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I Went Down to the Crossroads: Where the Cloud Meets Constant Process Improvement

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
June 17, 2010


When thinking of "going down to the crossroads," many are drawn to the classic folk tale of blues legend Robert Johnson. Johnson made a deal with the devil to ensure that he could be the most talented and influential blues songwriter and performer of all time. We like to think of the "crossroads" as a metaphor for the intersection of two things that will effectively create lasting change for the better.

In the BPM world, we are talking about the intersection of cloud computing and constant process improvement -- both are now meeting at the crossroads and are helping government achieve efficiency goals in a more cost-effective manner.

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra noted in the White House Open Government Blog that by using cloud services, the Federal Government will gain access to powerful technology resources faster and at lower costs. He also stated that the cloud frees the government to focus on mission-critical tasks instead of purchasing, configuring, and maintaining redundant infrastructure.

Here is where the big meeting at the crossroads happens. BPM applications and cloud computing together minimize the cost and risk that often come with larger IT integrations for government. One major government agency is leading the way by using Appian Anywhere, the BPM SaaS solution, to quickly scale up efforts to gather demographic data for 7,000 institutions around the U.S.

So, unlike Robert Johnson who had to sell his soul to the devil in order to attain his talents, by using BPM in the cloud there is minimal risk for government. And the rewards are immeasurable = the cloud is a low cost way to jump start any BPM-powered task and make government more effective.