Just to kick things off, there’s a new Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Process Analysis, and it is interesting to say the least. This leads well into today’s post. What are my BPM predictions for 2012 as we stand on the verge of the new year?
Competition is heating up between the top 4 of OpenText/Metastorm, ARIS/SoftwareAG, IBM, and Nimbus/TIBCO. Never mind the Gartner positioning…these are the true top four, and some of the companies in the Magic Quadrant aren’t BPA tools at all.
There will be a new focus on the technology stack versus the BPM point solution. BPM has such a diverse following that only a solution that works for many can have wide acceptance across business and technology folks. The question will be, “What can you give me for automated and non-automated work?” The most competitive products will have integration between the layers. The stack also has a social angle throughout, with heavy requirements for social at the top layers.
Cutting through the stack are the requirement to capture, analyze, communicate, collaborate, automate and change manage. Real work and value moves up and down the stack (maybe multiple times) as work flows through the value chain.
Race for the eyes of the end user. The many debates around BPMN are the evidence that people are starting to understand the importance of making it easy for end users. This has a great deal to do with mobile technology as well and for that, see below. The end user is the one who actually performs work in the enterprise, and for too long, they’ve been outside the BPM loop. This makes the end user the mostly unconquered frontier for BPM. There are products that are geared specifically to this crowd, and more will follow as the value of social and mobile increase.
Big data and complex events
Big Data and complex event processing will have a play as companies need to make their processes very Big Data aware but in context…see my Safeway example from this weekend at BPMForReal. As our capacity to create and store data outpaces our ability to mine, the ability to look for and act upon the right BPM data becomes more challenging. This filtering out of noise is going to rise in importance and tools will be responding to this need.
We are very quickly moving toward mobile applications that bring the right data in a compact and on-the-fly format. What started in our personal lives is now accelerating in the working world. We’re moving away from the Web and toward an app-enabled world. Apps that allow for rapid capture, communication and change of business processes will take off. If you can’t change manage your BPM on a mobile device, what good will it be?
The capability that pulls it all together at both design and execution time is a social one. There has been so much written on this, but I dare say most people can’t envision what it actually means. BPM is about managing the value chain and how work gets done, and the ability to tap into the many is irresistible. The social landscape is littered with tools that are very specific to an application (like Chatter is for Salesforce.com) and I predict that platform agnostic tools will be the ones that rise. Keep in mind that the rise of social is also the demise of email as a BPM tool. Structure is going to be a key to how this happen.
2012 should be a great year for BPM for all of the reasons above, provided the Mayans weren’t right…