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  1. Peter Schooff
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. Tuesday, February 07 2017, 09:51 AM
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We recently published our 2017 BPM predictions and it seems just about every prediction in some way or another predicts this will be the year of BPM. So with all the business changes coming via data, customer experience, AI, and with the rise of digital business, would you say that BPM's time has finally come?
John Reynolds Accepted Answer
This will certainly be the year for scrambling to keep you processes up-to-date with changing International regulations... and that's going to reinforce how necessary BPM is.
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  1. more than a month ago
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We will have the 17 excellent BPM-suite products in the year 2017. Very good. Shall we wait another year to get "just" one business execution platform?

Thanks,
AS
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Bogdan, do you need an architect?
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
maybe not. We'll see.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
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Juan J Moreno Accepted Answer
Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I think the answer is a great YES: 2017 will the year of BPM :)

Why do I think it isn't just a desire? Let's see:


  • Complementing traditional corporate BPM Suites: now several SaaS BPM Suites has matured and are really easy to use and affordable for massive markets (i.e. Flokzu, where I work, but also Process Street, Process Plan, Kissflow, etc, etc.). So, the offering is ready.


  • We are seeing complimentary and pushing technologies (as AI, and Web Apps integration) packaged in a way that they can be simply used in those SaaS BPMs, as an integral part of the business processes. Zapier is a great example of how you can easily integrate your business process with any other web app (Google Drive, several CRMs, Dropbox...). So, the ecosystem is ready.


  • Maturity: several years evangelizing about process management importance is finally making the "BPM" word familiar to decision makers not only in big companies, but also in SME's. They just don't see it as a new thing, but a needed thing. At least in my experience in Latam, it didn't happen last years. So, the market is ready.


Best regards !!
References
  1. http://www.flokzu.com/EN
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
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David Chassels Accepted Answer
You bet. A big yes and we all have role to play....
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Jonathan Yarmis Accepted Answer
Yes, the same way we had the year of the LAN...for 17 consecutive years, I think.
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Patrick Lujan Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Uhhh.... "no." First, without naming names, but some of these individuals' prediction here and elsewhere do stick in my head and I remember. Most of them are never as hyperbolic as the predictions would suggest. This year for BPM and most everything else will be a year like most, slow and incremental. No big bangs for this year tho' I can't wait to follow up with the blockchain and no code/low code crowd at the end of this year. :D

Just my tuppence.

P.S. - remember the big predictions about Big Data four, five years back? Yeah, me neither. Ibid AI for this year as long as I'm offering up my own opines.
Comment
A 'role' is the key precept. It won't be a panacea. My kid does nano-technology; blows me away some of the stuff he's doing like I blew my old man away.
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 3 months ago
I argued earlier (too lazy to find the reference) that big data was a fascinating and important discipline, but its relationship to BPM was hugely overblown. Engines are being built that distill the ebbs and tides of data into usable (which is to say, "actionable") information that in turn can be consumed by BPM systems.

AI in its various forms (eg machine learning) can take the same route; however, I think there probably is a role for AI-style prediction and problem solving directly within the BPM platform. Fortunately my kid is studying AI so I'm getting tutored on how all this stuff is supposed to work. :)
  1. E Scott Menter
  2. 3 months ago
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
Is this groundhog day? I remember that 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 were all going to be the year for BPM. In each of these years a "line of business" app broke the $1bn revenue mark. There are relatively few BPM vendors that have made it on the BPM ticket - in ALL of these years. So let's make the measure "at least 3 BPM companies reaching $1bn in revenue." Then it il be the year of BPM.

Remember "Insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting the results to be different."

So the question is - why will this year be any different?
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John Morris Accepted Answer
In 2012 I asked (uh, "somewhere else" ) if that year would be the "Year Of Living BPM". And I said probably not -- because of three big "adoption drags":

1. Master Data Management
2. Process Governance
3. BPM Engine Constraints
(I called it "validation" )

Are any of these issues likely to have been dramatically improved since 2012?

Really only No. 3, which is round-tripping, which has a big negative impact on business enthusiasm, has improved a little, although I'd extend the problem now to include methodology. I'm very much for citizen developers but I see BPM as challenging technically and from a business perspective. And BPM as a body of knowledge is very substantial -- probably comparable to accounting in its richness. Technology adoption and technology diffusion for major technologies just doesn't happen that fast. And new technologies such as AI only adds to the challenge. On the other hand DMN is easier to learn and benefits are clearer.

Are there any new market characteristics that would mitigate adoption drag?

The arrival of simple cloud-based BPM services makes it dramatically easier for SMB or enterprise departments to "just throw up a process". However, for multiple reasons I'm not sure the cost/benefit of small-scale cloud BPM will be as significant as cheerleaders would like. This style of BPM could be labeled "BPM-as-Situational-App".

Two scenarios then for 2017:

1) BPM-As-Game-of-Inches (there's opportunity especially for boutique channels that are domain specialists)
2) BPM-as-Situational-App-Platform (a.k.a. "something about low-code" )

Both are worthwhile games. Neither one is likely to be disruptive.
Comment
I'm gonna go with "game of inches" behind door #2 Monte.
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 3 months ago
I am betting on the "situational app platform". The challenge is "process govenance" in context of educating both business and IT that the game is changing as there is an answer to both MDM and BPM Engine constraints to allow real process governance.
  1. David Chassels
  2. 3 months ago
me 2.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
No.

My view of where we are at today with "workflow management" is that 2017 could be "the year of" ACM (because ACM handles both structured work and unstructured work) in concert with background BPM, RALB, CRM/CEM, ECM and FOMM.

Except that we've had "adaptive case management" for a few hundred years (manila file folders that transitioned only in the past few decades to e-Cases), so I am not holding my breath for any eurekas.

CEOs will continue to manage organizations using "balanced scorecards", middle managers will continue with their empire-building and workers will continue to attend meetings to decide whether they should have one, what the agenda should be and who should attend.

I sense that 2017 will be a good year for "alternative" facts.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Comment
Karl I think you have summed up the challenge to " process governance"....so how do we tackle this ? It must be about dispersing knowledge to business leaders that there is a new way that can improve efficiency with their ideas now being supported by this "Adaptive" capability in BPM Supporting Software. Yes there will be fewer managers but CEOs and CFOs will welcome this as will front line users who will feel empowered. The reaction from one situation we encountered was both CEO and CFO looking at each other saying "why do it any other way".....then they remembered why ..IT...?
The paper Peter referred to is a start but unless big analysts ( you know who I refer to......?) start doing real research on behalf of user customers it will be slow......but just maybe....I live in hope...!
  1. David Chassels
  2. 3 months ago
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Nope. 2017 will be another of what promises to be several years of the digital application. (And, yes, I think “digital application” is a silly phrase, but it seems to be what we're calling these things.)

Five years ago, when we talked about the things we were building with BPM systems, we referred to them as processes. Today we (at least, I) only use the term process to mean that specific component of an application. That's because we recognize that an application—even a BPM-produced, process-driven application—is comprised of so much more than just a core process. (Indeed, many case management applications lack any traditional process model altogether.)

So the role of BPM in 2017 and beyond is not to produce “processes”, but rather to produce process-driven applications, rapidly developed and improved, with little or no code. The vast majority of the design time for such applications will (or should) be spent, not on process design, but on end-user experience, compliance, and effectiveness at meeting business goals.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
A focus on journey is for sure an important and worthwhile trend. But consider an alternative argument to a focus on applications. BPM doesn't produce anything, business analysts produce processes (either working for application vendor or directly in enterprise). And for sure we want applications and we want to enable customer journeys. We do this though by using BPM to make processes. Likewise, writers write articles using Word or opensource alternative; the actual process involves writing sentences, analogous to creating processes. I'm always concerned when we abstract away from the most granular object of semantic labour. (As well as processes, we have rules too, as another irreducible technology, etc.)
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
"The vast majority of the design time for such applications will (or should) be spent, not on process design, but on end-user experience, compliance, and effectiveness at meeting business goals." Until... you... want,... need... to... scale.
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 3 months ago
@Scott- I agree with the focus on user experience - I am discovering that this is by far the longest and most expensive time spent in delivering a great application.
Of course time spent on making your architecture scalable is equally important and alas neglected by many who are growing fast and find themselves in too much technological debt too late to refactor successfully.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
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BJ Biernatowski Accepted Answer
It depends. There is definitely a lot of marketing materials from software vendors and consulting companies making the case about BPM being critical to Digital Transformations programs. So if your company understands and is committed to DTX then there is a higher chance that 2017 will the year. The other force influencing adoption of BPM in the US could be related to any labor immigration law changes impacting H1-Bs and outsourcing companies.
It's relatively easy to imagine a scenario in which the number of H1-B visas gets drastically reduced while all outsourcing businesses get slapped with higher taxes (let's say 15%). If businesses relying on cheap(er) foreign labor stop getting their stream of deployments from Hyderabad, Cracow or Manila, opportunities to explore BPMS or low-code platforms could quickly emerge as an alternative. In other words, the Trump administration could help transform 2017 into the year of BPM. But then again I could be feeding you fake news here :D
References
  1. https://thewire.in/27048/a-trump-presidency-will-be-a-blow-to-india-on-many-counts/
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  1. more than a month ago
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
Every year there's a tech fad (or two), and the BPM industry, in its misplaced quest for mainstream adoption, unnecessarily tries (a little too hard) to dress accordingly: social, mobile, big data, wearables, IoT, low-code, blockchain, AI/ML/DL.
I agree with many of the things already said here - basically, there's no year for BPM. Let's move on and just deliver value.
Managing Founder, profluo.com
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
No, It's the year of processes. But that's not a surprise. That's the same every year.

And how those processes are executed, managed and improved? Pick any gadget that suits.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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  1. more than a month ago
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Brian Reale Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
I really like Scott's answer here and totally agree with it. Digital application really is a silly phrase, and I have also been surprised to see that one on the rise. Nonetheless, it is all about the digital application and the customer experience of that application. Process is a component of the application but it cannot be seen alone. You could call it ACM, but to be honest the recipe for a customer application is probably more like 2 parts ACM, 1 part BPM, 1 part DMN, 1 part Front end Design, and 1 part additional backend design. Pass it through your CI and Unit Tests many a few times, and out pops a delicious customer application. So, yes, it is once again all about building specific applications for specific customers. Whoever can do that at a lower cost with higher quality wins. This is why "low code" is probably a better term. If you can do all these things with lower code and more predictability, then you are probably in good shape. So, will 2017 be the year of BPM - definitely not. It will most certainly be a another year of 30-60% growth for most of us calling ourselves BPM companies (if we are doing a good job running our particular company), but BPM will still have a problem claiming to be a true category like CRM or ERP.
Comment
Correct

Some vendors put execution and management in one application whereas others have one plan-side process mapping/management application and a second run-time application to receive orchestration from process template instances.

We used to have two flavors of software, one where the source was interpreted (slower, easier to tell where and when you hit a bug), the other where the source is compiled (much faster, protected, more difficult to figure out what line in the source has a problem).
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
Applications are used (besides other components) to execute and manage processes. At least, that's how I see it.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
Neither, IMO.. . Applications encapsulate functions that facilitate work. Processes impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of work.
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
"Process is a component of the application" You switched the words process and application.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
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