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The Revolution Will Be Automated

Ben Farrell
February 26, 2010

The analyst team at Forrester have coined a new term to define a revolution they see happening in BPM: "Process Populism." They are talking about the increasing hue and cry from the business (process professionals and business users) demanding "greater collaboration and inclusion across all phases of the process lifecycle." I think Forrester has nailed it. BPM is "for the business," and increasingly, it is also "by the business."

As usual in the emergence of a revolutionary movement, intent that has been brewing for some time is now being actualized by a catalyzing agent. That agent is evolved business process management software that delivers a new breed of capabilities directly to the business. And while it is certainly happening behind corporate firewalls, the revolution comes into sharpest focus when this new generation of BPM software is delivered in the Cloud. Software-as-a-Service BPM suites like Appian Anywhere will continue to support Process Populism through:

    • Accessibility: As the Forrester post states, the workforce is changing. Employees are increasingly tech-savvy and increasingly mobile. They also have increasing expectations for "anywhere, anytime" availability based on their personal technology experiences (Facebook, iTunes, etc.). The ubiquitous reach of the Cloud mirrors the consumer experience.

    • Ease of Use: Business users are armed with tools they can actually use to model, execute, manage and optimize business processes. These include intuitive, graphical modeling; drag-and-drop composition; flexible real-time reporting; and on-the-fly process improvement based on things like bottleneck analysis.

    • Speed: An Appian Anywhere account can be provisioned in about 60 seconds. With one click a business user can download a pre-built process application from the Appian Forum online community. A second click, and that application can be deployed. So, in less time than it would take you to get an email back from IT saying they can't even look at your project request for 12-18 months, you can be up and running.

    • Cost: The financial rationale for BPM software in the Cloud simply can't be denied. For a low per-user monthly fee, you can avoid capital expenditures for hardware and the cost of other internal IT resources.

Process Populism is a real movement, with real potential to spread like wildfire. The more business-side process professionals that are exposed to what's possible ñ and what they themselves can drive without IT reliance ñ the more they will want. Power to the people!

Ben Farrell

Director, Corporate Communications