced (http://www.bp-3.com/brazos). "Genius of the 'and'"
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    Friday, November 22 2013, 02:47 AM - #Permalink
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    It is a mutually enriching combination: BPM becomes more close to people (i.e. increasing reactivity and quality of process execution) and mobile applications benefit from BPMs capabilities for quick development of distributed solutions. Thanks, AS
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    Friday, November 22 2013, 05:49 AM - #Permalink
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    It's really apps rather than mobile that will have the biggest impact on the BPM market. Mobile is just another user interface. Apps however have created the biggest change in personal computing and increasingly enterprise computing expectations. The consumerization of the enterprise, triggered by our personal mobile apps experience will kill off the role of the BPMs suite. Long term BPM projects built on a BPMs are completely out of touch with how we wish to acquire and consume software today. If available businesses will go for good enough process apps rather than risky long term BPM projects built on a BPMs. The BPMs market is already flatlining. So yes, increasingly businesses will side step the BPMs and choose process apps instead that may include built in workflow, BPM and Case functionality.
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    Friday, November 22 2013, 10:07 AM - #Permalink
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    I am just not convinced about "apps" as described by Peter; certainly mobile as a device. A business process is where end to end sequence of business logic formal and informal creates new information and the desired outcome. An "app" covers a different very specific need? I admit out my depth here but as a business person I would be focusing on mobile as a step in the process. BPMSuite is already failing just does not have that "adaptive" capability it is that which will confine BPMSuite to part of the "BPM" history as just part of the evolution in technology supporting people
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