BPM (Business Process Management) aims to improve the efficiency of an organisation through the process of modelling and standardising core business processes, such as the tasks, resource allocations, information and behaviours. Producing valuable results impacting stakeholders, cost and revenue generation. . BPM allows organisations to be more efficient, effective and capable of change than is possible with traditional management hierarchy.

When BPM software was first introduced in the 1990s, the technology focused on workflow automation and exchanging information between heterogeneous systems. Since then, BPM platforms have evolved to integrate process optimisation, monitoring and analytics.

The most recent development is the introduction of the iBPM (Intelligent Business Process Management) suite. Allowing companies faster and better insight into their operations, these go beyond the traditional capabilities of BPM software. iBPMs offer analytic, mobile, social and cloud capabilities, These applications have moved beyond just improving efficiency, productivity and performance to include improved responsive to changing customer needs and market scenarios.

The term ‘iBPMS’ (Intelligent Business Process Management Suite) was coined by Information Technology research and advisory company Gartner in 2012, who claims that the next generation of business processes need to move beyond cost savings and efficiency and become more adjustable to changing markets and customer dynamics. The integration of real-time intelligence (such as complex event processing, business activity monitoring and business rules management) empowers the workforce to make more rapid, contextualised decisions with an awareness that will allow a faster response to both business threats and opportunities. To borrow Gartner’s example, a food vendor at a sporting event could use an iBPM to make intelligent offers to attendees, based on an oversupply of a particular snack at a certain stand, or by directing customers to a counter with shorter waiting times.

iBPM suites were adopted first by companies within the manufacturing and utilities industries but have since spread to many other companies, including those in retail, banking and financial services. Compatibility with smartphones and tablets means that an iBPM can be particularly useful for those with a mobile workforce, such as field workers, mobile agents and welfare case workers, and the right iBPM software can provide a unified platform for operating a front office, back office, mobile application, website and the monitoring of social media platforms, too.

According to Gartner, 60% of all BPM suites sold in 2012 were iBPM suites IT departments can be more productive by deploying BPM projects instantly, operators can work more efficiently with dynamic case management and stakeholders get increased visibility and subsequent control of business processes.

Even if a company doesn’t need all these capabilities straight away, it is worth considering whether the support for mobile and social data will be needed in the future.

We believe that all organizations, not just early adopters, need to factor iBPMS into their BPM planning horizon.

– Gartner vice president, Janelle Hill.

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