Cloud BPM: Look before you Leap

Cloud computing must be economically viable, commonly accessible and must ensure strategic ownership of infrastructure and operations in order for business process management (BPM) to derive value from it.

This is according to Patrick Shields, senior principal consultant and pre-sales manager at Software AG, speaking at the ITWeb BPM Summit.

Previously, BPM was more workflow-orientated, Shields said, with its roots in document-centric workflows. This is no longer the case; BPM has evolved to become part of the culture of many organisations, which means it must now be able to collaborate, and should be used as a platform to enable customers to co-design processes in organisations, Shields said.

There are a few questions that organisations need to ask before deciding on a cloud BPM solution, he advised. It’s important for organisations to decide on a migration platform – whether they are going to have on-premise private cloud solutions or hosted offsite cloud solutions.

Businesses also need to look at the end-to-end visibility of the cloud service provider, as this will assist in providing technical input to process designs. This is especially important in the design phase, Shields says. Changes need to be accommodated in design phases, as this has a cost implication to the business, especially if last-minute changes are made, Shields explained.

Lastly, there also needs to be a BPM competence centre, as this will enable the measurement of processes. If a process can’t be measured, then it has no meaning, Shields emphasised.

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About Patrick Shields

Patrick Shields is the Chief Technology Officer serving the continent of Africa at Software AG. He focuses on solving business challenges and creating competitive advantage for his customers. Patrick has 31 years of experience managing the delivery of technology solutions, with 17 of those years managing the delivery of Software AG technology solutions. He relocated from Atlanta in the USA, to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2009 where he is helping grow Software AG's African business. As CTO, Patrick is responsible for Strategic Account Management, Thought Leadership, Market Evangelism, Localized Product Management, Sales Support and Sales Enablement.
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