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How Important is the Cloud to BPM?

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There is an interesting discussion going on @ BPM.com (click here for the link).

My thoughts :


Business Process Management does not have any direct dependency on Cloud for its implementation or functioning. It is just yet another approach or way to implement BPM based solutions. It’s not that BPM solutions cannot be developed in the absence of Cloud Solutions.

All the BPM Product Suites are Web-Based, it hardly makes a difference, whether you are launching the Developer Portal/User Portal from an on-premise hosted instance or a cloud based instance. Yes, when it comes to networking or operations team, some minor changes more or less might be there.

It is more of a trade-off between cost vs maintenance vs implementation vs infrastructure

I would like to highlight my thoughts based on a comparative analysis.

2BPMCloud

 On-Premise based implementation :

  • With the On-Premise based implementation, the entire server setup, development of flows, screens and integration with data-store/external systems etc. happens on-premise.
  • A dedicated data-center for maintenance of the servers and a bunch of resources for monitoring are allocated for the same
  • Sometimes it is a feel good factor 🙂 (though you don’t physically take the blocks of data and store it – but yes you can see and touch – this is the data center which has the Golden Source!)
  • Some consider it as an old-school way of implementation (with the current trends like mobile, social, analytics and cloud buzzing in the enterprise market)
  • This is a tested and proven way of implementation (lots of stories and case studies to share)

1BPMCloud

Cloud based implementation :

  • “Cloud” is something everyone is talking about these days and want to embrace it overcoming the reluctance and hiccups most of the companies had when Cloud was introduced in the market
  • People now understand the power of Cloud from an enterprise wide adoption perspective (PaaS is the most sought after approach)
  • With the Private Cloud way of implementation, the fear from a security standpoint is ruled out to some extent
  • The interesting factor for attaching BPM with the cloud implementation is from the various Cost Options like pay-per-use, per per transaction, pay per case, pay per user etc.
  • With cloud based implementation, the server maintenance and other support activities are expected from the Cloud Provider – though it always comes with a tagged price.
  • This is where the enterprise has to do the homework and raise the hand if the business really demands for a Cloud Based implementation

Also, apart from just going by the Cost, Infra and Maintenance, it is crucial to do a thorough analysis as to DOES MY PROJECT REALLY NEED A CLOUD BASED SOLUTION ?

For instance, if I have the Data Store On-Premise and I plan to move all my flows, user screens and business rules to a cloud environment – It sounds OK. But, if we see it from a practical standpoint, every instance/case that gets persisted will be a cloud/on-premise transaction which will add to the latency and response time.

Similarly if my application has all the flows, UI, DB in the cloud environment but it makes multiple calls to On-Premise based legacy systems – Is Cloud a Viable Option for me ?

The other case could be, lets say the implementation if for a ARMY/NAVAL wing of a country. From a security / compliance / regulation standpoint, is it fine if I have my Data in a Cloud Environment ?

These are some of the preliminary assessment and  questions that needs to be answered and agreed upon before BLINDLY moving to an UNKNOWN territory. It should not be judged that My Competitor has adopted BPM on Cloud …Why not Me!!

3BPMCloud

Few questions that needs to be validated are :

  • Does my Application really Need a Cloud platform ?
  • Is my Application an eligible candidate for Cloud ?
  • What portion of my application involves lot of Complex Calculations – which can be the candidate for the Cloud Movement ?
  • In my BPM implementation (Flows, Rules, UI, Database) – which are the ones, I want to have on-premise and the ones on the Cloud ?
  • How much will I save, not just in terms of Dollars($$) but also in terms of Response Time ?
  • Will it encapsulate and solve all my problems ?
  • From an infra implementation and maintenance perspective – am I going the right way ?
  • Does my company Regulation allow me to adopt a Public Cloud or I have to invest on a Private Cloud setup ?
  • …..and many more!!

With the implementation like Mobile, Social, Analytics -> the WoW!! Factor gets created by the End User!! coz..they believe what they see. The same analogy does not completely go with the Cloud (though there are a lot of advantages which the IT Team, Operations and Business can feel it)

For an end user – it is always the USER EXPERIENCE!! – whether the underlying platform is on-premise or cloud – never-mind!!

Please do share your thoughts and comments!!

Nice Read Articles :

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