What Adaptive Enterprises Need to Know for 2014

2014 will be an interesting year for adaptive enterprises, with a special emphasis on the “B” in business processes. Here are some trends to keep an eye out for:

Transformational Innovation with Speed and Agility

  • Data, Analytics, and Process: 2014 will see increased emphasis on the dynamic interaction between databases and processes. On the “Data” side: Big Data, and evolving NoSQL (e.g. Graph) databases are challenging traditional relational DBMSs. These types of databases will co-exist for the foreseeable future. On the Process side, intelligent solutions will be able to analyze and operationalize discovered models from a plethora of data as well as event sources, even in real-time. An aspect of adaptability will be learning and changing decisions based on modifications in behavior as captured in databases or event streams: all in the context of end-to-end processes. Process and data will be increasingly meshed for increased innovation, optimized decisioning and intelligence in business solutions.
  • Process of Everything: The Internet of Everything has begun to enter a new phase of adaption, standardization, and mainstream acceptance not only in the consumer market but also for enterprise applications. Connected Internet of Everything devices will only accelerate this trend. The coordination and execution of connected devices will need a context. They will also need collaboration to achieve specific goals. The increasingly intelligent things, together with human participants, need to have their tasks orchestrated to achieve business objectives. Furthermore, the intelligence that is mined from Big Data needs to be made actionable – again in the context of specific business solutions. There are other sources of vast amounts of data, such as social networking sites or the transaction data within enterprises. Through proven modern analytics techniques, we can now extract the hidden knowledge of Big Data, mine it, learn from it, and then use it to adapt accordingly. The hundreds of millions of devices that are on the Internet will increasingly collaborate and orchestrate towards concrete business objectives through the Process of Everything.
  • Mobile, Social, and Cloud: A number of core trends such as Mobile, Social and the Cloud are becoming mainstream. This year, the trend will be the simplification of meshing (combining) these capabilities within innovative and intelligent enterprise applications along with the flexibility in leveraging mobile on the cloud for adaptive customer experience solutions. Mobile devices (Smartphones and Tablets) are increasingly becoming the standard for business applications. Social platforms are empowering the voice of the customer. The cloud is proving transformational deployment models for enterprises. These technologies, however, will shine and provide strategic value to businesses primarily through intelligent BPM-enabled CRM.
  • Simplification: 2014 will be a year with increased emphasis on a number of interrelated IT (but also often business) focused initiatives characterized as either: “Rationalization,” “Simplification,” or “Modernization” – in that order. Mature organizations are striving for agility and want to “fly” with innovation. However, they are held back by the weight of incumbent systems, data centers, and backlog of increasingly rigid but demanding aging applications. In order to drop this weight, organizations must revisit traditional enterprise architectures and solutions, especially in CRM. In 2014, this will happen increasingly through intelligent BPM as the core enabler both in technology as well as innovation methodology and discipline for a repertoire of simplified, rational and modernized customer-centric business architecture.
  • Business Transformation for Adaptive Enterprises: Computing technology has evolved rapidly and progresses at an exponential rate. Computing power continues to accelerate and even exceed Moore’s law, doubling every 18 months. We now have not only information overload but rather an explosion of data. Customers, applications, and “Things” on the Internet will generate enormous amounts of information. This data needs to be mined, analyzed and, perhaps most importantly, acted upon – ideally in real-time but, more significantly, always utilizing intelligent decisions in business processes. We also have a growth of archaic environments. With the introduction of all of these new frontiers, we can apply an old cliché that states the only constant is “change.” But change needs a context and orchestration. It needs the best technologies that drive business objectives and execution. Change itself, however, is also changing. This evolutionary development needs intelligent BPM and intelligent CRM. Leveraging technology or the latest “shiny object” alone will not do. In 2014 the pressures on the business will increase in many areas including economy, evolving technologies and perhaps most importantly, the effort to accommodate and individualize customers and their demands. It is no longer a matter of simply adapting. It is transforming enterprise cultures: to adapt, innovate, and excel. This transformation towards the adaptive enterprise needs to happen continuously. Results need to be demonstrated through a mantra that is more relevant in 2014 than perhaps any other time: “Think big … but Start Small.” The “Big” is of course extracting knowledge and acting upon Big Data. But it is also about “Big Decisions” for customer centricity and “Big Processes” for business transformation.