The Next Open Source Revolution: the Democratization of BPM
A radical change is coming with the increasing maturity of open source BPM vendors, the key to the democratization of BPM in all types of organizations
After more than 20 years of evangelization from vendors and consultants, many companies are now fully aware of the benefits of Business Process Management and of the value of Business Process Management Solutions (BPMS).
These benefits include cost reduction by targeting inefficiencies, improvement of process quality, creation of better customer experience and higher customer satisfaction, and higher business agility.
However, the market for BPM solutions is dominated today by a few commercial vendors who generally provide their technologies to large accounts via lengthy, complex and expensive business and Information System reengineering projects. This high‐end positioning allows providers to charge a high price for their products, usually bundled with high‐level consulting that is intended to change the customer's Information Systems organization from the top down.
Companies that want BPM, but not complex IT reengineering or intensive on‐going support, often just can't justify the premium cost of proprietary solutions. Even large enterprises can’t afford to deploy proprietary solutions for every single project.
Traditional BPM solutions not only demand a steep initial investment; they also often require significant resources to manage implementation and on‐going operation. Most of the currently available BPM solutions are complex to deploy and complicated to use, so they are not suited for small or medium projects.
Therefore, BPM solutions are not yet “democratized” – that is, widely employed in companies without access to big budgets, or commonly implemented for smaller projects. And as I see it, price and complexity are what is impeding the democratization of BPM.
I foresee a radical change over the next few next years with the increasing maturity of open source BPM vendors. As in other domains such as Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning, or ETL (Extract, Transform and Load), open source vendors are the key to the democratization of BPM in all types of organizations – if they are able to provide intuitive, powerful, and easy‐to‐use BPM Solutions that any organization can afford.