What’s Next in BPM?

This past month, www.bptrends.com has asked its readers to vote on what they think will be the next hot topic for BPM.  We had more votes than we normally get for one of our informal surveys and a much clearer result.

58% or 25 readers chose Digital Transformation.  This was in contrast to alternative options like Cognitive Driven change, Case Management, or simple Transformation.

We assume that “transformation,” in most reader's minds, means major change.  It isn't just “process improvement” but, rather, something more like Process ReEngineering — it refers to a major undertaking, an effort to radically change how an organization does business.  By extension, we assume that “Digital Transformation” refers to major change driven by computer technology and new communications media.

For what its worth, we agree with our readers.  We think that computing is about to generate another major round of change.  It may well be driven by AI and cognitive technology, but it will also be driven by big data, by new Internet and Web aps, and by computer chips embedded in all manner of household and business artifacts.  Anyone who thinks, even for a moment, about the implications of self-driving cars, realizes that we are about to see a whole new round of automation.

Digital Transformation, for process analysts, means understanding the various ways that digital technologies can change the way organizations do business.  Given the speed with which new possible applications become available, keeping up on the latest possibilities is a full-time job.  It seems every business process organization need a full-time futurist, or at least a good relationship with whoever in IT is best at defining possible new software applications.

Life isn't getting simpler.  Imaging the way businesses will function in a few years is a challenge — a challenge tht smart business process people will need to respond to and overcome if they are to provide their organizations with value.

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