The real issue with business process management (BPM) isn't how it gets delivered, but rather how accessible it is to the people who need to manipulate it.
That simple idea, says Russell Keziere, senior director of corporate marketing for Pegasystems, is leading many companies to re-evaluate their entire enterprise IT strategies by essentially de-emphasizing individual applications in favor of approaches that allow them to more easily create and manipulate models that capture an entire business process from one end to another.
Keziere says companies are looking for an alternative between rigid packaged applications that don't allow them to make changes to underlying processes, and expensive time-consuming custom application development projects. They also want to be able to easily integrate diverse business processes as business conditions change without having to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in middleware expense. In essence, says Keziere, they want a more agile and flexible approach to managing the business processes that are encapsulated inside enterprise software.
Pegasystems accomplishes this goal, says Keziere, by providing a model-driven approach to BPM. As each new business process is incorporated into the system, users can make changes to those processes without having to write new code. In some instances, those business processes will be delivered via the cloud, while in other cases they will be delivered on premise. Regardless, Keziere says business leaders need an approach that will make it easy to manipulate those processes across hybrid cloud computing scenarios that will be the norm for at least the next decade.
As Pegasystems evolves, the company is now focusing on adding more predictive analytics to the overall environment and additional support for mobile computing devices. Business executives, says Keziere, want to be able to access and manipulate a business process from wherever they are now and have come to expect that the system is going to alert them to potential problems before they happen.
What all this amounts to, says Keziere, is that business executives want to focus their IT investments on systems that will actual hasten "a liquidity event" that results in the company actually generating some revenue versus continuing to make additional IT investments that may one day have some indirect impact on the company's finances. In other words, the initial payback on an IT investment needs to be almost immediate because we live in a world where interest in what can be accomplished two years out is not nearly as compelling as what is happening to the business right now. So the next time you hear someone talk about IT agility, it's not really about how fast the IT department can provision a server, but rather how fast the business can really execute for better or worse because of IT.