This week I attended the bpmNEXT Conference in California. Unlike virtually every other conference I?ve ever attended, this one attracted Business Process Management (BPM) vendors and analysts, but not customers ? and the vendors were perfectly happy with that. Essentially, this event was in part an opportunity for vendors to show their products to each other, but primarily an excuse to network with other people in the BPM market over drinks and dinner.
You would expect such a crowd to be cheerleaders for BPM, and many of them were. But all was not right in the world. One fellow quipped that not only was BPM dying, it was never alive in the first place. Another vendor pointed out that BPM is never on CIO?s ?must have? lists. And then we have vendors spending time and money to come to a conference devoid of sales opportunities.
So, what?s wrong with the BPM market? True, there is a market for this gear, as many of the presenters pointed out in discussions of customers. But there was always the undercurrent that this stuff really isn?t as useful or popular as people would like.
Welcome to the BPM zombie apocalypse. Zombies, after all, are dead people who don?t realize they?re dead, so they attempt to go about their business as though nothing was amiss. But instead of acting like normal, living people, they end up shuffling around as they shed body parts, groaning for brains. Time to get my shovel and escape to hype ? and customer ? filled conferences focusing on Big Data and Cloud.