BPM Ecosystem – Blurring Boundaries or Systematic Convergence?

Human Centric BPM, Integration Centric BPM, Collaborative / Social BPM, Content Centric workflows, Simulation based Process Improvement, Lean approach for BPM, BPM for Rapid Application Development, BPM for Composite Business Applications, BPM in Cloud, Platform vendors acquiring Pure-play BPM vendors, BPM vendor acquiring CRM vendor, Outside-In v/s Tactical BPM v/s Agile methodology, BPA and BPMS interoperability,… (Headache!)

The list goes on. In the initial years of BPM, we thought we had few problems that would slowly disappear with maturity in the discipline / technology.

Come 2010, and we are dealing with more variants and more convergence areas. Depending on where you look from and where your stakes lie, this could be a case of blurring boundaries or of significant convergence in BPM ecosystem.

I will not waste a lot of time spitting blabber as my statements will start blurring into each other 🙂

However, I have attempted to visualize the situation through this –

BPM Ecosystem – Blurring boundaries or systematic convergence?

So, we have various paradigms all blurring the boundaries. The circles of BPMS (as Software and as Suite) are expanding (as depicted by outgoing arrowheads) to include more and more of what we need to make BPM work in real life systems and processes. On the other hand we have the business domains and disciplined pushing to align the technological progress with the needs of business.

Pictures should speak a thousand words, but in this case I find it still difficult to say all I wanted to through just one graphic. Well, I got limited by the space and dimensions in a similar way as our process models’ inability to satisfy all stakeholders views and needs! Well, I could not somehow significantly illustrate one big gap that divides the BPM fraternity – and that is between business paradigm and technology paradigm – difficult to understand the conflict actually, since all mutually need each other!

Anyway, what looks like a “blurring of boundaries” otherwise, to me is “a systematic and very methodical convergence” of complementary disciplines and technologies around BPM. I see it in the picture above, do you? And can we all “converge” and leverage on our best opportunity in recent times to really take BPM to where it belongs?


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  1. #1 by Theo Priestley on March 16, 2010 - 8:13 pm

    This is so true, what appear to be opposing forces and industries at work are actually disciplines and technologies within a shade of each other.

    Which begs the question; who is the closest to this utopian view ?….

    • #2 by Ashish Bhagwat on March 16, 2010 - 9:07 pm

      Theo, this question is difficult to answer. This is not going to be achieved by a vendor through only technological strenths, but the alignment with the discipline, business centricity and methodologies are of importance too.

      In terms of capability and firepower, platform vendors look better placed to map to this view, but smaller players through collaboration could as well achieve this, but they need to again align to multiple partners to achieve that. Well, here we go again… 🙂

      Need someone to come up and do this please…!

  2. #3 by Marcos on April 22, 2010 - 12:11 am

    The graph is really good…
    Can i public this picture in my blog? I write about BPM but for spanish people.


    • #4 by Ashish Bhagwat on April 22, 2010 - 7:27 am

      Sure Marcos, as long as you give credit 🙂

      • #5 by marcos on May 2, 2010 - 11:49 pm

        ok. thanks!!
        look at this… in my blog.


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