iBPMS – Right for Your Enterprise?

Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for BPM attempts to change the game by evaluating BPM tools’ alignment with their vision of “IBO” (Intelligent Business Operations) rather than BPM tools’ core process modeling and execution capabilities. This means that Gartner expects the following additional capabilities – at minimum – to be a part of any BPM suite, which they now call an iBPMS (intelligent Business Process Management Suite):

  • Social business interaction,
  • Mobile interface support,
  • Advanced reporting capabilities,
  • Advanced decision support systems, e.g. rules engines, etc.

Should enterprises who are evaluating BPM tools subscribe to this new definition of iBPMS?

Many organizations already have tools to support the features listed above. These organizations already have social business interaction tools such as Yammer (now part of Microsoft) or Chatter, mobile interface support strategies or tools such as a group of developers focused on building HTML 5 interfaces, advanced reporting capabilities through Business Objects (SAP) or Crystal Reports, and decision support systems such as IBM ILOG or FICO’s Blaze Advisor. Why would these companies want to bring in a tool that duplicates an existing set of capabilities?

The answer to the question above may be more complex in some cases than it seems, because it may make – or seem to make – financial sense for these companies to bring in a tool that can provide all of these capabilities without the expensive cost of integrating data between systems. To reach that conclusion, companies should take ALL of the following into account:

  • The cost of the iBPMS vs. the cost of a BPMS that provides core BPM capabilities,
  • The cost of integrating data between the BPMS and the existing, supporting systems that provide the additional iBPMS capabilities,
  • The cost of training their IT personnel in the mechanics of how the iBPMS implements the additional features,
  • The support costs associated with providing support for an additional platform that provides all of the capabilities listed above, and
  • The loss of functionality that may be associated with using the tools embedded within the iBPMS. (For example, there may be limitations on what can be reported on using the embedded reporting engines within the iBPMS platforms.)

For those organizations that either don’t already have many of the additional capabilities of an iBPMS in-house or who have gone through the analysis suggested above and determined that it does make financial sense for them to purchase an iBPMS, they’ll find rich feature and capability sets in today’s iBPMS tools, some examples of which are included below:

  • The advanced rules engine included with Pega,
  • The easy-to-use reporting capabilities that are a part of IBM’s BPM suite, or
  • The next-generation social collaboration and mobile interface support provided as part of Appian’s BPMS.

In summary, though the capabilities of today’s “iBPMS” platforms are manifold and in most cases very well-evolved, businesses should carefully evaluate whether they need these additional capabilities or whether they simply need “core” BPMS capabilities such as process modeling and execution. No matter what your decision, Princeton Blue, Inc., can help you make the right decision and implement your BPM solution in the most cost-effective manner; please visit our website at and request us to contact you or contact us at (908) 369-0961.

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