Process Is The Main Thing

@ Anatoly Belaychuk’s BPM Blog

Future of BPM: Replacement or Extension?

Gartner, Pega and IBM are pushing new acronyms:

  • IBO = Intelligent Business Operations
  • iBPMS = Intelligent Business Process Management Suite

According to the experts, the concepts behind the acronyms aren’t exceptionally new - it’s evolutionary integration of related technologies: BPMS, BAM, BRE, CEP, ACM… Looks like someone decided it’s time to put new labels over the old BPM/BPMS.

I’m not personally convinced that the market will accept this labeling game. Attempts to announce the “post-BPM” solution was made in the past (Intalio) and are made today (Metasonic) without much success. This time the heavyweights are in play however.

I would like to see the breakthroughs in technology and methodology, not acronyms. From this perspective the bpmNEXT initiative looks more interesting. Quoting the memorandum by Bruce Silver and Nathaniel Palmer:

We both do not agree with the fact that BPM is dead… or that BPM is tired. In fact, innovations associated with the clouds, event-driven analytics, case management, mobile applications and social networks fed by innovations in the field of BPM with an intensity that we have not seen for years.

By contrast, 10 years ago the process management discipline has undergone radical changes both in methodology and technology:

  • continuous improvement instead of one-time reengineering
  • integrated BPM Suites instead of separate modeling tools and workflow engines
  • agile development instead of “waterfall”

This time it’s about “in addition”, not “instead” hence the talk about “the death of BPM” is either speculation or provocation.

And this is very good actually - let’s not start it from scratch once again: TQM, reeingineering, BPM… It destroys the market as potential customers feel uncertain. What’s the point of implementing a new acronym if the previous one - pushed by the same consultants - was declared obsolete so easily?

Now when we position the post-BPM as an extension, it makes the late majority customers realize that the “basic BPM” is a task of yesterday, not tomorrow. Plus, tomorrow promises many fascinating and useful things.

06/22/12 | Notes | ,    

Comments (6)

  1. Neil Ward-Dutton (@neilwd) 06/22/12 05:15 PM

    Anatoly, I completely agree - best for everyone if we talk about “extending” core BPMS capabilities.
    I’ve talked to quite a few clients who find the incessant need of some to try and say “XYZ is dead” very annoying and harmful to their case. If you’re someone trying to “sell” BPM internally and convince your managers or peers to assist in an investment, this kind of stuff is pretty unhelpful.

  2. Anatoly Belychook 06/22/12 05:37 PM


    Absolutely. Two issues:
    1) Over-stretching term “BPM” to anything even slightly related to business processes e.g. pure diagramming.
    2) Equipping a mainstream BPM with some add-ons and relabelling it by a new acronym e.g. IBO.

    Both confuse customers and hence are no good for the industry.

  3. Bruce Silver 06/26/12 09:25 PM

    Thank you.
    Bruce Silver

  4. Anatoly Belychook 06/26/12 09:30 PM


    No way :) thank YOU. Hope to meet at the event.

  5. AS 06/30/12 01:48 PM

    Or better architecture?


  6. Anatoly Belychook 07/01/12 07:01 AM

    AND better architecture of course.

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