Events are the Chocolate to Process’ Peanut Butter

automation event processing
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Today, an airplane is nothing without its avionics. The same can be said for process without events. Processes have come a long way in that they are quite agile and becoming more dynamic in their configurations, but they are flying blind without events. If processes can’t sense when changes are needed, all that agility goes to waste. When businesses are flying at high speeds, they need to know what events (threats or opportunities) to pay attention so they can adjust to get to their desired outcomes.

In the coming months, I will be posting on the importance of events, processes, analytics, and rules as they work together to support businesses that are facing changing and challenging conditions to gain time to market advantage.

What do Events do for Processes?

Events can recognize expected events, like when an order has been abandoned in real time. Events can also detect patterns of concern as a customer continually abandons orders when they get to a specific step in the process. This could imply a bad process, need for training, or potential threat from an Internet bot pretending to be a customer.

It gets even more important in unstructured processes where the process sequence is variable and potentially based on the collaboration of high-end knowledge workers to know what patterns of success have occurred. In this case, Big Data and analytics can be leveraged to check through logs of outcomes and behaviors. Events give processes and the process owners, process directors, and process participants a “heads up” on important patterns and situations. With more processes tapping into the Internet of Things with remote intelligence, events become the life blood of processes that need to be aware.

What do Processes do for Events?

Processes have the ability to act upon what events recognize as processes are action oriented in nature. In the case where the event is expected, the process can adjust its approach to an opportunity or threat. In addition, processes quite often are the collector of exceptions that can be specifications for new event recognition requirements. This changes unexpected events into expected events, or patterns for which rules can be established based on the decisions of process directors and process owners. In some cases, there might need to be follow-up analysis or process changes. In this particular case, the events or patterns point out the need to think deeper about the changing conditions.

Absolutely Better Together

One doesn’t have to think hard to see the advantage of bringing these two evolving technologies together, guided by polices and rules. Until now, organizations have had plenty of time to adapt their process and applications as needed. Today, the speed of change and the intensity of competition is driving these two streams of capability together. I expect to have some solid case studies documented for you in the coming months.

Net; Net

Events and process technologies are successful streams of technology and are driving nice growth separately, but they are being brought together as business change accelerates.

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Jim Sinur is an independent thought leader in applying business process management (BPM) to innovative and intelligent business operations (IBO). His research and areas of personal experience focus on business process innovation, business modeling, business process management technology (iBPMS), process collaboration for knowledge workers, process intelligence/optimization, business policy/rule management (BRMS), and leveraging business applications in processes. When with Gartner, Mr. Sinur was critical in creating the first Hype Cycle and Maturity Model, which have become a hallmark of Gartner analysis, along with the Magic Quadrant. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Sinur was a director of technologies with American Express, where he worked on a large, industrial-strength, model-driven implementation of a business-critical merchant management system. Before American Express, Mr. Sinur worked for Northwestern Mutual Life, where he was involved in leading-edge projects like the Underwriting Workbench that employed many new and emerging methods and technologies. This was after he was involved with building and re-architecting many major applications on the investment and annuity side of NML's business.