Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Ambuj Kumar, Shelly Palmer, XebiaLabs Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: BPM Solutions

Best Practices for Implementing Cloud BPM

Business Process Management solutions enable business people to quickly and easily capture their business goals as models that can be instantly turned into intelligent, automated processes. No or minimal software development, and no wait for IT resources.

The Business Process Management solution is a complete set of tools for creating, executing, and optimizing business processes. This enables unparalleled collaboration between business and IT managers. As a result, business processes are automated and optimized to improve efficiency and agility while costs are lowered.

The following are the salient features of BPM implementations in enterprises.

  • BPM solutions manage long running business processes across enterprise
  • BPM solutions manage interaction within the enterprise and outside the enterprise
  • BPM solutions support human interaction at various points within the business process flow
  • BPM solutions facilitate the adoption of SOA(Service0Oriented Architecture) to bridge the gaps between the IT process and business processes

BPM Components
A comprehensive BPM suite consists of many components, the following are the typical components of the suite.

BPM Studio / Modeler: Business Process Management studio enables collaboration between business and IT. It is generally a design tool built for the business analyst to design and simulate any type of process simply by dragging and dropping process elements based on the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) standard onto role-based swim lanes.

BPM Process Server: The BPM Process Servers provides a run-time environment for running business processes. It provides native support for various industry standard BPM Process notation methodologies. Irrespective of the licensing needs for packaging, typically process server involves these sub components also.

  • The human workflow service provides features such as, Task routing to users, groups or application roles. Deadlines, escalations, notifications, and other features required for ensuring the timely performance of a task.
  • Business Rules sub component, where by process analysts can change business rules without stopping business processes. Also, externalizing business rules enables process analysts to manage business rules directly, without involving process developers.
  • SOA suite which provides the back bone to expose the legacy components as coarse grained services, so that the business processes can be realized.

Adapters and Connectors: A typical Business Process implementation within an enterprise involves multiple legacy applications which will be realizing the sections of the business process and hence a BPM suite framework should include a rich set of adapters and connectors to various legacy applications and packaged ERP applications.

Cloud-Based BPM: The implementation of BPM solutions for enterprises has changed much of its nature due to the rapid adoption of SaaS (Software As A Service) delivery mechanism where by much of the portions of a long running business process are delivered by different vendors from different platforms. The following diagram provides a high level view of BPM involving SaaS.

On Premise Business Analyst: This will be a human actor who actually models the business process that will be automated through the Solution.

Cloud Based BPM Modeler / Studio: BPM Studio or modeler enables the business analyst to diagrammatically model the Business Process, this is offered as a Cloud Based Service to facilitate rapid provisioning across the enterprise users. One of the implementations of cloud based BPM modeler is IBM Blueworks Live. IBM Blueworks Live is Cloud Based business process modeler, belonging under the set of IBM SmartCloud applications. This application is designated to help organizations capture and then automate their business processes, and help them collaborate in the task of doing so.

BPM Process Server on Cloud: Once the Business Processes are modeled they needs to be deployed on to a highly scalable Process Server that also connects with multiple back end processes. Cloud BPM Process Servers are becoming more of enterprise standard. http://www.cordys.com/platform-as-a-service, Cordys is one such implementation of BPM Process on Cloud. Cordys can be consumed in a Platform-as-a-Service model and provides all of the facilities required to support the complete life cycle of building and delivering Cloud applications and services.

SaaS Based Business Services: In the recent times enterprises either adopted complete Business Process As A Service (BpaaS) or a part of their business process which is a business service (popularly termed as SaaS) from Cloud. This brings interesting possibilities about demarcation of responsibilities between Cloud Based BPM Service (i.e the Platform) and to the Business Services (i.e the SaaS based Services).

Cloud-Based BPM and SaaS Best Practices
While the SaaS Business Services can be part of a Cloud based BPM, where do we implement the Business Rules and other technical processing within the flow of a business process ?

As highlighted in my diagram it is best to implement the,

  • High-level macro processes of the business process flow , including the business rules related to the selection and usage of individual business services (SaaS based), inside the Cloud Based BPM Server
  • Low-level micro processes and associated human work flow within the SaaS based business services, i.e., utilize the out of the box work flow features of the respective SaaS solutions. Most of the SaaS/BpaaS solutions provide their own business process work flows which needs to be leveraged to the fullest potential. For example :
  • o For example in Workday (www.workday.com), Workday Business Process Framework gives you the ability to configure and reconfigure processes whenever and wherever you need-without the involvement of IT.
  • o In SalesForce, The Visual Process Manager helps companies easily automate specific business process like call center scripting, sales quotes, and new employee on boarding.

This kind of demarcation will provide the best results due to the following.

  • The high-level Business Process Flow and associated routing rules are best implemented in the cloud-based BPM Modeler and subsequently moved to a BPM Process Server.
  • This makes enterprises highly agile with respect to implementing the business processes
  • The low level micro processes are shifted to the respective SaaS offering, which ensures that the Business Process itself not tightly coupled to the SaaS solution and the SaaS solution can easily be replaced with another one addressing the much needed interoperability needs
  • Also the SaaS solution will have the advantage of best implementing the low level micro processes in their own turf.

Summary
Cloud BPM forms part of Gartner's future vision on Cloud Computing and emerging technologies and it's benefits are obvious to the business (The Cloud BPM (bpmPaaS) market is slated to grow 25% year over year, and 40% of companies doing BPM are already using BPM in the cloud). However there are some challenges to be taken care.

  • Adapters and connectors to various on premise business services
  • Seamless integration between cloud-based BPM modeling service and cloud-based BPM process service across vendors
  • How the low level business services / micro level processes implemented on SaaS solutions able to communicate back and work with the high level business processes implemented on the Cloud BPM Process Server ?

However, with the innovations happening from various vendors these will be addressed soon.

The above notion of a best practice is more of a thought process, there needs to be reference implementations for the same to prove the value of it, especially in a SaaS interoperability scenario. Please write to me if you have come across any platforms and / or architectures implementing best practices in cloud-based BPM.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...