Cloud computing and smart devices underpin strong growth in BPM market

The global market for Business Process Management (BPM) is expected to grow significantly over the next few years to grow from approximately $2.6 billion (2011) to $7 billion by 2018, according to new research by Companies & Markets, an aggregator of business information.

The report claims that cloud computing and smart devices are among the "major forces" driving the growth in the BPM market as companies seek to automate processes and implement applications that helps businesses be more responsive to customers and key stakeholders.

Cloud computing, where IT resources are delivered as a service over the internet, offers users access to information on the go from a variety of devices, enabling companies to innovate service and product offerings as applications become hardware independent. The profileration of smart phones and tablet computing devices is simply accelerating the pace.

Industry analyst Simon Robinson from 451 Research says that cloud computing is quietly changing the structure of IT departments.

"Today we're seeing survey results that point to around half of UK organisations saying that cloud will overtake traditional IT architectures over the next three years," said Robinson speaking to the press at EMC's recent Transform:IT +Business+Yourself event in London.

Meanwhile, Gartner's latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies claims that cloud computing and the consumerization of IT (in which consumer technology like ipads are invading the enterprise) are creating a brave new world where "any service or function is available on any device, at anytime and anywhere."

"The theme of this year's Hype Cycle is the concept of 'tipping points.' We are at an interesting moment, a time when many of the scenarios we've been talking about for a long time are almost becoming reality," said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner, Inc. in the press release about the Hype Cycle.

Business Process Management is a systematic approach that aims to make businesses more efficient thorugh improving, documenting and automating key business processes. But despite the growth in enabling technologies like cloud computing and smart devices, companies will fail to achieve efficiencies if they ignore some cardinal rules, according to a recent Tech Republic article entitled "The failed promise of Business Process Management (BPM)".

The article identified three factors that can cause BPM initiatives to fail including lack of management buy in, the difficulty of documenting all exceptions, and the fact that business processes themselves are often evolving faster than the documentation and BPM software can keep up.

Food for thought for companies embarking on BPM strategies so that the growth in the market isn't followed by a growth in the number of failed BPM initiatives.

Having a strong motivation to improve processes (for cost saving or compliance, for instance), combining process improvement with IT projects that are desired by the business and focussing on straightforward processes not likely to be subject to ad hoc requests or exceptions were all seen as ways to ensure overall success.

View the report abstract here: Business Process Management (BPM) Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2012 to 2018