Is Business Process Management (BPM) moving to the core of business architecture?

Industry figures weigh in on where Business Process Management (BPM) is headed

PEX Network’s flagship PEX Week conference gives us a great opportunity every year to hear a wide variety of perspectives in the process community. This year, PEX Network’s editor, Diana Davis, caught up with some of the speakers and sponsors and asked them their opinions on the key trends shaping Business Process Management (BPM) in the year ahead.

Here’s what they had to say:

Faster is the new fast

Jim Carroll, futurist, author (and all round nice guy), was the keynote speaker at PEX Week in Orlando, Florida this year and he argues that the rise of the Internet, intelligent technology and mobile devices are fuelling rapid changes in the social and business environment in which companies are operating.

These changes are driving wholesale changes in customer behaviour and expectations, he says. Customers today want goods and services and they want them now.

Companies need to be flexible and constantly innovate to not just stay ahead of the competition but to stay in the game at all, as markets quickly move on. "We’re witnessing the need for a new type of leadership," says Carroll. "We’re in a situation where companies have to continually reinvent themselves."

The impact on business process processes is clear, according to Carroll. "We’re going to have to put in place the right process at the right time at the right place to support the roll out of a brand new product."

Watch the interview with Jim Carroll

Business Process Management (BPM) moves to the core of business architecture, new roles required

Dr. Setrag Khoshafian, Chief Evangelist and VP of BPM Technology at Pegasystems argues that as companies look to do more with less, Business Process Management is moving to become much more core to business architecture than it was in the past. "Organizations have realized that they need to think big. They cannot do business as usual – it’s not working," he says.

Dr. Khoshafian also predicts that as business process transformation becomes more strategic, new roles will be required. He says we’ll need new positions such as the Chief Process Officer, who has the power to work across functional units: "Organization are considering ownership of processes that span multiple lines of business and multiple functional units within the business with serious ownership of empowerment of someone like a chief process officer.

Watch the interview with Setrag Khoshafian

Data is the new gold rush

Nathaniel Palmer, editor-in-chief of discusses the increasing importance of bringing data – "Big data" – into processes to help managers make better, more informed decisions at the point of process execution. "It’s putting [data] into the hands of managers," he explains and means that they are "able to use that data to drive response to process, response to events."

Palmer sees the new accessibility of data and the ability to integrate it into processes as one of the key trends for Business Process Management (BPM) this year: "Having access to inform the business process then being able to then create that feedback loop bringing data out of the operational process and into a reporting framework where you’re making sense of causality – the drivers – around process".

Watch the interview with Nathaniel Palmer

Dominic Greenwood, the Chief Operating Officer of Whitestein Technologies agrees with Palmer's sentinment that data is playing an more important role. "Data is becoming increasingly relevant to everything we do both within business and the in way we conduct ourselves in life in general. Interacting through devices – the way that we work with smart tablets, laptop computers – everything is about acting on data."

He argues that the increasing importance of data is driving fundamental changes to the way that Business Process Management need to address the enterprise. "We’re beginning to see movements away from just focusing on workflow and task activation towards working on the data," he says.

Watch the interview with Dominic Greenwood

What do you think? Are there other BPM Trends that you've observed?