I managed to squeeze in a couple of vendor sessions on Monday, and particularly enjoyed that by Patrick Morrissey of Savvion on “The Seven Deadly Sins of BPM”. He sees a process-centric future with BPM as a standard part of IT archicture, a view with which I agree, and quoted Simon Hayward from the keynote:
There is no business without process…process is the heart of competitive advantage.
Morrissey stated an alarming statistic (I can’t recall the original source): in the last five years, companies have spent $40 billion on ERP, CRM and HR software, and $650 billion on the services related to that software. That’s more than 16:1 in favour of services, for the math-challenged in the crowd. I see overcustomization happening in all of my customers, where (usually) a large SI sells them on the notion of a huge services contract to customize a system that already meets most of their requirements. This renders a huge disservice to the customers, who pay through the nose for the custom work then for all future maintenance on it, but it’s also a disservice to the product vendors, since the value of their systems is never fully realized in such a situation. In fact, two of the “deadly sins” that Morrissey discussed were “unnatural acts with existing applications” and “hardwire your BPM applications”, both of which are the result of poorly-designed customization: SI’s gone wild, and not in a way that we want to see on video.
In the obligatory plug for Savvion, Morrissey pointed out that Savvion has released its process modeller as a standalone free version, and it was available the booth at the show. You can also download it from their website here. We’re going to see more and more of this, I believe: vendors giving away planning, modelling and analysis tools in order to raise their profile in the marketplace, and potentially drive more interest in the process engines that lie at the heart of their strategy.