Today, most of the basic business processes around managing businesses like HR, Payroll, IT services, legal etc., can be managed using the available SaaS solutions. This fits the classic pattern of a disruptive solution that captures market share for non-core business processes at the lower end of the industry, targeting startups and small businesses growing to capture higher margin and market shares with critical mass.
If the pattern holds, such SaaS solutions will permeate up to higher margin solutions that cater to medium and large-scale enterprises. BPM products that cater to the medium and large enterprises realize this shift and are moving in the direction to support implementation that fully utilize the benefits of the cloud.
Medium and large scale enterprises broadly implement their business processes based on a broad range of solutions, from COTS products with some customization to complete custom developed solutions, and from dedicated infrastructure to outsourced cloud based solutions. The determination of what solution best fits the need can be made using various metrics.
To determine if a BPM solution on the cloud is a right fit some of the basic filters that can be used are as follows:
1. Core v/s non-core BPM solutions: Most non-core business processes are readily sourced to SaaS based cloud solutions. These solutions allow a range of configuration and customization. All core business processes are best managed using custom solutions to allow the best fit.
2. Repetitive v/s one time: Implementing a custom solution for a business process in itself is a multi-step process and can include repetitive tasks which are suited to managing using cloud solutions. These tasks can range from QA testing, performance evaluation to managing availability of various versions of the software on different platforms. Such repetitive tasks are easily managed in a virtual environment, which lends itself well to a cloud solution.
3. Applications that require high performance, compute resources in bursts rather than smooth evenly distributed application load which over a period of time will be better served in a cloud environment where compute capacity can be dynamically altered.
In order for enterprises to reap the benefits of a cloud based BPM solution, their best candidate solutions could be applications that meet all of the above three criteria, i.e. non-core applications that require repetitive tasks and/or where application load is uneven and requires bursts of compute resources. This helps build a coherent strategy around which applications to target first will be moved to the cloud. Once all such applications are migrated, the next step could target applications that meet any two criteria.