BPM and the Internet of Everything

Internet of EverythingPeter Schooff, writing on BPM.com, asked, “How will the Internet of Everything impact BPM?” This is a great and timely question because the Internet of Everything, the growth and convergence of people, process, data and things on the Internet, is a phrase that’s popping up everywhere.

This week at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Paul LaBelle described Gartner’s focus on the Internet of Everything as their keynote theme and a thread they’ve been weaving through conferences in Europe and Africa as well. Gartner contends that anyone with access to the Internet can be their own business, from selling parking space in their driveway to laundry services from their garage.

That idea (albeit five years later) supports Clay Shirky’s 2008 concept spelled out in, Here Comes Everybody that the Internet lets us form groups effortlessly for work and commerce, changing the dynamic of the market and workplace significantly.

The work organization is dead

Because groups form more naturally in a fully connected, immediately accessible world, the need to create structures to accomplish work lessens significantly. We can work together on projects that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise or had access to in a pre-Internet world. There’s no longer a need for a defined organization to deliver a desired result because there’s an opportunity for everyone to be in the organization at the same time and for process to be executed by the best possible (or available or least expensive) man or machine.

Long live the work organization (as intelligent agents)

BPM is headed toward what Jim Sinur, James Odell and Peter Fingar talk about in Business Process Management: The Next Waveintelligent agents for getting work done rather than inflexible process flows and/or artificial organizational structures.

This won’t happen overnight but is absolutely on the way. The next wave of efficiency in production will come through the shift from pre-wired BPM and organizational structures to networks of intelligent agents (including humans) that deliver interactively and far more efficiently than ever before.

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