What App Stores Teach IT About BPM

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

10 Cutting-edge Mobile Application Trends for 2012

Mobile applications will increasingly define the user experience on high-end devices.

IT executives have been watching with interest the role app stores are playing in driving all the excitement over mobile computing. In particular, what they find most interesting is how users are starting to combine apps on their mobile devices to create a custom processor for either work or play.

What's interesting about this from an IT perspective, says Wayne Mekjian, executive vice president and CIO for Wells Fargo & Company, is that it highlights the importance of rolling out application functionality in a modular way that makes it easy to business users to innovate. Instead of building massive applications to reflect some massive business process, Mekjian says IT organizations would do well to note the power of making discrete functionality available in a way that allows end users to create their own processes.

There's really no way that the IT organization can know how the business is going to want to evolve, says Mekjian. The real issue is finding a way to empower those users to come up with innovative processes using modular sets of applications that can be centrally managed. To that end, Wells Fargo is now re-examining its portfolios of mobile computing applications with an eye towards improving the application programming interfaces in a way that will allow business users and customers to "mash up widgets" in ways no one might initially think.

Mekjian adds that over time, business process management (BPM) across the enterprise is going to be equally modular with an eye towards giving the business the maximum flexibility possible to create innovative business processes with the IT part of that equation not having to slow them down. And when you add technologies such as global positioning systems to enterprise applications, Mekjian expects that we will see a whole new dimension added to what today are pretty much two-dimensional enterprise applications.

Given the mountains of monolithic legacy applications in the enterprise, what Mekjian is describing is a fairly tall order. But it's also clear that the way mobile applications have been designed provides some inherent productivity benefits. So don't be too surprised when the enterprise applications portfolio of tomorrow looks a lot like the Apple App Store of today.

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Mar 9, 2011 1:40 AM Sam at Partnerpedia Sam at Partnerpedia  says:

In addition, cloud computing platforms will further enable modular app development and deployment. That combined with prosumer tablet devices working its way into the enterprise will enable a new delivery and support model for corp IT.

Mar 9, 2011 2:51 AM Ben Farrell Ben Farrell  says:

Could not agree more, Mike. Mobile Apps (and cloud, along with social business technology) are certainly the future in the BPM software industry specifically, and in IT generally. At Appian, many of our customers are now getting serious about their corporate mobility strategies. Process is fundamental to those strategies, and native BPM apps on Apple's App Store and BB App World are game-changers.


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