Internet of Things, meet BPM

  • April 15, 2015
  • Scott

About a month ago, hosted a discussion of processes and the Internet of Things.  If you want to know what some of the thought leadership in BPM think about IoT, this is as good a place as any to get a sneak preview.

My favorite part of the discussion was kicked off by Ian Gotts:

BPM should help simplify the complex so that everyone is working consistently. IOT has made business infinitely more complex. BPM has a critical role to play in helping businesses understand how to exploit and manage the explosion of data from the IOT.

This tension between more noise and complexity, and understanding core values and processes, is really at the heart of how IoT and BPM relate. John Morris added to the comment with another thought:

Language is by definition a simplifying illusion (per “signifier and signified”). Models are “illusions”, if we have to use the term. To be human is to refer to the world via the intermediation of language and thought.

And that’s what BPM is — “a nascent language of work”. In a BPM system, the symbols of work (“task”, “call-to-customer”, “resource-No.-2” etc.) are first class citizens of the software. BPM provides management with the best-so-far technology of work management.

A bit of a play on being “the worst language to describe work – except for all the others”, but I think John has articulated the connection between BPM and Language in a really succinct way.  Worthy of its own blog post, John!



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  • LOL Scott, BPM as “the worst language to describe work – except for all others”! Even this acknowledgement of BPM-as-language-of-work though is a step forward. To continue your historical reference, perhaps in the battles of BPM, “It is not the end, or even the beginning of the end, but it might be the end of the beginning” . . . thanks very much for highlighting my original comment!

    • end of the beginning is a good thought. some people think that it is over when you get to the late majority adopters, but I think that’s just when the fun starts 🙂

  • iangotts

    Scott – thanks for the shout out,