Both Sides of the BPM Coin

My career has taken me a lot of places over the past two-and-a-half decades. As a technologist, I spent a lot of time creating purpose-built solutions for a variety of business needs. As a manager, I faced the challenge of supporting those solutions, sometimes long after the individual who created them had gone elsewhere. And as a CIO, I saw how the accumulation of off-the-shelf point products and custom-built BPM software solutions can create an ungovernable, change-resistant headache for an organization trying to stay nimble in a tough competitive environment.

On and off throughout these years, I have also worked for some pretty terrific BPM vendors. In those roles, I saw the other side of the coin: customers unwilling or unable to abandon costly legacy products, convinced their careers are tied to a specific way of doing things, and suspicious of “not invented here” solutions.

All of these experiences led me to the BPM software industry. Business process management (BPM) software opens the door to the possibility of smaller software portfolios, flexible response to business needs, and easy customization. BPM software enables data to flow easily from the organization’s various data repositories to its employees and partners while actually strengthening the governance of the data itself as well as that of the processes driven by that data. And, perhaps most importantly, BPM-based processes are indeed “invented here”, custom-configured for the needs of the business, often without programming.

Sure, business process management (BPM) has its challenges, and I hope to touch on those in this space. Ultimately, though, BPM software holds out the promise of a revolution in the way that technology impacts business, and the way that business, in turn, views technology.