Predictions… It’s That Time Again

This blog is also posted on the Infosys company blog here. Infosys is a Platinum Partner of Pegasystems.

It’s always fun to read the predictions for a new year.  This year will probably be another stellar year for BPM. For instance, Gartner’s Jim Sinur provided 5 trends for the next decade in BPM.  The fifth prediction is particularly interesting as it deals with empowering the business towards innovation. The business and customer focus in these various predictions are quite pervasive. Similarly, Forrester’s Clay Richardson summarized the hottest BPM trends in 2011. I found the second trend to be quite illuminating, being the importance of increasing BPM skills and roles as BPM becomes more pervasive in enterprises.

These trends and predictions all indicate BPM is growing (some estimate a CAGR of more than 15%) and fast becoming the core of enterprise ecosystems – and this trend is expected to continue in 2011 and beyond. Below are three trends for BPM that are becoming increasingly important for enterprises. These are not comprehensive or new trends, but rather important dimensions that accentuate BPM’s contribution for agility, change, and achieving an enterprise’s business objectives:

  • BPM, Social Networking and Collaboration: Social networking is booming on the Internet via sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The ease of set-up, ad-hoc exchanges, and the freedom of the experience through posting and commenting on text, photos, and videos is creating a new Web phenomenon – often characterized as Web 2.0. There are several definitions for Web 2.0. The “2.0” indicates the second generation of the World Wide Web. The first generation of the Web focused on relatively static Web sites and Web presence. The new generation of the Web provides a much richer experience, and more importantly, focuses on communities. There is not one single tool that captures the essence of networking on the Web. Wikis and blogs are perhaps the most popular social networking applications. This same milieu of innovation and collaboration where participants can listen to each other, provide feedback, exchange ideas and collaborate are becoming increasingly aggregated in all the phases of BPM development, execution, and continuous improvement. The following episode discusses the relationship between BPM and social networking:

  • BPM Continues to Contribute to SOA Success: BPM leverages service oriented technologies, but more importantly, it continues to greatly contribute to the success of SOA projects with a focus on business objectives. BPM provides the business performance of enterprise solutions, with real-time activity monitoring of business events. SOA is bottom up – important service focused technology plumbing. BPM on the other hand, focuses on the business and involves human participants with human roles, skills, and perhaps most importantly human innovation. That makes all the difference. The reason BPM is so successful and will continue to be ubiquitous is because it is so much closer to the “user.” This user is the business stakeholder. It is also the operator and the knowledge worker. With BPM, stakeholders can drill down to automated processes and take actions to improve the performance of their processes. This business and performance focus leverages the SOA infrastructures and provides the best mechanism to elevate the value proposition of SOA initiatives – as discussed in

  • BPM Transformation and Legacy Modernization: We have discussed this in previous blogs. BPM provides a robust business agility layer: where business policies and procedures are automated while leveraging underlying legacy, ERP, MDM, or systems of record. BPM extends, empowers, and modernizes the enterprise solution space.  Changes in policies and procedures are captured in the BPM agility layer. Modernization is holistic with BPM – involving business objectives, organizational culture, and perhaps most importantly the automation of work as well as dynamic cases. The BPM methodology is iterative and incremental – following a “think big … start small” approach (vs. “big bang” projects that attempt to modernize legacies bottom up).  This is discussed in

Enterprises continue to achieve substantive and demonstrable returns in productivity, business agility, process efficiency, and performance effectiveness through BPM. With its focus on efficient automation of work – as well as increased support for dynamic cases, collaboration, and modernization – BPM will continue to become the core of emerging enterprise architectures in 2011 and beyond.