As enterprises realize that tweaks to standalone applications can enhance productivity only so much and that process optimization is where the real action is, business process management's star seems destined to rise.
Although BPM has already earned a measure of popularity on its own, it will likely grow even more popular when used in combination with two other technologies, service-oriented architecture and business intelligence.
Many are touting it as a logical starting point for SOA, especially for small and fairly contained implementations. And it can take all of the information gathered by BI and use it to help identify and solve process problems.
BPM is the character actor of the IT world - rarely destined to take a star turn, but incredibly effective in a supporting role. Hey, it's no coincidence that directors like Martin Scorsese have folks like Harvey Keitel on speed dial.