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Friday, January 27, 2006

The Rising Spectre Of BPM

The change in the BPM world is dramatic : from process modeling & workflows the framework has improved to support all aspects of the business & digital world across the process. This provides for a tight intrlocking of desired actions to real results BPM suites combine process modeling, execution and performance management in a coherent set of software tools linked by a coherent management philosophy. Because it is neither IT infrastructure nor an enterprise application, BPM is still not well understood by IT. Instead of treating business modeling, IT implementation and performance management as independent endeavors, BPM unites them with an integrated set of tools and an overarching management philosophy of continual incremental improvement.
Naming five reasons to invest in BPM, Bruce silver lists them:
1. Simplification – Documenting current process architectures and analyzing them for simplicity & efficiency constitute the bulk of BPM engagements
2. Efficiency. Efficiency improvements are the No. 1 source of return on investment from BPM.
3. Compliance and Control. BPM ensures compliance not only with policies and regulatory requirements but also with best practices tuned to performance objectives. BPM tools encourage reuse of process fragments throughout the organization while allowing local variations where they make sense.
4. Agility. Through orchestration, services get interconnected & render themselves to be modified quickly in response to changing demands.
5. Continuous improvement. Like corporate performance management systems, BPM supports high-level strategic metrics, drill-down analytics and alerts when results begin to deviate from performance targets. BPM can turn alerts into automated real-time escalation and remediation procedures, providing zero-latency response to the business environment. Ultimately, parameters distilled from actual operations can be fed back into the process model to begin the next cycle of performance improvement.

My Take: The BPM space winners are surprisingly not the big players but the best-of-the breed lot. It is time that we begin to recognize the players based on their capabilities and general strengths and not necessarily look at the big players for all types of solutions – Big players need to be grilled a lot more in their ability to provide emerging cutting edge solutions on specific niche areas– while they may be the starting posts for any enterprise procurements – as things evolve it may become the case that they may not be seen near the end posts in evaluation post everytime. Therein may lay the solution for the growth of the enterprise software sector and the ability of business to overall extract better value from IT. Bryan Stolle once wrote there is still much innovation to be done, especially as the market gets more and more vertically focused. With the current moods however many innovative vendors will have to shut their doors before they get the chance to be the next Salesforce.com. Big vendors also need to begin to get measured on new parameters like innovation /innovation absorption, to ensure that they stay along the curve of progress. As I wrote recently I do not see how the large platform players can do away super special players( there are many of them - some have existed for decades - though a majority of them for just under a decade) or provide justice with specialized smaller companies like rules engines, collaboration systems, content management systems, document management systems, procurement solutions, business intelligence etc. Clearly there shall be several smaller companies that would co-exist as part of the larger enterprise ecosystem. Big vendors may not be the only choice for connecting all the dots in enterprise space(while unarguably they shall hold the central place there) - other specialist/niche players also hold a legitimatley well earned space - the sooner this is understood and get reflected in thoughts and actions - the better it is for the complete enteprise ecosystem - without further straining the already near fatigued corporate buyer sentiments.

Category :BPM,
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"