Blockchain technology is the new hotshot player, wowing the crowds with new innovations. Business process management (BPM) is a powerful performer on the scene for a decade, consistently delivering. What happens when you combine them?
With experience in both BPM and blockchain, Matthias Kloppmann and I compiled some advice for how these two technologies work best together.
Business process management
You can think of BPM as a digital automation framework that helps organizations improve overall efficiency and the ability to execute consistently. It streamlines business processes within an organization where participants normally trust each other. Innovations in areas such as case management, event processing, business rules, and integration mechanisms help organizations address strategic goals by implementing new and continuously improving existing business processes.
The challenge: trust and transparency
Business processes rely on data from information systems outside their control, even data from other enterprises. This data must move between organizations, or even between enterprises, which is not only complex and expensive but often results in stale and inconsistent data. Lack of transparency and trust is the consequence.
Blockchain is widely accepted as an answer to trust and transparency issues in business networks that span organizations for the following reasons:
- Participants in the network use a shared ledger to perform transactions on assets.
- Transactions are validated by participants through a consensus protocol.
- Smart contracts control transactions between participants, which therefore do not need to trust each other. Smart contracts ensure that contractual conditions are met, and obligations are enforced.
- Permissive blockchains ensure that all information and transactions on the blockchain are available only to network members with the right permission.
The combined solution – BPM and blockchain
In a combined solution, the shared ledger provides the interface for business processes — a process queries asset information and performs transactions directly on the ledger. Stale or inconsistent data is a thing of the past! In addition, business events on the blockchain initiate or drive business processes, ensuring that the right organizations are involved and react to events in a timely manner.
The combination of both business process management and blockchain helps you to reach the next level of integration and automation of business processes. You can significantly improve your business processes.
To learn more about BPM and blockchain and work with sample code that uses both approaches together, read the first part of the series Digital process automation with BPM and blockchain by Larissa Auberger and Matthias Kloppmann:
Learn more about BPM and blockchain
- What is blockchain? A primer on distributed ledger technology
- Car leasing demo
- IBM Blockchain 101: Quick-start guide for developers
- Sample code on GitHub: LarissaAuberger/bpm-blockchain