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2013: The Year of BPM (Again)

Welcome to 2013!

So, BPM fans (as well as those who are simply BPM-curious) may wonder what’s in store this year on the BPM front.

A recent forum topic raised the same question. I gave two short answers (plus one shameless plug for this blog), and I’d like to expand on those. I’ll cover the first of these this week and the second next week, just to give you something to look forward to.

1. Further integration of BPM into packaged applications.

Enterprise applications are great at structuring and storing data. Forrester refers to these types of apps—think CRM, ERP, ECM, HRIS—as “systems of record”: they collect data from a variety of sources and organize it in a way that makes it accessible and useful for workers. But BPM has raised the bar, and now organizations expect to access, combine, and update that information as part of fully automated business processes.

Many application vendors offer a certain amount of workflow functionality, usually as an optional extra. Unfortunately, the workflows are often difficult to modify and difficult to integrate with data from other applications. And, of course, the skills needed to build workflows in one package don’t transfer well to another.

But customers and vendors alike have come to recognize that BPM solutions—or, as Forrester has nicknamed them, “systems of engagement”—can overcome these problems, tying disparate systems of record together. As a result, packaged app vendors are beginning to realize that integrating directly with BPM software can provide more functionality for less effort than building their own workflow features. Expect this trend to accelerate in 2013.

Once again, happy new year. May you and yours enjoy a fulfilling and healthy year filled with happy surprises and rewards.

Tune in next week for my second prediction!

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