So it seems like the jury is still out on how well BPM will migrate to the cloud but that doesn’t seem to have interrupted the momentum in the least bit! Many will agree that the exciting thing about cloud, apart from being an option to On Premise is the opportunity for new business and software delivery models to develop. At some level, this sort of innovation has to mean improved functionality and cost efficiencies.
But hosting a BPM tool on the cloud also means that first level of engagement now rests with the end user rather than the “IT department” – this is a huge challenge which begs for new ways to deliver BPM on the cloud.
Remember when Cloud solutions were served up through some clearly defined delivery models ?
- Software as a service (SaaS) which may be termed very simply as on demand software (and associated data) that is hosted centrally and delivered on browser
- Platform as a service ( PaaS) or the middle layer that provides a computing platform or solution stack as a service
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that offers physical or virtual machines from data centers billed typically on a utility computing basis
Then with the kind of huge investments biggies such as Amazon, Rackspace and Microsoft put behind Cloud, everyone was hard pressed to jump on the Cloud bandwagon - sometimes with little or no readiness. Newer delivery models with no gestation became words being bandied about. So now along with Enterprise as a service (EaaS) and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) the new kid on the overcrowded block is - iPaaS (Integration Platform as a service). But more on that in another post.
For now, how do organizations differentiate the real deal from a drummed up version? As Hollis Tibbets succinctly puts it “if it's not multi-tenant, if it's not elastic, if it's not scalable, if it doesn't have modern tools for development and management (i.e. it looks more like Windows 3.1 than Browser) then it's not the real deal …”
What I think though is that if we look beyond the multiple messages all clamoring for space, one of the clearly visible benefits that emerge is that BPM on the cloud transforms the value chain for Enterprise – a neutral space outside a firewall means capturing participation from customer and partner facing processes for true collaboration.
But what with many organizations viewing BPM on cloud as the answer to their unresolved process issues, the waters are only going to get muddier before we begin to understand the true and tangible value of BPM on cloud – any way it is served.