Top 5 business process management (BPM) trends for 2019
Artificial intelligence, robotics, case management. Want to know what trends will shape the BPM industry this year?
In this blog, we predict the top 5 trends in business process management over the next 12 months. While some trends are new, others have been highlighted before but are now reaching maturity and we expect them to reach critical mass this year.
In recent years, more organisations have looked to streamline business processes and build leaner, more efficient business models.
Consequently, the importance of BPM has been elevated as organisations seek to stay ahead of the curve by putting technology in place to allow for streamlined processes and continued growth and expansion.
This is supported by analyst reports revealing the BPM market was worth nearly $8 billion last year and is forecast to grow at a double-digit rate to 2025.
Here are our predictions. Sadly, we are not Nostradamus though; so these predictions are based on our industry/product knowledge and conversations with partners and customers.
BPM industry trend #1: Artificial Intelligence (AI) goes mainstream
AI makes BPM smarter; combined with machine-learning it continually evaluates data in order to predict the future and suggest data-driven improvements to operational performance.
This year will see more BPM vendors build machine learning and artifical intelligence capabilities into their platform to support predictive analytics and proactive application behaviour.
The latest version of BP Logix Process Director, which ePC resell in Europe, includes machine learning and artifical intelligence capabilities.
BPM industry trend #2: The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) hype tails off
Robotic process automation has been around for a few years now as a form of clerical process automation technology based on the notion of software robots or artifical intelligence workers. These software ‘robots’ have been trained to perform human tasks by imitating our behaviour to undertake high-volume, manual tasks involving structured data e.g. data entry.
The ‘robots’ follow documented procedures to replicate human behaviour (i.e. copy/paste field data, locate data sources etc.). Defined in a script or flowchart and triggered by an event or schedule, these processes are rules-based (i.e. no human decision or interaction required) and highly customisable.
In our opinion, robotic process automation will not replace BPM. RPA does, however, complement BPM as it can automate repetitive tasks while BPM automates the underlying workflow.
One example where BPM and RPA can work together is when BPM is deployed in the cloud as integration with other on-premise systems can sometimes be limited. For cloud deployments, if you cannot connect to an on-premise system and there is a requirement to share information between systems, RPA software can create a ‘bot’ to login, copy/paste data across systems and logout.
However, if BPM is deployed on-premise, there should be no need for RPA as a modern BPMS will include API’s that enable you to connect to, and exchange information with, your databases and other systems. Using the API may require specialist technical knowledge but once set-up, data will automatically be pushed/pulled to/from other applications.
Despite this, and perhaps reflective of the complimentary technologies, the last few years has seen BPMS vendors like Pegasystems Inc., Appian and Bonitasoft start to build RPA capabilities into their platforms.
Our prediction, however, is that 2019 will see organisations and IT departments realise that RPA will compliment – not replace – BPM.
BPM industry trend #3: Demand for no-code/low-code BPM increases
We expect the move to no-code/low-code platforms to continue next year as more organisations empower business users with little or no coding experience to build digital applications quickly.
These platforms replace the need for programming by using form builders, drag-and-drop features and pre-built integrations to quickly build templated forms, workflows and business rules that can be reused.
No-code/low-code BPM applications reduce the complexity and learning curve that is normally associated with a full-spec BPMS, allowing you to be agile in the face of a changing competitive landscape.
BPM industry trend #4: case management continues to grow
Many BPMS solutions now include case management as a core feature.
We expect interest to peak in 2019 as companies seek solutions that manage multiple processes, which are unpredictable in nature, and follow different courses depending on human decisions, as opposed to following the prescribed order of a flowchart.
With case management, many different sub-workflows can be combined in to one ‘case’, removing the need to build a monolithic and overly complex workflow to try and encompass every possible interaction with a customer, user or supplier.
To learn more, read our What is case management blog.
BPM industry trend #5: Business Process Modelling & Notation (BPMN) to gradually lose relevance
BPMN is a graphical representation for specifying business processes in a business process diagram (BPD). It was designed for predictable business processes, represented by rigid steps in a flowchart.
Originally developed by The Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI), it has been maintained by the Object Management Group since 2005. The latest BPMN version (version 2.0) was released in January 2011.
The language is based on flowcharts and graphical notations. The notations consist of four basic categories: flow objects, connecting objects, swim lanes and artifacts. These categories contain a host of ways to create Business Process Diagrams (BPD) with the ultimate aim of simplifying business activities and processes.
While it is great for modelling theoretical processes, which is always the first step to BPM implementation, it lacks the detail and flexibility to encompass all the design options available in a modern BPM solution. Most BPM vendors have created great new ways of modelling processes, such as Process Timeline technology for supporting massively parallel steps in workflows and predictive BPM; BPMN just can’t keep up with the new possibilities.
As case management grows in importance, BPMN will continue to lose relevance as companies move away from traditional rigid process modelling to more agile platforms offering predictive analytics that can be directed to generate alerts, launch new processes and alter in-flight processes.
Are you planning to automate business processes in 2019?
Talk to us today and get 2019 off to a great start. Call us on 03300 100 000 or contact us.