Gartner Says Intelligent Business Operations Is the Next Step for BPM Progammes

Analysts to Discuss the Next Generation of BPM at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2012, 14-15 March in London, and 25-27 April in Baltimore

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Organisations are making their business operations more intelligent by integrating analytics, social and mobile technologies into their processes and the applications that enable them, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts call this approach "intelligent business operations" (IBO), and consider it the next stage in the evolution of business process management (BPM) programmes.

The next generation of business processes will have to move beyond cost savings and efficiency, and become more adjustable to changing market and customer dynamics. "Tomorrow's business operations will integrate real-time intelligence," said Janelle Hill, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "This will require a new approach using IBO - a style of work in which real-time analytic and decision management technologies are integrated into the transaction-executing and book-keeping operational activities that run a business."

Integration of analytics into operational processes - which contrasts with past approaches that separated analytical work from transactional work - empowers the workforce to make better and faster contextualised decisions in order to guide work toward optimal outcomes. "The impact of integrating real-time analytics with business operations is immediately apparent to business people because it changes the way they do their jobs," said Ms Hill.

To meet the needs of IBO, the market is evolving toward the next generation of business process management suites, called intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs). By incorporating more analytics and other technologies - such as complex-event processing, social media and mobile devices - into process orchestration, iBPMSs give process participants better real-time situational awareness and the ability to tailor their responses more appropriately to emerging business threats and opportunities. For example, a food concession provider at sporting events uses an iBPMS to make intelligent offers to attendees, based on characteristics such as oversupply of snacks at one stand as compared with another, and to redirect consumers to counters where waiting times are shorter.

A number of global business trends will contribute to the growth of an IBO approach. These include the increasing recognition by businesses of the value of social interaction patterns in their value chains; the need to increase knowledge workers' productivity in service-based industries; and the move toward "big data" and in-memory analytics to enable automated decisions and best-next-action recommendations. The biggest inhibitors of growth in this market are the small number of organisations with sufficiently high BPM maturity to apply these sophisticated technologies and the associated scarcity of BPM expertise.

Although some BPMS providers will evolve their products into iBPMSs, such capabilities will exceed the needs and skills of many end users. Gartner advises mainstream end users to continue to evaluate BPMS products to find those most suited to their project and programme needs.

"Organisations should not select an iBPMS provider simply because iBPMSs represent the next generation of BPM-enabling technology," said Ms Hill. "However, organisations wanting to advance their BPM maturity and improve business performance outcomes through process optimisation should consider investing in iBPMSs."

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "BPM Suites Evolve Into Intelligent BPM Suites," available on Gartner's website at

Gartner analysts will discuss the next generation of BPM in more detail at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2012, taking place from 14 to 15 March in London. For further information about the Summit, please visit Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at and using #GartnerBPM.

The Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland will be held on 25 to 27 April at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel. Additional information is available at Members of the media can register by contacting Christy Pettey at

About Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2012

BPM can be fraught with challenges, due to the scale and breadth of skills, attributes and tools needed for success. The Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2012 will help organisations advance their BPM projects, improve their skills and achieve truly transformational BPM. Attendees will learn how to overcome barriers to BPM success, optimise business outcomes with BPM, and deepen their understanding of the next generation of BPM technologies.
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