In a TIBCO NOW breakout session, IDC Analyst Maureen Fleming examined innovation and disruption around consumer-grade applications. These apps offer advantages in time savings and process design while helping people experiment and fail fast for little money. Enterprise scalability is not necessary, but easy self-service is. Four application constructs are being used: recipes, tasks and workflows, data entities, and templates.
Recipes let users create actions using available cloud services that trigger other services. Examples include sending out a notification every time you take a photo with your smartphone, or receiving an email when someone in your LinkedIn network posts a new position on their profile.
Tasks and Workflows
Structures such as “events” that fine-tune objects and “actions” that can be associated with an object can be used as building blocks. Users select by interacting with drop-down lists, then combine tasks, resulting in fairly sophisticated workflows.
Many consumer-grade offerings, like Simplr, focus on data access issues. When you log in, you get easy access to your data, which may be held in another app. You can select from the data to accomplish a task, such as filling out a form.
Templates are becoming key to creating a consumer-grade tier. They can be used to develop applications by moving objects into different types of blocks.
Knowledge Workers and the Internet of Things Need Innovators
One area that holds great potential for innovation is helping the increasing population of knowledge workers automate work using “disposable applications,” software that lets them construct an automation that’s tied to a specific and small project.
Automating response to the expanded business partnerships being built around the Internet of Things will be essential. Work assignments and notifications will have to be sent to the right people, and sometimes they will be in a partner company. (For this reason, a notable feature of ActiveMatrix BPM is its ability to abstract organizations beyond the names in the LDAP directory.) There will be a need for innovation around these new workstreams, task queuing and routing, accountability, and work analytics to be able to measure work progress and quality.
Consumer-grade applications are a hot bed for innovation and disruption.