Hockey Stick Growth in Business Process Management (BPM)

It is a truism that for every person in an organization that cares about enterprise software there are nine people that care a lot less. This silent majority is often referred to as the ‘end user’ or ‘business user’ community. These are the folks that just want to get their work done in the least burdensome manner. They don’t care much (if at all) about what the underlying technology is. It is this majority that has driven the adoption of new platforms and paradigms such as iOS and Salesforce.

The hockey stick growth that BPM analysts continue to predict year after year is achievable. But it will not come from the minority of people already focused on process. Neither will it come from incremental updates to old BPM paradigms or from the resolution of debates over BPMN minutiae, for examples. Exponential BPM growth will come through the majority and its rapid adoption of Mobile, Social and Cloud technology.

Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide by 2013 . There are now 222 million iOS-based devices being carried around, and 500,000 Android devices are being activated daily. There will soon be a billion mobile devices in circulation. The majority demands the ability to do their work natively on mobile devices away from their desks and their offices. We have obliged them and it’s been a tremendous success for us (see my previous post). We hope the rest of the BPM industry does the same.

Along the same lines, the majority demands simple yet engaging and powerful user experiences such as Social Collaboration.  And we have obliged them again. We don’t provide social collaboration because it’s cool or the new new thing (it’s admittedly both). We do it because there are hundreds of million of users worldwide who are familiar with an event-stream interface. You shouldn’t require a user to adopt a new interface for enterprise collaboration.

Hockey stick growth in the BPM industry is achievable. But only if we BPM practitioners think holistically and embrace the new adoption paradigms of Mobile, Social and Cloud. No one should ignore a billion new devices in circulation, or a user interface paradigm that hundreds of millions of people have adopted. It’s time for everyone to offer Mobile and Social capabilities (I’m assuming you’ve already sorted out your Cloud offering).

P.S: If you’re looking to be a BPM practitioner in a high growth environment consider talking with us. We’re hiring.

– Sid Nazareth, Director, Solutions Strategy