Picked up on an interesting tweet this weekend of a Business Insider article titled, “Facebook Investor Roger McNamee Explains Why Social is Over”. Since most technology people and the pundits are still explaining why Social needs to exist, it grabbed my attention. Roger McNamee’s presentation of “10 Hypotheses for Technology Investing” was the driver for the Business Insider article and was well worth the 50 minute investment.
I’ll take you through his technology insights and break what this means for BPM:
“Microsoft’s share of internet connected devices has gone from 95% to under 50% in 3 years.” He says this to emphasize that the move away from PC’s will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide as organizations realign their technology with the way people need to work. It will be less about the keyboard, and more about web-enabled applications that deliver the same value with swipes and finger presses. “PC’s are aggravating and very expensive”. There will be those who will argue that quote, but I wouldn’t put a big bet on the survivability of PC’s (as we know them) in the long run.
Takeaway: BPM will be delivered the same new way, and PC-based applications that require a stationary machine to intersect with a stationary user at the right moment are headed for obscurity. Increasingly mobile workforces using mobile devices to consume business process and its contextual information will be the way human-centric BPM is done.
“Google is strategically in a very difficult situation…Wikipedia, Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, etc. have all emerged to address search problems with Google and now half of all searches are done here instead of Google.” Indexed search allowed Google to have a choke point for information that allowed them to earn revenue on all indexed searches, which were the dominate form of search. The way we find information is becoming much more specific and less tolerant of the large data returns and SEO ‘junk’ found on the Web and discovered through Google.
Takeaway: Apple developed the idea of apps that use the Internet, but not the Web (the browser-based access to information on the Internet). The result? Apple now dominates economically because people are buying hardware instead of software to benefit from the shift. The Web’s response? HTML5 is the new programming language of the Web that will take away the limits created by downloadable functionality like Flash, unleashing enormous information-serving creativity in the same way the move away from the PC will unleash hardware budgets. Knowledge Management broad-based search will suffer the same fate as indexed searches on the Web. BPM will be either ‘app’ based or in HTML5-based, but either way, content will be delivered through the web in all-new ways. Indexed search will lose favor in BPM as well.
“Social is ‘done’, it’s now a feature.” Roger McNamee’s words to describe the idea that while so many people are still talking about what to do about social technology, the creative days are now a part of our past and it is a required feature of any product. There will be marketing contortions as every new product attempts to create relevance to getting real work done, but only a few will provide meaningful change.
Takeaway: BPM networks must be social and collaborative to survive. Experimentation is over…it works and people will find a way to do it with our without leadership’s involvement. Great BPM systems will make social efficient and link business process to the conversations that must take place.
“Next Web Architecture = Cloud + lots of screens”. The Cloud’s ability to store data that can be accessed from anywhere makes everything above work exceedingly well. Enterprise information trapped inside silos or locked behind a cable snaking to a PC is a non-starter as continuous connectivity makes so much more possible.
Takeaway: BPM must be one central source of data that is made available in the format and on the device where it must be consumed. Anyone thinking that document-based storage of content (think: Visio) will continue to work, even enabled by SharePoint, are in for a rude awakening. Intelligent BPM will consist of centralized data pulled into intelligent Web (HTML5) or Internet (app)-based interfaces, and available simultaneously on any device, anywhere.
If you’re in the market for business process technology and you haven’t considered the above, there’s more homework to do. Business process is increasingly enabled by technology, and the technology landscape is going through a fundamental shift in how information is created, deployed, searched and consumed.