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Mobile BPM: Business processes should not depend on devices

According to Steve Weissman, Holly Group's BPM consultant, mobile technology should enhance business processes, but should never define them. When asked what impact mobile has had on business process management (BPM), Weissman answered, "If you're doing it right, there shouldn't be any impact at all." Of course, mobile has been instrumental in increasing the efficiency of business processes but Weissman is adamant that workflows not be disrupted to accommodate devices. Devices should accommodate the workflow and, in so doing, improve overall performance.

BPM is widely practiced as a means of streamlining and adapting processes to meet the demands of a fast-paced, fast-changing work environment. Mobile plays a vital role in this initiative but its role is secondary. The first priority is to clearly define what a company's business processes are and then to identify how they might be facilitated by mobile technology.

Weissman is careful not to get caught up in the latest trends and buzzwords that distract from a company's core considerations. Still, he underlines the value of mobile in a competitive work environment. "The impact of mobility on BPM strictly is nil except it allows that process to flow more smoothly and more quickly and more efficiently than ever before."

Weissman defines BPM as a management practice, not a vendor offering. It's the difference between businesses using a technology and the technology using them. Mobile has a part to play -- an important one -- but it should never outshine the ultimate business strategy.

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Caroline de Lacvivier is the associate site editor for and can be reached at

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