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BPM software can play prominent role in IT modernization

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
November 7, 2012

Modernizing the IT department involves a process of altering the legacy application landscape so those solutions can work well in conjunction with contemporary systems. This has been a challenging process for a long time but has become even more difficult in light of cloud computing's rise. According to a recent ZDNet report, expert opinions vary as to whether or not business process management software can help with IT modernization, but the reality is that the technology is capable when companies use the right solution for their specific modernization needs.

The argument for BPM as a modernization enabler

Industry expert Erik Marks told the news source that the core problem when dealing with legacy apps is that the workloads used in the business side of operations are so tightly aligned with the technology that modernizing the legacy application can prove challenging and disruptive. BPM software can separate the processes from the technology and reintegrate the entire setup to align the modernized legacy system with end-user needs.

The argument against BPM as a modernization enabler

While Marks' model can be effective, industry expert William Ulrich told ZDNet that the business operations and technological functionality do not align closely enough for BPM solutions to have a marked impact on legacy application modernization.

Understanding the full spectrum of the issue

In the end, the debate does not come down to what BPM can actually do, it boils down to how corporate and IT leaders approach the technology. Citing a blog post from industry expert Ronald Nunan, the news source explained that not all BPM solutions are created with the same purpose. A simple, low-layer BPM software deployment can interact with the business and technological functionality at such an organic level that it enables organizations to modernize their legacy applications effectively.

Aligning BPM deployment with operational needs

Not all BPM solutions are the same. Furthermore, many systems are flexible enough that they can be deployed for both high-layer and low-layer functionality. Finding success with BPM is often about identifying business needs and matching them with the capabilities offered by BPM. In the end, BPM software deployments are about aligning IT systems with business processes. To achieve this goal, organizations need to take a strategic approach to choosing and implementing a solution.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing

Malcolm Ross