The rapid rise of cloud computing and readily available free Web-based business applications mean more business users are deploying and using technology solutions without the IT department's involvement, which is one of the main attractions of mash apps.
Automotive supplier Valeo serves as a concrete case study: It introduced Google Apps for Business to its 30,000 connected employees to increase administrative efficiency and improve collaboration between almost 200 locations in nearly 30 countries. Using Applications Templates, business users all over the world can create and customize applications while governance is provided centrally to minimise duplication of effort and cost.
Cloud proposition vs. on-premises
Another question that companies are asking is why they should consider vendors with a cloud proposition instead of traditional on-premises suppliers. The easy answer to this is if a business isn't sure about BPM it can try it out in the cloud before making a commitment. Organizations often start in the cloud and then move back into on-premises, and vice versa. This flexibility is important to consider together with the idea of a hybrid model. There has also been a noticeable rise in a new approach to a BPM appliance where the whole offering comes "in a box," often delivered as a cloud-based platform as a service.
There are real benefits from cloud and BPM:
- Quick start, no IT hassle and focus on business value
- Pay-as-you-go subscription model
- High degree of collaboration such as collaborative modeling
- Orchestration of cloud services
However, to get this benefit it is important that companies ask themselves the right, honest questions. Navigating BPM and the cloud and making the correct, pragmatic choices ensures an organization is future-proofed, can get started quickly and can take the hybrid approach to make sure they aren't getting themselves into that "mess of many" problem.
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