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Forrester Experts Discuss BPM, the Future of Enterprise Applications and the Mobile, Cloud and Social "Game Changers"

Ben Farrell
September 6, 2011

Several of Forrester Research's leading thinkers on BPM, BPM software, application development and the customer experience participated in a roundtable discussion on empowering customers through business process transformation. Connie Moore has posted an excerpt of the discussion on her Forrester blog. It is a thought-provoking read that talks about the future of enterprise applications, the demand for more flexible and process-centric solutions, and the mobile, cloud and social "game-changers." You can also get a free copy of Forrester's "Empower Customers By Transforming Business Processes" report via a link on Connie's post.

The discussion (and the related report) centered on whether enterprise applications are up to the challenge of transforming a business to meet the requirements of a new world of customer empowerment. While the analysts couched their opinions as being part of an on-going and raging debate, their answers ultimately appear to be a unanimous "no." William Bland, an expert on Customer Relationship Management stated that "CRM apps, as they are currently constituted, are not really suitable for transforming the way a company does business." This echoes the general opinion of the panel that while enterprise applications like CRM and ERP can impart best practices for efficiency, they cannot deliver the flexibility needed to address rapidly changing business models, unique customer experiences and dynamic business processes.

In short, traditional enterprise applications "are not so good for creating transformative change." That effort requires business process-centric solutions.

Derek Miers extended this line of thinking to a discussion of Dynamic Case Management,which he said delivers the level of flexibility that "is a critical enabler of customer-driven transformation." Craig Le Clair put a fine-point on it by stating that "we're in a period where change driven by consumer technology is so vast and so rapid that the focus on process transformation must be more acute. I don't think enterprise app systems can participate in that transformation because they were never built for that."

In fact, going back to the notion that this point is being debated at all, Craig clarified it is not a question of whether, but simply of when:

"The debate we have internally within Forrester pertains to how much of a barrier to innovation these large enterprise suites will be...[I]t's going to be left to other game-changing technologies...The only question is how fast it will accelerate."

Download the full report from Connie's blog to learn more. Then, contact Appian to see how our game-changing Mobile BPM, Cloud BPM and Social BPM can empower your organization to create value from a new world of empowered customers.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications