BPM & The Cloud

26 Nov

I came across an interesting piece online which illustrates the increasing importance of BPM software as the cloud matures, which can be found at: http://www.appian.com/bpm-news/cloud-applications/bpm-software-vital-as-cloud-matures [1]

The writer, Cheng notes that as cloud computing solutions mature, they begin to play a larger role in the enterprise. With the cloud becoming a more prominent part of operations, there is a growing need to find ways to integrate diverse solutions and enable them to function well in concert with one another. Business process management software can play a valuable part in that process, especially when it comes to dealing with the interplay of cloud, social and mobile technologies.

If we take a blank-piece-of-paper approach in analyzing business process management (BPM) in the cloud, we can analyse BPM/cloud-related architecture, technology, functionality and features. Can the combination of one and one, BPM and the cloud, equal more than two?

Another article which caught my eye was written by a Dennis Byron and can be found at: http://www.ebizq.net/topics/bpm/features/11336.html [2]

He appears to be a firm believer that BPM in the cloub is an inevitability, rather than a possibility. Recent changes in the Internet, as technology moves towards supporting social computing, means BPM in the cloud can improve on BPM without the cloud. The cloud lets BPM analysts and developers collaborate more easily on process discovery. “Use the cloud to replace the whiteboard in the way Facebook works.” (Matt Green, 2011). BPM is all about change and the cloud is all about change. Byron states that “because of the ease of defining and deploying at runtime on a cloud, BPM and cloud computing are much more relevant together than, for example, ERP in the cloud.” Supporting different BPM alternatives at both run time and development time are just two examples of how the cloud’s architecture works to enhance BPM as compared to just using on-premise BPM.

Technology differences have business implications as well when it comes to BPM in the cloud. Most IT users will be approaching BPM in the cloud from the point of view of the BPM provider being the interface with the cloud services provider, rather than having to deal with two different technology suppliers. At run time, with multiple clouds involved, BPM applications in the cloud need certain characteristics that take advantage of the cloud such as ability to increase/decrease privileges, add/subtract users, etc.

The piece I highlighted earlier in this post [1] finishes with a view I share myself. Cheng illustrates how numerous businesses are facing challenges when it comes to integrating diverse cloud solutions. BPM software helps companies deal with these difficulties, by providing the automation and data integration. This helps employees take information from a variety of cloud sources and use it in the most efficient way possible. “As companies move deeper into the cloud, the need to address issues with data being spread over multiple applications and services could become much more important.”


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