At the beginning of the new decade, as to be expected, there’s been a lot of crystal ball gazing about what will happen in the year ahead. Gartner is no exception with their latest report on business process management highlighting what they see as the five major trends for this decade and beyond – This article summarises it well.
The overriding trend, identified by Janelle Hill, research vice president at Gartner, is that business process management will be extended to include the management of unstructured work and data.
1. Technology Convergence
Business process management technologies will become more agile as maturing technologies like social software and mobile applications come together in BPM suites, making them easier to use and more relevant for the end user. As the business place changes, and the focus shifts to social media and mobile phone applications so businesses are available 24.7, this way of thinking makes sense, when the overall aim of BPM is to increase business efficiency, no matter how the business works.
2. Deployment of Dynamic BPM
Companies will be forced to adopt more dynamic BPM technologies as they attempt to reduce the amount of time it takes to update and upgrade BPMs according to market demand – a thin client solution is better here as it easier to administer the changes centrally. As Andrew’s blog details, this is also where an intelligent map comes in. An intelligent map is more than just business processing rules. It contains actual business processing logic, it has the capabilities to bring in data from third party software and carry out complex calculations and functions. This means that when your business needs to adapt and change, updating processes are far easier and quicker. Since the map itself contains the business rules of your processes (as well as the definition of that process), you need only modify one thing, your intelligent map. A good example of a BPM platform that works in this way is workFile BPM. This way of working will enable companies to respond and more efficiently to changes in very volatile market places.
3. Tailored Solutions
In the coming four years, companies will focus more on the software that they have already and on placing individual components into a composition, rather than developing new software. This will provide a realistic alternative to the usual implementation choice of “build or buy” and will threaten the relevance of packaged applications providers. The result, Gartner says, is that companies will have to think about projects in new ways with a greater focus on collaboration between business and technical roles – how long have we been saying that?!
4. More Multi-Enterprise Integration
This will include solutions like business process networks (BPNs) which will have prebuilt translation packages, or business activity monitoring components.
5. Graphic Modeling Growth
Comprehensive graphical rather than textual process models that capture and represent organisational knowledge will become the common ground of business and IT roles. Process models ensure better company performance by providing a more complete picture of company position and by applying analytics for identifying new business patterns.
These are some interesting considerations if you are thinking of upgrading your BPM solution this year, or indeed investing in one in the first place.

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