You may be familiar with Business Process Management (BPM). It is a discipline in which people use various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate business processes. Today BPM, or more specifically the technology that supports BPM, is widely used in organizations large and small to automate business operations. The story of BPM is long, with roots going back to the early 1990’s, and it has constantly reinvented itself to meet the evolving needs of enterprises. Once focused on driving efficiencies into back-office functions, BPM platforms have evolved into essential tools for enterprises looking to digitally transform operations, and to deliver a personalized customer experience that’s integrated across points of interaction.
BPM in the Application Environment
The focus on digital transformation has led to the modern role of BPM solutions in application development, and to the rearchitecting of the old monolithic BPMS as a set of middleware services that developers can easily incorporate into applications. Now often referred to as a Digital Application Platform (DAP), the BPMS has become part of the application environment – a catalog of components that can be included in applications requiring process management, decision management or optimization capabilities. Now, for example, when building an application that requires, say, to make a determination of whether an insurance application complies with underwriting rules, a developer can quickly locate the corresponding decision service within their app environment and include it in their application. Conversely, it’s the new DAP solutions that enable such application services to be quickly created from models provided by the business. Business friendly tools support the creation of a range of model types – from decision models, built with the new graphical Decision Model & Notation (DMN) standard, to models of entire business processes constructed in Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN). DAP technology today is truly making it possible for business users to contribute to application development alongside developers.
Cloud-Native Digital Automation
The advantages of modern digital automation middleware are not limited to application development, however. Once built, those new applications must be deployed on a variety of cloud platforms, they must scale automatically to meet varying demands, they must be secure, and they must be easy to replace or upgrade without impacting the user experience. At Red Hat, the application environment, in which DAP services are included, is designed from the ground up to be cloud-native. DAP services are deployed in containers, and managed by Kubernetes, to provide the scalability and resiliency that enterprises need.
Digital automation today is an essential part of modern applications, and its importance is only likely to increase as we look to the future role of the Digital Automation Platform as the logical home for emerging technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence / machine learning. At Red Hat, we are focused on growing our application environment to support this widening technology landscape, so that our customers can succeed in an ever more digital world.