Data. It’s everywhere. Pervasive. And bloody annoying to control.
With more BPM vendors moving towards empowering business users with the ability to create process enabled applications with simplified interfaces and less reliance on IT and Systems Analysts there’s a potential disaster waiting in the wings and it’s this: at the heart of any process there’s a certain amount of data in use, whether existing customer or product related information called via a service or data collection which needs to be placed within the infrastructure and stored against the customer record.
By allowing the business community to run riot by creating small or complex workflow applications via BPM tools there’s a danger that the data governance of an enterprise will be overrun and hard to control and maintain. Not only this but with Master Data Management (MDM) rearing it’s head (ugly or not) as an evolution of the old Single Customer View strategy will we need to rein in the business until a cohesive strategy has been created that allows BPM and MDM to co-exist ?
And then what needs to come first ?
MDM ? BPM ? Both at the same time ?
Implement BPM and workflow on flaky data and you’re asking for trouble in the long run.
Will we need to reconsider carefully the BPM Centre of Excellence model so that it contains Process and Data Stewards ?
In which case, this negates the arguments that BPM is purely a business activity and that we do need IT after all, just perhaps not in the way we thought of before.