Appian’s recent decision to distance itself from the term BPM and reposition itself as an ‘application platform’ is, I believe, a positive step forward in clarifying the confusion around what BPM solutions actually solve.
The term BPM — ‘business process management’ — it’s so vague and broad it could mean anything, of course the market has evolved to be just that. It’s generally accepted that BPM is not just technology, but the on-going challenge of managing and optimising business processes. This is so broad that when it comes to BPM solutions, there are a vast array of problems that can be solved under this banner.
Let’s look at an example set of requirements:
- Does your organisation have software development teams, developing custom software?
- Are they struggling to integrate this software with other apps?
- Ongoing problems managing these apps, like shifting to cloud/mobility platforms?
It just seems wrong that a BPM tool could be the ideal solution for these challenges, when another solution, also called a BPM tool, solves a fundamentally different set of problems:
- No centralised, searchable, shareable library of process knowledge
- Weak process ownership from business teams
- Weak change management following improvement or technology projects
It’s good that providers like Appian are leading the way in repositioning their offering to align it closer to the value the solution actually brings.