• Solutions or economics (only)?

    Posted on December 11, 2013 by in Business Process Management

    Every time when a new, innovative technology becomes available, you get an overhyped reaction in the market. The actual and original goals of real innovation seem to get completely blurred by economics. Suddenly customers need to become interested in that one specific technology: We have the best technical solution that will solve all your problems! Well, check this out…

    Since my last blog I’ve done some more research on Process Mining and it clearly faces the danger of over-hyping. Don’t get me wrong, I am personally convinced that technologies such as these (and, as such) are really great additions in the BPM space. But how can you expect to win the war with just throwing sophisticated software at your problems. We all know that doesn’t work, do we?

    In a recent discussion with a partner-company the following remark was made: “companies do know that they have a specific knowledge problem in the order-handling process, so why would you (or could you even)  discover that knowledge problem using some sort of automated discovery?”. Valid point to a certain extend and yes of course we know that Process Mining does not solve business problems as it is an analysis tool only. You probably however will see the results (e.g. delays or rare patterns in process flows), but you would not know the cause (well, unless you just fired all of your expensive knowledge workers of course…). It actually could make things even worse (e.g.,  when certain interrelations are being wrongly analysed or when the mining results are used for political reasons…).

    So, is new technology a bad thing then? Of course not. As being a balanced individual, I believe however in a holistic and cautious approach towards business problems. Using specific tools and/or approaches too early and/or in the wrong context, may result in overreacting and simply burning your money right away. Therefore I think it is not so much about new technology in inexperienced hands, it is more about new technology being pushed by sheer economics. And these ain’t your economics…