Absolutely. There is no doubt that the Internet of Things represents a great moment for BPM. Gartner estimates that by 2020 the number of smartphones tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units while the IoT will have grown much faster resulting in 26 billion units at that time. More connected devices mean more intelligent systems, and these intelligent systems need to be controlled by an intelligent engine/designer combo.
BPMS companies are well positioned at the eye of this storm. Whether you are embedding devices or installing systems, someone or some software needs to be adding some intelligence to the IoT systems. This is nothing different than what BPM does today...call it BPM on Steroids because there will simply be a massive increase in endpoint devices. Not only will business boom for BPMS companies during the next few years, I suspect we will see a lot more M&A as companies start rewriting their business plans to focus on IoT and realize that they need to add a designer and an engine to their product strategy.
The interest thing is that many companies are rushing headfirst into creating engines and designers to create these ecosystems. But most of the designers at these companies don't have BPM backgrounds so they tend to oversimplify and underestimate the enormous value that lesser understood BPMN 2.0 elements bring to the table. Take for example the event-based gateway. I don't run into too many people on the street that know what this gateway does. But ask anyone at a BPM conference about it, and their face lights up as they describe its importance. After all, how do you enforce an SLA without an event-based gateway? In other words, your NEST reports a smoke. If the source of the smoke is not detected/eliminated within 5 minutes then you want to dial 5 cellphones, call the fire department, and open the garage door. Or, if in 4 minutes you get confirmation that it was a false alarm, then do nothing and let everyone in the house continue sleeping. How do you do this without an SLA enforcing BPMN element?
Every assigned action has an implicit SLA whether we admit to it or not, and in most scenarios I need to tell the rest of my connected ecosystem what to do if that SLA is not met. The event-based gateway is the most elegant way of doing this, and I have never seen a non BPM centric designer handle this type of scenario in such an efficient way.
One bit of bad news, though, though for most BPMS providers – you are going to have to rewrite a lot of code. 30 billion devices is a lot more than 10 thousand users. This means that only the most scalable, fastest, and resilient technologies will prosper in this brave new world.