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Should we say hello to DBPM?

If there’s one thing the business tech community is fond of, it’s adding letters to acronyms. We’ve seen it with things like iBPM, MBaaS and DevSecOps. It looks like we may have a new one in our midst: digital business process management, or DBPM.

So what is DPBM?

This is what an article found on ComputerWeekly has to say about how to define DBPM:

“Modern DBPM will integrate IoT and smart contracts to enter a new paradigm. The business strategy behind a DBPM will deliver dramatically shorter cycles with continuous improvements and enhance the efficiency of products and services to the benefit of a rich and seamless customer experience.”

While that definition may leave the reader wanting some more specifics, it clearly implies that the lines behind improving BPM and becoming a digital business are thinning; perhaps even to the point of non-existence, with things like IoT, automation and analytics achieving the ever-growing interest of businesses. Whether you call it DBPM or just plain old BPM, digital transformation should be on your mind.

The role of blockchain

If there is one unique thing about DBPM, however, it is its implied relationship to blockchain technology for the use of “smart contracts.” Once seen as just a “Bitcoin thing,” blockchain has made its way into mainstream business conversations as a way to streamline access to data and secure financial transactions. This article on DBPM provides examples of how blockchain-enabled smart contracts, also known as decentralized ledger technology, can enable automated processes for the delivery of services and payment for those services using (if, then) logic.

But wait — should we be so quick to think that blockchain is a no-brainer for businesses? Not necessarily, as is pointed out in this blog from LegerX. According to the author, blockchain technology is nothing more than “an unwieldy data structure that is over replicated, slow to memorialize transactions (yes, slow, despite what is often reported in the press), and extremely expensive to maintain from an energy and cost perspective.” While it may be trendy to talk about using blockchain, it may be worth considering if the technology actually has a place in your business. Most businesses, the author argues, are better off sticking with the shared databases they have always depended on, provided they trust everyone within their organization.

DBPM — Business as usual?

So where do we draw the line between DBPM and regular BPM? I suppose it’s up to businesses to decide for themselves how they describe the management of their own business processes. But no matter what you call it, it still makes sense to take a critical look at your business’ digital processes — especially those revolving around automation. In that case, I suppose DBPM may simply mean just practicing good business as usual.