Despite predictions of the fall of business process management (BPM) tools, the field continues to grow. A major driver has been the evolution of cloud services to help make BPM principles easier to leverage. Additionally, by combining BPM principles with other emerging trends like cognitive computing, and the age of big data, organizations are starting to develop intelligent BPM (iBPM) to create more business value.
Stefan Reid, who recently left Forrester, said the cloud’s biggest impact on the implementation of intelligent business processes is that processes, not just infrastructure, will be much more hybrid. He explained, “This means that business processes might start in the cloud, be mashed up with business logic or data from on-premises, continue on-premises, and end up in the cloud again.”
A recent Forrester survey predicts that the combined software markets around business process management, multichannel capture and information-intensive smart process applications are expected to grow from $7.1 billion in 2012 to $14 billion in 2016. One of the fastest-growing segments is expected to be packaged cloud services for smart process applications, which is predicted to grow from $600 million in 2012 to $3.9 billion in 2016, representing a 59.7% compound annual rate of growth.
BPM vendors being pushed to the cloud
Along with the explosion of the Internet of Things and wearable devices, the cloud is making it possible to engineer improved business processes and leading BPM tool vendors are rapidly expanding their offerings to take advantage of the cloud.
There is finally recognition that BPM is not just a technology that automates business processes, but one that will also revolutionize the way development is done.
While many organizations still need to keep some of their business process in-house for governance, risk and compliance reasons, BPM vendors are also implementing iBPM solutions that can efficiently cross firewall boundaries.
Many organizations have one or more BPM systems in-house. The thought that a complete, end-to-end process will be implemented on a single BPM is no longer the norm with the cloud. You might have a business process-as-a-service in the cloud acting as a subprocess of a proprietary process hosted on-premises or in another cloud service. This is leading to a hybrid BPM solution as an orchestration of business processes.