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May 05, 2016
Is Business Process Management obsolete in a world of “Everything as a Service”?
By: Silke Lehmann

The Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) market size is estimated to grow from $1.62 billion in 2015 to $4.71 billion by 2020. In the oil and gas industry, exposure to low oil prices and associated cost pressures has led to rethinking the sourcing strategy for processes and adopting BPaaS as a means to drive structural change. Bundled with IT, a shift towards “everything as a service” paves the path to transformational change from a process and technology perspective. What then happens to Business Process Management –– a discipline the oil and gas industry has made significant investments in over the last decade? In a world of “everything as a service,” where the process is defined and managed by service suppliers, is Business Process Management (BPM) becoming irrelevant?

Accenture’s view is that the contrary is the case. In order to deliver to the business commitments and to operate safely, the orchestration of business processes remain the responsibility of the company, no matter where the processes are sourced from.

As a result BPM becomes more important and more complex in a world of everything as a service. There is a shift needed though in multiple aspects:

Firstly so far the focus typically is on managing “intra-company processes;” this will need to move to managing “inter-company processes.” Secondly, the BPM focus today is mostly on managing process efficiency, especially now in the context of low oil prices. This needs to shift to a risk-focused management approach as the efficiency and transactional aspects are indeed covered by the as-a-service concept. And finally we see that today’s processes are often managed in a “one size fits all approach.” Whereas in the future, processes will need to be segmented, such as internal versus intercompany processes, based on their risk profile.

BPM is far from obsolete. But the BPM discipline needs to evolve and to adapt to the new world of “everything as a service”––an exciting journey ahead for the BPM practitioners in our industry.

1 “Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) Market Worth 4.7 Billion USD by 2020” PR Newswire (US), 10 November 2015, © 2015 PR Newswire Association LLC via Factiva.

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