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As John Reynolds writes in this discussion:
I'm sure that we all know what the intent of 'Digital' is in this moniker, but Digital is ones and zeros, yes and no, black and white. That doesn't say 'Business' to me.
So what do you think?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Well, I'm sure in DBP acronym, the "B" says plenty of "Business". So, I think "Digital" today is just a more interesting, catchy, consumery word for "IT" (it's also more comprehensive, as it includes UX etc).

And that's just fine - after all, Application Service Provider never really caught on until someone decided to replace it with the catchier "cloud" moniker.

DBP is fine with me. But it doesn't actually say much to an outsider - every word in it is just very generic.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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For my generation, "Digital" brings to mind the PDP-10 and it's paper-tape readers ;-)
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #3877
Because you mentioned PDP, I will share that I have a bunch of orange plastic front panel toggle switches from a PDP-11. : )
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Digitalization of Business?
That's sure to grow the market :-)
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-business-platform-best-we-can-come-up-john-reynolds
Founder at John Reynolds' Venture LLC - Creator of ¿?Trules™ for drama free decisions
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As I described previously every word will mean something to business. It is a TLA and DBP goes well with BPM.....we do need such a descriptor for the Platform software to deliver operational digital processes. Like the word operational which still gives the business function tag....maybe ODP or DOP... ?
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I completely agree that every word in a TLA should mean something to the business David.

Have you encountered businesses that use the term Digital when expressing what they want from their Business Processes?
That's not even in the top ten in my experience, so I'm curious to hear from others.
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Could we use a term that we all agree on - "BPM"
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"IT".

OK, @Bogdan already said it. DBP is "technology".

DBP is just the technology we use for business, so we can say "business technology" or "information technology" or whatever.

I'm concerned that the whole idea of DBP gets us away from taking responsibility for the technology; ultimately we end up with magical thinking. Arthur C. Clarke is famous for saying that "any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". This is a danger (and Mr. Clarke, being the creator of the idea of the HAL 9000, was on to something) because magic is the antithesis of responsibility and vision and what management and modernism is all about..

Let's compare to a simple technology, that of a shovel. It's the stuff of humour to call a shovel an "personal landscaping enhancement" or something like that -- which takes us away from the shovel-as-shovel and the hard work that is usually associated with shovelling.

For sure the idea of a DBP is based on genuine technological developments; a DBP delivers emergent properties to corporate sponsors. But in parallel with real emergent technology, I see a danger of social mystification.
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I think that are far more serious dangers of social mystification than DBP - to name a few: low/zero-code, AI/ML, IoT, cybersecurity :-)
Net - I believe the debate is quite useless - our clients don't care how we call it, as long as we make it happen.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #3879
+1 @Bogdan a list of dangerous terms. And emphasizing the importance of what clients want. I recall selling RAD software; it was painful to explain to some people that most of our customers didn't really care about our fantastic RAD Technology -- to your point.
There is the perennial debate of course about "jargon" for any specific domain. Jargon can be efficient. And the idea of ML or AI etc. may be useful in terms of focusing on decisions related to the emergent properties of ML or AI. Again a comparison to accounting. An SME buys accounting services not only "for the outcome", but also because accounting is a language of business; it has a reality as a symbol system for helping managers do their jobs.
Especially in early stages of various technologies, end-user execs necessarily need to take responsibility for more than just outcomes. For any technology. there is the technology itself, there are outcomes -- and there are those who would rather ignore either side of the equation while they indulge in comforting mysticism, all the better to spend more time golfing.
John is right about the much broader responsibilities but unfortunately because vendors focused on the "inside out" silo based systems the accountability of the place where new information is created people and their day to day processes was lost...hence the emergence of BPM recognising that gap. Digital in business now brings a focus on delivery to cover that gap where old IT failed. Business are very cynical about enterprise software with so many broken promises, high costs, inflexibility, lock in and high failure rate in projects. This next generation software to support the BPM thinking needs to have a clear understandable message. Getting this message over requires change in attitude where research must dig deep on how it will work not just repeating vendor marketing hype....Analysts need to be quite independent of vendors working for end buyers ...This is more important than establishing a new TLA BUT at this early stage establishing a credible tag will help .....what ever must be understandable by business and recognised by IT to attract attention....?
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I think Cordys were the ones to try and acclimatize the BOP ( "Business Operations Platform" ) acronym? Maybe too vague and has no clear reference to IT?

Anyway, now it's buried deep somewhere... :D
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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Bought by OpenText
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The folks who invent these three-letter terms cause me to overuse four-letter terms.

For me, DBP is total nonsense.

I have an app right now that involves protection of critical infrastructure (radar, sonar, drones, vibration detection) and we plan to use "BPM" to manage all of this.

Each individual technology has it's own data collection/dashboards but what is lacking is the integration and "smart" interpretation of the incoming signals

e.g. there is a fire, you call the fire department, then, as the fire department is arriving, your noise detection technology tells you to call city hall to complain about the noise that is the result of your own prior action - we want action on the 2nd alarm to be suppressed.

e.g. you get a vibration detection alarm at a fence, Five minutes later a facial recognition (FR) system says you have an intruder, Chances are the perpetrator first came up to the gate and THEN tried the fence. Important to get the chronology right (facial recognition takes time to do matches)

How is this relevant?

The above clearly not a standard BPM application, unless you widen the meaning of "business".

We are not doing any process management, mostly it's decision tree navigation, But, the app does qualify as "decision support/management". And BPM. processes/rules are core.

If we were to have Business Performance Management instead of Business Process Management, my new app would have a better fit.

Not suggesting we go from the frying pan to the fire.
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A box full of stuff to help you keep adapting your processes to what and how your customers want to do business with you.

Make your own acronym, if you like.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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I do agree with John that the term "digital" is somewhat misleading. Digital opposed to analog? For me this also extends to "digital transformation".
Besides that, there would be also the point that Digital Business Platform doesn't contain the word "Process", at all. That in turn makes me imagine that DBP was meant to describe something more overarching, evolved and encompassing than just BPM. So maybe DBP is trying to describe something like mutually integrated BI, BPM, CRM, ERP, CMS and SMM platforms that can be managed through a unified, multi-role command center... If something like that were to be the case, DBP may be fitting.

But if it is just a trend term (especially "digital" ) to describe enhanced features in BPMS, I do concur with Ian and we should stick with BPM...or maybe go as far and brand it BPM 3.0 :)

I do think however, its our responsibility as professionals, working in the field of BPM, to try and define the exact criteria a methodology and/or software has to meet in order to deserve a specific term. That may evolve into an ongoing discussion but at least provides the end users with somewhat of a guideline.
So, if that term would be DBP (or something else), what would a software or product have to offer to deserve that "badge", in addition to what workflow (0), BPMS (1) and iBPMS (2) already brings to the table?
The only real "new things" (there was already a discussion here about that), I can think of are features like CMMN, DMN, AI, Robotic BPM. Maybe machine learning where it applies.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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+1 @Kay, for putting forth a practical interpretation i.e. " . . . makes me imagine that DBP was meant to describe something more overarching, evolved and encompassing than just BPM".

Sounds close to a description of ACM where you have BPM as a core technology, as part of a "platform" that is able to easily adapt to include hosting CRM, CMS.

I hesitate to include legacy ERP as most of the implementations seem to have been of the "all-singing'-all dancing" (i.e. bloatware) type.

Any ERP system one might undertake to develop today would probably have something like JIT as it's core functionality, with in/out links to "other functionality".

The thing is that BPM, as a background technology to, say, Case, that is able to also host CRM, CMS, RALB, FOMM and interconnectivity probably can do everything any new/old ERP system is/was capable of.

Seems to me Alexander and others, have, on several occasions addressed " . . .define the exact criteria a methodology and/or software has to meet in order to deserve a specific term" but we need to have a term that makes sense to practitioners and customers without this being too general. It has been pointed out several times that customers / top management don't care/want to hear about processes" .

CPM (Critical Path Method) is excellent to once through initiatives (any initiative, any industry) because "finding the critical path" is key to getting things done on time and within budget.

I think what we are all doing is "workflow management", with "operational effectiveness" as the desired outcome.
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I like Emiel’s approach – let us describe that "thing" (now called DBP), agree on its capabilities and then name it.

From my list of capabilities, I would call it Corporate Unified Business Execution (CUBE) platform. To emphasize that it is different from tools for shared economy - see ref1.

Thanks,
AS
References
  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/forget-uber-amsterdam-is-showing-how-to-use-the-sharing_us_58f60ed0e4b0156697225295
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CUBE has a good look/feel - anyone asking what it means (aside from Corporate Unified,... ) we could just say "3D-BPM" implying something more advanced that 2D

The ACM folks should not be against this - what it maps to is a platform that accommodates management of multiple cases of multiple instances of multiple process map templates
and, are not the "three dimensions" 1) time 2) cost and 3) performance?

Many corporations "optimize" this way - it explains why your TV breaks down the day after the warranty expires.
3 dimensions? For example, Enterprise Digital Execution. 3 optimization dimensions - Time, Cost, Quality or time-to-market, cost-of-execution, customer-delight
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Here's an interesting definition from Gartner, which I think summarizes well how DBP is different from previous platform breeds (eg iBPMS):

"Digital Business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds"

Do you agree?
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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Good point - IoT capabilities are provided by NNN platform as well.
I'd draw two conclusions from the above definition:
1/ DBP supports business model (re)design rather than business process/data design.
2/ DBP is not a Digital Platform for Business, but actually a Platform for Digital Business. This is a significant nuance that has escaped me so far.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #3892
+1 @Bogdan for highlighting the Gartner definition -- and making the distinction between the concepts. So, comments based on your observations:
a) Re: "business model design" -> can we say that a DBP (based on Gartner's definition) is an instantiation of enterprise architecture? Weaponized architecture? That we are now in @Samarin's CUBE space? I mentioned above about "emergent properties"; thus a DBP is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we recognize it for what it is.
b) Re: "new business designs by blurring the digital and physical" -> again per my earlier comments above, it's just technology. The arrival of (the telephone, the fax machine, the Internet, email, EDI and ecommerce, your choice) were all technologies that enabled new business models. Outsourcing as an outstanding example of new business model enabled by new technology.
c) Re: "IoT as example of blurring" (again per @Samarin) -> for sure this is good example of the evolution of technology to be more ubiquitous. From the perspective of Gartner however, how is the process of technology diffusion anything new?
There has always been the dream of total automation married to management control (interesting examples are cybernetics and in the 80's Information Engineering, more recently Enterprise Architecture). But the real complexity of the task has overwhelmed inadequate technology. We are seeing now a new generation of more powerful automation tools (and the use of the term ontology is now no longer forbidden in business contexts, apparently). Let's see how far we get this time; there's real excitement about this possibilities.
So the arrival of more powerful technology opens up the possibility -- even the necessity -- of exploiting new business models. And by all means, read analyst reports as signposts for action. Don't "fetishize the new" however; management of change is just management's job. Good management of technology, mastery of domain business models, excellence in operations, all the things that serve executives well will continue to serve them well.
Re Bogdan's item 2 - we already have double interpretation with BPM. Why repeat the same error with DBP?
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The perfect TLA came to me... Intelligent Business Management - IBM - um, no - Integrated Business Management - IBM - wtf?!?
I just can't escape my former employer :p
Founder at John Reynolds' Venture LLC - Creator of ¿?Trules™ for drama free decisions
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As a former CFO there, I can feel your pain... I had a pitch with the European Commission VP for Digital, Mr. Ansip, and in the crowd there was an account executive from IBM taking pictures of every slide :D
Intelligent Business Management might actually end up being a good choice.

At first glance, one might think that would limit the appeal, but it appears there are only three classes of prospective users of technology 1) intelligent 2) those who think they are intelligent 3) those who don't know that they are not intelligent.

See John Cleese's analysis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvVPdyYeaQU
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #3895
I understood IBM to stand for "It's Better Manually" . . .
My South American IBM colleagues, who will otherwise remain nameless for obvious reasons, assured me that IBM stands for "Incredible Bolsa de Mierda" ;-)
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Business platform

Is "digital" prefix exactly mandatory? I suppose now every business exist in one or another digital form. Of course, it does not apply to production facilities, workforce and other physical aspects. But in organizational terms, it is hard to imagine a business today, which entirely lacks any digital representation, more or less elaborate. Thus, maybe two words combination is already sufficient.
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The discussion does highlight the need to truly understand what "digital" is in any business environment (includes production workforce etc) it is where data is created, used and collected and presented by to users (which could also be machines) as required. One version of the truth horizontal flow reflecting how business really works...just highlights the need for a Platform of supporting software across the organisation?
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Karl Walter Keirstead
@David .. I don't think such a thing exists ("a Platform of supporting software across the organisation") for the simple reason that individual software systems typically have user security to prevent access except via official interfaces.

There are three official interfaces I know of
1. UIs with roles/rights [back end app or portal},
2. import/export routines that expect "friendly access".
3. arbitrary requests that rule sets will 'sniff' and refer anything unusual to a human gatekeeper for action.

What is possible are "Platforms supporting data across the organization" and the design approach here is

1. encapsulate a reasonable subset of functions/capabilities that make work easy.
2. Set up strong linking between two sets of functions/capabilities.
3. Allows messaging by and between systems where the frequency of access is not high or where different organizations or departments own the systems.

Example:
One integrated application where Applicants/staff, in a setting where workers apply, are hired, then laid off, then come back as and when work picks up. Otherwise, have to jobs app separate from the staff app.
Strong link between a task management\time recording system and a separate payroll system.
A standalone algorithm that accepts messages, performs processing and then returns or makes available the results of such processing.

I don't think any app designer today will let external systems/apps "poke" data to database fields (bypasses security) or even allow "reads" (most of these systems need to maintain logs on who accessed what, when).
Karl
The capability exists and having one Platform delivering data and UI has significant efficiency and cost benefits. Also ensure that Adaptive capability is real! Agree the need to have logs of activity all built in as is the communication with existing functional processing such as payroll. You make good point about apps but if they are important part of operations they will require to link into a formal process at some stage. The Platform is there to supply and accept data from such apps with designer building user friendly forms with strong marketing image?

David.. Agree, no problem having one Platform delivering data and UI.

My response related to the difficulty and inadvisability of trying to have "a Platform of supporting software. . ."
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I can't tell if the question is more about what to name something, or whether that "something" is a thing or not. :)
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With more than 30 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, the complexity. The digital platform strategy will vary from company to company. What makes sense for their organization and long-term business goals is depend totally on the company strategy.
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