Monday, October 26, 2009

'The Cloud' is big, therefore BPM is irrelevant

A new study, commissioned by Avanade and reported by Joe McKendrick on ZDNet, talks about some solid evidence for the drivers of companies to 'cloud computing'. This made me consider how the cloud became such big news, when other technology spaces, such as business process management (BPM) touted by vendors and analysts never quite make it to the top of the list.

For me, much of the 'cloud' buzz and adoption comes from the fact that everybody is talking about it, and the traditional guys with big marketing budgets have latched onto the concept. The 'cloud' could have remained a niche market, profitable to a small group of unusual players when it came to enterprise software (Amazon, Google). Much like service oriented architecture (SOA) in fact, which in my opinion would have remained niche if it was not for the mega-vendors attention. For me, business process management (BPM) sits in that category, since IBM, Oracle and SAP had too much invested in SOA at the same time for them to be distracted, so BPM had to wait on the sidelines for its time. Now that the cloud has them focused on what could be a whole new business model, its down to the independent BPM vendors to make BPM relevant again.

How will they do that? Well, I'm not going to give them the benefit of my opinion on that one for free (since they'll just profit from it), though it seems obvious based on the Avanade sponsored research that a service-based (SaaS) delivery model is essential:
More than half of respondents report that they are currently using Software as a Service applications. In the United States, that number increases to more than two-thirds (68 percent).

The problem of course is that current pure-play BPM is a terrible fit for delivery as a service, since it has relied so heavily on a delivery model revolving around skilled, expensive consultants with a mix of business and technology acumen.

It is time for a new model for business process improvement based software, and it works a little something like this... Oh, almost let the secret out there. That though is why I am working on business process improvement as a service.

A post from the Improving It blog

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

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