BPM Evolution in 2012: Getting Closer to the Right Context of Work

In my last blog, I wrote about how ‘Social’ was revolutionizing BPM, providing a gateway for enhanced process efficiency, and in some ways influencing the way we ‘manage’ our process. In certain areas, 2011 was the doorway to the new influences on BPM. The year saw significant advancements in the BPM space with Adaptive Case Management, Social Media and Collaborative Process Modeling re-defining traditional BPM process development and BPM, opening its doors to a ‘ Mobile’ environment. We now find ourselves looking at year 2012.

Looking into the crystal ball, what might we see? Technology advancements will continue and that is obvious, but where will that lead us? Through the haze in the crystal ball, I believe we will see BPM solutions getting much closer to the right context of work. Early technology forced us to dumb down work into transactions, thus work has been forced to conform to rigid data entry and robotic steps. The context of work in technology did not equate to real world behavior.  The paradigm forced us to change and conform to the technology. What I see today is BPM platforms that provide the ability to develop solutions with more flexibility, acting like partners in solving business problems. This is somewhat similar to the experience one has while using a mobile app in a smart phone or a tablet. Because of its in-built functionality and performance standards, the app ensures that the user gets the desired results through more intuitive interaction and immediate gratification, unlike in the earlier era of having to conform to the technology by dumbing down your needs into a series of activities. The remote deposit capture (RDC) mobile app that is being used by banks is one such example of smart technology getting closer to the right context of work. Today BPM is at the cusp of evolving into an agile and intelligent platform that will cut out many of the transactional steps to deliver the same results more quickly and more efficiently.

In 2012, we’ll see greater functionality deployed because of better tools and better alignment of technology and business needs. This will reshape our BPM strategies and allow us to optimize business processes by bringing the BPM technology to the ‘right’ work context:

  • Dynamic Case Management (DCM): Case management significantly improves business efficiency by integrating people and processes in real time. Dynamic case management provides a better construct for organizing work by providing accessibility and visibility as well as improving the flow of information between concerned parties, thereby helping businesses reduce cycle times, enhance process efficiency and improve knowledge management. We foresee an increasing role of DCM in BPM.
  • Predictive & Decision Analytics: Optimization of statistical analysis tools will take forecasting and predictability to new levels, solving more business problems and identifying diverse business opportunities, both in real time. Predictive and decision analytics will further improve the decision making process and drive processes in real time towards achieving business objectives, keeping opportunity costs in check. Tangible facts will drive the right resolution.
  • Adaptive Case Management (ACM): More and more businesses will bank on adaptive case management techniques to react to business events and changing processes more quickly. ACM will help automate burdensome manual activities and prepare firms to deal with unpredictable situations in time. Businesses will increasingly look at reflecting needs in ‘production’ flight rather than undergo long development cycles only to cast processes into cement.
  • Mobility & Social Media: Mobile BPM and Social BPM will be the two giant trump cards that businesses will leverage in 2012, smartly taking process development and implementation outside the confines of the physical enterprise to include consumers and employees from across the world. With real time collaboration and participation of diverse key stakeholders in place through mobility and social media, BPM is all set for yet another makeover!

2012 will be a promising year for BPM to make work ‘simpler’ and ‘smarter’ for the new age business. BPM will be expected to deliver ‘better, faster, cheaper’ outcomes leveraging real time collaboration across platforms, integrating people and processes, permeating through physical boundaries to connect and contribute to process improvements – paving the way for technology to revolutionize business operations. Perhaps BPM will be perceived as the ‘real’ change agent for technology.

Stuart Chandler

Senior Vice President - Digital Process Automation Practice, Virtusa. Stuart has over 18 years of experience in deploying Business Process Management (BPM) solutions in large Financial, Insurance and Healthcare organizations. His focus areas include process optimization and implementing core foundations that enable businesses to transform into agile organizations. Stuart has worked across the globe delivering solutions to Fortune 500 companies and possesses a unique mix of extensive industry knowledge, in-depth technology expertise and cross cultural experience. Stuart has a Resource Economics degree from the University of New Hampshire. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration and Master of Science (MIS) degree from the Boston University. Stuart loves the outdoors and participating in sports including running, playing squash and ice hockey.

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