Cloud computing has emerged as a prominent technology in a wide range of business segments. As a result, many companies are finding ways to use the cloud to support innovation. This is possible because the cloud allows organizations to access state-of-the-art technologies without having to pay for the hardware that supports them. Instead, they can lease the system resources and only be billed based on a utility model. This allows businesses to invest in technologies that they would normallycould not afford.
Business process management (BPM) could be one such technology, as BPM software solutions can deliver an incredible return on investment, but can pose some cost challenges for companies with limited fiscal resources. Cloud BPM solutions have started to hitthe market, however, making the technology more accessible. According to a recent IDC study, the cloud is emerging as a primary avenue for companies trying to invest in BPM solutions.
The rise of cloud BPM solutions
IDC found that the BPM and middleware market experienced considerable revenue gains during 2012. However, the 3.6 percent revenue increase, bringing profits to $18.8 million, was not as significant, as many expected the industry to grow more quickly. There were two major contributors to the problem - macroeconomic issues and a lack of cloud solutions to meet demand.
Broad global economic problems were substantial enough in 2012 to hold back revenues in the BPM sector, however, these concerns were not the primary problem. Instead, the major issue stemmed from growing demand for cloud-based solutions and a general lack of adequate solutions. Despite this problem, cloud-based solutions were clearly a major part of the market. In the top tier of the four-tiered BPM sector, 80 percent of revenues stemmed from cloud-based solutions.
Maureen Fleming, vice president of IDC's BPM and middleware research programs, explained that the cloud has become a central part of the BPM industry.
"A large factor in slow growth across BPM and middleware was the failure of large vendors to deliver PaaS offerings that met the growing appetite for cloud-based automation," said Fleming. "Cloud was the single biggest factor separating market share gainers from share losers."
Making cloud BPM decisions
Choosing the right vendor for a cloud BPM solution is key to getting the most out of an investment. When selecting a service provider, consider how well the BPM architecture itself will translate into the cloud. Platforms built around providing the same functionality in the cloud that they do in traditional settings are often the best option.
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