There seems to be two aspects to this question, What kind of standardisation are we talking about inter or intra organisation. And secondly were standard processes ever the norm? Organisations talk about standardisation and are often looking for efficiency and consistency in their processes.
You want consistency in the way that you manage processes, every department should onboard an employee in the same way, for example, pay invoices according to the same rules, request hardware and software in line with the same policies. That kind of standardisation is productive and makes the organisation easier to manage, audit and control. This intra organisational standard is desirable and advantageous. But is there is inter- organisational standards, I’m not so sure if this is as desirable. Inter organisational standardisation was surely the goal of ERM solutions, and although many aspired to this goal, the moment they opened the box of processes that were made available, they soon found that what was on offer didn’t quite fit their needs and tried to tweak or configure them. The biggest criticisms ERP systems were that they were inflexible when it came to configuring processes. It was never as easy as advertised and often left you with a white elephant that didn’t quite do what you needed however, the budget had run out. They were then difficult to upgrade and to support , but you couldn’t throw it away because of the huge investment.
This is precisely why organisations moved to BPM solutions, these are designed to be built to be configurable and adaptable to future needs. Standardisation is therefore less the important, in my view, than the consistency and efficiency of those processes. And recent history has proved that this goal is far harder to achieve in practice for what negligible benefit it may bring.