BPM in the Cloud – Approaching Its Day in the Sun

There’s no doubt about the growing interest in consuming Business Process Management software as a service via public or private Cloud models. Yet as leading IT analysis firms have only fairly recently acknowledged on-premise BPM as a truly “mainstream” enterprise technology, organizations can’t be blamed for wondering about the maturity of BPM in the Cloud. Cutting through the noise, what’s the real substance? When will SaaS delivery of BPM reach a critical tipping point in terms of capability and acceptance?

According to research from Datamonitor, that day is fast approaching, driven by the obvious cost benefits and the evolution of underlying BPM technologies to accelerate time to value in the face of changing business patterns. The report “SaaS BPM: Silencing the Skeptics” states that given economic and competitive pressures, “Datamonitor believes that this is the right time for BPM to take its SaaS strategy mainstream,” adding that “Cloud computing is fast becoming a widely accepted model of software consumption and delivery.”

The report makes a clear distinction between the value of simple process modeling versus full execution in the Cloud, and illustrates the evolutionary paths being followed by a variety of BPM vendors (see image).

SaaS BPM Maturity

SOURCE: Datamonitor, “Silencing the Skeptics,” October 2009

As the report says, “One of the positives inherent in offering full execution in the cloud is reduced round tripping due to a unified modeling and execution environment. Cloud-based execution also translates to more options for the customer, enhanced collaboration (can spur innovative mashups and on-the-cloud integration with BI), and maximal use of SOA investments.”

The combination of full-featured modeling and execution capabilities in the Cloud is required to achieve maximum BPM value. That’s what our Appian Anywhere platform provides. BPM in the Cloud is rapidly gaining popularity, driven by technology advances and an increasing comfort level for the model within organizations. Companies that don’t develop a BPM SaaS strategy today may well find themselves falling behind tomorrow.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications