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Will Mobile Apps be the BPMS Killer?

by Elise Olding  |  November 30, 2010  |  8 Comments

Now that I have your attention…are you considering the inclusion of mobile apps in your business process design? Are you knowledgeable about how apps can be integrated into your design? If not, then it’s time to start. Mobile apps can not only deliver a competitive advantage, but can also be part of a larger cost-reduction effort. Apps can be developed for a fraction of the cost and deliver needed functionality.

A good example is highlighted in Technology Review:

Chris O’Connor, an information technology manager at Genentech, hired an expert on user interface design and created a mobile app to solve the issue of logging sales visits. The app increased the input rate from 20% to 40% and added the ability to easily and quickly address doctor questions, resulting in faster orders from the doctors.

“In the early going, a team of six people spent about one-third of their work time over five months developing the On the Road app, for a total cost of more than $100,000. But as the company has developed more of its own apps, the process has gotten faster and cheaper. An application it built for booking conference rooms, integrated with Google Calendar, took just two weeks and $13,000.”

As BPM professionals I would encourage each of you to develop a close relationship with your smart device. There are countless apps out there – ones that can dramatically increase productivity, enable better sharing of information and provide richer, more easily accessible interactions.  Hands on usage may change your perspective and stimulate your creativity when tackling that next process design project.

According to Jim Sinur, Research VP at Gartner: “some leading BPMS vendors are getting a taste of mobile, but not to the degree necessary to deliver innovative processes. They are only viewing mobile as an onramp to their BPMS.”

What are you doing to get acquainted with the mobile superhighway and how it will impact your view of process design? Let me know your thoughts!  Follow me on Twitter @eliseolding and keep the conversation going.

Category: bpm-strategic-planning  gartner  mobile  

Tags: bpm  bpms  cebp  gartner  jim-sinur  mobile  process-design  process-improvement  

Elise Olding
Research Director
7 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

Elise Olding is a Research Director covering the complex challenges of organizational change and business transformation from a people perspective. Her areas of focus include organizational change, communications strategies and emerging trends in employee engagement from a hands-on practitioner view. Ms. Olding provides research on a worldwide basis, advising clients on best practices to achieve sustainable change and business transformation. She is a member of Gartner's Business Process and Transformation team. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Will Mobile Apps be the BPMS Killer?


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jovi Umawing, Jim Sinur. Jim Sinur said: I'm going mobile !! Elise Olding's view of opportunity of BPM and Moble http://bit.ly/e8d7mb #in #BPM #Entarch #BRMS #gartner […]

  2. Hi Elise, mobile will kill a lot of things. And why not orthodox BPMS? But what it will need is a huge step forward from the current flowchart design paradigm and that needs a different control mechanism for processes based on states/events/rules. As it happens we have been doing that for close to ten years and it is a perfect fit for mobile. So creating/working processes on the fly through your mobile will be normal fairly soon.

    Thanks for a great post! Max

  3. Mobile apps today are the outlook plugins and lotus integrations of yesteryear.

    Sure, mobile apps have cooler designs, better usability and are on devices that are constantly connected. But, enterprise software vendors use them the same way: to provide offline or away from my main computer access to the system.

    Like Gartner, I’d love to see something more disruptive in this space.

  4. Kevin Morgan says:

    Very interesting. Industrial strength mobile apps could be a catalyst for much more accessible shared SOA. People could build their own apps for payments, shopping, research, etc. with the right tokens. What would the business models be?

  5. Pat Flanders says:

    Wow, here we are with BPM becoming a true mobile possibility. But the question not being asked is: does making a BPMS available in a mobile way optimize it, make it better, or easier to use? It CAN be done, but SHOULD it be done?

  6. […] of the Gartner analysts on the “Five BPM Predictions,” shakes things up with this question:  Will Mobile Apps be the BPMS Killer? Now that I have your attention…are you considering the inclusion of mobile apps in your business […]

  7. […] BPM and Mobile Apps – Elise Olding As BPM professionals I would encourage each of you to develop a close […]

  8. The increasing reliance on mobile access to corporate applications does present a challenge for BPM, much as it does for other enterprise solutions. Today, we see this primarily in terms of executive interaction with BPM: if the CFO needs to approve an expenditure, she wants to be able to do it from wherever she happens to be.

    In the future, however, as the workforce spends less time in a traditional office environment, the need for advanced mobile feature sets for rank-and-file employees can only grow.



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