Top six business process management trends for 2022
Low-code development, machine learning, case management. Want to know what business process management trends will shape the industry in 2022?
In this blog, we predict the top BPM trends for 2022. While some trends are new, others have been highlighted before but are now reaching maturity. We expect them to reach critical mass this year.
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic accelerating the move towards digital transformation, many businesses are rushing to automate manual operations to survive – and thrive - in the new normal.
Consequently, we have seen the importance of BPM elevated as businesses seek to keep themselves ahead of the curve by putting technology in place to increase efficiency and future-proof their organisation.
This is supported by analyst reports revealing the BPM market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% to reach $14.4 billion by 2025.
Business process management trend #1 - Automation, Automation, Automation
A play on a famous political slogan, we think 2022 will be the year when business process management enjoys a renaissance with organisations everywhere rushing to automate, and move online, any imaginable business process.
Fueled by the pandemic and supported by cloud deployment and low code development, automation will be on the ‘to-do’ list of every CEO and CTO in the next few years.
The march towards digital transformation is everywhere - even businesses that rely on paper forms are automating the processing of the form as manual transcription is time-consuming and error-prone.
Others are going one step further and breaking free of paper by moving to electronic forms in the online world.
Consequently, the skills to implement digital transformation will be in high demand.
With business process transformation a key priority in a post-pandemic world, the ability to understand the current “As Is” process, map out a “Future” desired state, and translate it into a fully automated and accessible anywhere workflow with BPM software are valuable skills.
BPM trend #2 Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP)
The need for organisations to embrace digital transformation initiatives and move processes online quickly because of the pandemic has driven the adoption of low code development platforms.
This is supported by the latest forecasts from Gartner. They predict the worldwide low-code development technologies market will total $13.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 22.6% from 2020.
Low-code development platforms replace the need for programming with templates, pre-built workflow components and drag-and-drop designers to empower employees to deliver change to their department or organisation.
Gartner predicts that half of all buyers of low-code development platforms will originate from outside the IT department by 2025 with business users (or ‘citizen developers’) increasingly responsible for both procuring and building technology solutions such as digital forms software.
20x faster than custom coding, LCAP’s reduce time-to-value by stripping away the complexity and learning curve normally associated with a full-spec BPMS, allowing you to be agile in the face of an ever-changing world.
The advent of low code development platforms means that many organisations can build apps to automate manual tasks in a few short weeks – not months.
BPM trend #3 Artificial intelligence continues to gain prominence
AI makes BPM smarter. Combined with machine learning, it continually evaluates data to predict the future and suggest data-driven improvements to operational performance.
Still in its formative stages, this business process management trend will see BPM vendors build AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities into their platforms this year with the technology reaching a wider audience in the next five years.
BP Logix Process Director, which ePC resell in Europe, has included machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities since version 5.0.
BPM trend #4 Case management
Traditional BPM focuses on predictable processes represented by sequential steps in a flowchart, but many processes are inherently unpredictable.
Step forward case management.
Once the new kid on the BPM block, case management combines the advantages of human collaboration and decision-making with the process automation of traditional BPM. It allows users to build, route and monitor human-directed casework that contains modular items consisting of multiple forms and processes that would otherwise be hard to relate to one another.
Like traditional BPM, the destination is known with case management, but the route depends on how the case evolves. From the decisions taken to new documents uploaded, any number of activities may change the context and affect how the case progresses and reaches the end event.
Whilst this can be achieved with giant monolithic workflows, they become impossible to manage and predict, often with duplicated or unnecessary steps for certain scenarios. A case allows you to bring together much smaller and more manageable workflows, as required for each specific scenario.
BPM vendors have spent the last 5-10 years integrating case management capabilities into their platforms and the last few years have seen it enter the mainstream.
Driven by the need for increased collaboration and better user experiences, we expect it to continue to grow in the near term.
BPM trend #5 Better customer experience (CX) and more collaboration
Traditionally BPM focused on reengineering manual processes to transform operational performance.
Driven by consumer products, both clients and their users (internal or external) have high expectations and now expect BPM systems to deliver better CX, not just operational improvements.
Citizen developers expect to build apps with low code development tools quickly. And their colleagues who use the system daily want to manage processes (and associated data, tasks, events, documents) in a user-friendly interface and collaborate across several departments in real-time.
Meanwhile, users expect a responsive, interactive experience with digital forms that are easier to use on all device types.
With case management and cloud technology supporting remote collaboration and low code facilitating better CX, the trend will continue in 2022 and beyond.
BPM trend #6 BPMN continues to 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 version is BPMN 2.0.2, published in January 2014.
The language is based on flowcharts and graphical notations. The notations consist of four basic categories: flow objects, connecting objects, swim lanes and artefacts. These categories contain a host of ways to create Business Process Diagrams (BPD) to simplify business activities and processes.
While it is great for modelling theoretical processes, which is always the first step to BPM implementation, it lacks the flexibility to encompass all the design options available with intelligent BPM software.
As an example, while it is possible to model non-linear processes in BPMN with large flowcharts using conditional branches and loops to cover every possible scenario, this approach can soon become unwieldy.
Consequently, many BPM vendors have created new ways of modelling processes to support parallel steps in workflows; BPMN cannot keep up with the new possibilities.
In our view, BPMN will continue to lose relevance as traditional process modelling is replaced with more agile platforms such as the Process Timeline technology in BP Logix Process Director.
Are you planning to automate business processes in 2022?
2022 is likely to be a bumper year for BPM and automation more generally.
As the pandemic recedes, cloud-hosted low-code development platforms (especially those with case management capabilities) will be well placed to take advantage of the acceleration of digital technology as they reduce entry barriers (e.g., cost-effective, reduced time-to-value etc.) for organisations seeking to automate business processes.
Accelerate your digital transformation journey with our transformative solutions and process automation experts. Talk to us today and get 2022 off to a great start. Call us on 03300 100 000 or contact us.