Camunda CEO Reveals Secret of Digital Business Innovation

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At a sold-out CamundaCon 2019 conference, Camunda CEO Jakob Freund today shared a vision for how to build a flexible digital business capable of operating at true enterprise scale.

Organizations of all sizes today are trying to create a customer experience that makes, for example, buying life insurance policies as simple as shopping at Amazon. The challenge those organizations face is the interconnected processes that enable many types of products to be sold and delivered as a digital experience are hard to orchestrate.

Freund says what’s required is a highly extensible business process management (BPM) platform that makes constructing and updating a business process simple, while at the same time providing visibility into transactions and events in real time. Only then will organizations be able to replicate across any business process the experience customers today have using, for example, car-sharing services such as Uber, adds Freund.

Accomplishing that goal is critical because customer expectations have fundamentally changed. Customers now expect every business process to provide the same level of visibility as popular consumer applications. Rather than building IT platforms from the ground up to satisfy that expectation, Freund says the Camunda BPM platforms enable organizations to craft highly interactive digital experiences without necessarily having to hire a small army of developers that are difficult to find and retain.

Built on a cloud-native architecture that makes extensive use of microservices to provide that flexibility, Freund says the open source Camunda BPM platform is unique because it makes it easy for organizations to bundle and unbundle processes. In contrast, expensive monolithic legacy BPM platforms based on waterfall development processes don’t allow businesses to react quickly enough to changing customer requirements, says Freund.

In fact, Freund contends monolithic platforms are the root cause of the historic divide between IT and the rest of the business. Organizations have tried to overcome the limitations of legacy monolithic BPM platforms by investing in everything from low-code application development tools to robotic process automation (RPA) with limited success, says Freund. However, it’s obvious there is still a dysfunctional relationship between IT and the business that leads to inferior customer experiences because too many organizations are essentially treating the proverbial patient without ever curing the disease, says Freund.

A modern approach to BPM based on a cloud-native architecture enables organizations to design and extend business processes in a way that allows them to truly differentiate themselves, as opposed to relying on the same hardcoded business processes found in packaged ERP applications that everyone else employs, adds Freund.

Freund says Camunda as a company is focused on enabling organizations to create cross-functional teams capable of driving meaningful business process innovation in a way that creates richer customer experiences.

“It’s execution that matters,” says Freud. “That’s a process problem.”

Of course, it takes more than a technology platform to succeed in digital business age. Freund told conference attendees organizations also need to become more customer oriented by putting technology at the heart of their organization starting with one project at a time. Couple those efforts with more focus on the desire of employees to work on projects that have real value to society and Freund says organizations will find it a lot easier to attract the right teams need to drive sustainable innovation.

Freund concluded the only real unanswered question now is how many organizations will leverage next-generation BPM platforms to drive digital disruption, versus simply waiting become its latest inevitable victim.

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