BPM Momentum

I attended the The BPM Momentum: What’s Driving it? webinar today (not “what’s driving IT” as the host ebizQ erroneously labelled it, which has a much different meaning), featuring Jim Sinur of Gartner. Definitely worth catching the replay for Mr. Sinur’s comments on success factors for BPM projects and for his view of the market convergence.

He included Gartner’s Application Integration Hype cycle chart, showing how BPM technologies fit: apparently, BPM itself is sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment, whereas BPM Suites are still climbing towards the Peak of Inflated Expectations. (The hype cycle terminology always reminds me of the morality fable Pilgrim’s Progress with its Slough of Despond, but I digress.) He only put a 10% probability on the catastrophic scenario, which makes me feel a whole lot better.

He also had some good numbers on customers and their BPM projects:

  • 85% of BPM customers are now going after their human-facing processes (presumably, the automated system-to-system ones are already in place).
  • BPM projects are yielding an average IRR of 20% (although Gartner uses a more conservative figure of 15%), but larger projects can produce returns of well over 100%.
  • “Soft” benefits such as competitive advantage and higher customer satisfaction are major contributors to a project’s success.
  • Business and IT are becoming more aligned on BPM projects.

He also commented on the convergence that is happening in the marketplace, something that I’ve been seeing for some time as well: 130 BPM vendors all attempting to jostle their way into what I call the “BPM suite spot”:

This convergence is just a continuation of the evolution of BPM that I discussed in an earlier post, but it’s going to get a lot more painful for some of the players as they get eaten by the competition or body-checked off the playing field.

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