The Future of BPM

Matt McClintock December 13, 2018 Industry Analysis

future bpm

Introduction

In this final post of the blog series, we will look to the changing business environment and its impact on BPM. All of these factors will affect trends in BPM as well as future product development.

Changing Business Models

Companies no longer want to hire talent with specialized and expensive skills to manage their BPM platform and build workflows. They want BPM tools that are simple to use and straightforward. Therefore, there is a strong desire to automate complex tasks in a simpler way and get value quickly from out-of-the-box solutions. While there is a desire to simplify BPM tools, the need to support complex workflows with low-code solutions persists. New, nimble entrants into the BPM space are already influencing the market in this way.

Cloud Dominance

SaaS is already trending and it will become the prevailing model. This will allow businesses to focus on their competitive advantage rather than spending time managing servers, patches and upgrades. Already, mega-corporations such as Microsoft have reinvented themselves to deliver offerings that match with these trends.

Workforce Expectations

New entrants to the workforce have grown up with technology and they embrace it in all of its forms. They move quickly and seamlessly from laptop to phone to Web portals and voice-activated devices to rapidly perform a wide variety of tasks. Since tasks are done quickly, younger knowledge workers have developed shorter, more focused bursts of attention. If tools aren’t easily learned and simple to use, this group of workers will abandon them in favor of those that are. This will ignite fierce competition among apps, web-based and enterprise solutions. These workers are unafraid to experiment with technology and they are willing to iterate quickly to help them work smarter. As complex tasks at the individual and departmental levels become automated, the tempo of business is expected to accelerate.

Rise of Orchestration

All of these factors will result in a challenge for corporate IT teams. IT will continue to be asked to support more types of devices with more versions of operating systems. There will be more apps accessing the corporate internet and data sources than ever before. As a result, authentication, control, and security of valuable corporate data assets will become more challenging.
Simultaneously, the use of all of these various apps and platforms will necessitate a great need for orchestration of data. The interaction between human and machine processes must be monitored and managed to maintain data integrity. Streamlining manual processes where ever it’s possible will bring incremental gains in harmonizing the flow of information. This trend will be particularly profound in workflows. Access to information by customers and suppliers, as well as its manipulation and storage, will compound a vast ecosystem of tools essential to workflows.

Departmental Power Users

Staff within various departments are experts in their own workflows. These departmental users desire more control over their processes so they can be more responsive to changes in business needs, resources, the volume of work and other factors. Low-code BPM solutions allow departmental users, who generally have more basic coding skills, to build and change workflows as their departments, products, and services evolve. As more technically adept workers enter the workforce, a trend toward individual departmental users building workflows and using the tools they enjoy most will take hold. These departmental knowledge workers will use BPM tools to expedite work within their department.

Summary

While there are a number of forces influencing BPM, the effects will be felt in a few general categories. First, users are demanding a simple experience that retains the robust functionality essential to supporting even the most complex business needs. As shorter attention spans become more prevalent in the workforce, the number of apps and devices companies must work with will rise. Leaner BPM solutions will allow more connection points and robust orchestration with an entire ecosystem of apps and solutions. The general trend toward elegant simplicity from a user perspective to expedite work will prevail.
If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to listen to Taylor Dondich’s, ProcessMaker’s CTO, predictions for the BPM industry, we invite you to spend 12 minutes listening to his BPM.com podcast.

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