Recently reading that 2011 is to be the Year of the App Store, I visited some App Stores to look for BPM Apps. The results start by unearthing some real BPM Apps and conclude with a vision of the App Store as a whole new paradigm for BPM.
You’ll be amazed to read that there are currently 134 BPM Apps for the iPhone alone and equally disappointed to learn that nearly all of these relate to music (beats per minute). One of the features of today’s App Stores is that their search and filter features are remarkably limited considering that a successful search is intended presumably to conclude with a sale.
Most all of these Apps require that you host a BPM server before you’ll get any business benefit from the App. Some of the Apps are a complete BPM system, cloud-based and accessed through a web browser. As I understand it, their target market is any organisation, big or small, private or public sector, which wants to build and manage its own processes without actually investing in their own BPM platform. This is essentially the traditional BPM market, expanded down towards SMEs that could not previously afford the upfront investment that BPM has tended to require.
The benefits from this will flow mainly to the end consumer. In the same way that much software that would previously have been boxed and sold for is now available in App Stores, there is no reason why business processes should not provide similar economies of scale. And the profits of the successful Process Apps will be shared by the App Store, the BPM Platform Provider and the Process App Developer. Combining the traditional BPM virtues of ease of process build with new App Store publication and subscription functionality will encourage and support a whole new world of competing micro-processes, benefiting all involved parties.
If 2011 is to be the Year of the App Store, will 2012 be the Year of the Process App?
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