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2012 Software Application Trend Focuses on "Future-Proofing" IT

Corporate and Federal Emphasis on Cloud, Mobile Technology and Social Media Underlies Growth in Process Application Development (January 04, 2012)

RESTON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/04/12 -- Increased emphasis on cloud computing, mobile technology and social media in both federal and commercial operations will drive a strong IT trend in 2012: Process application development platforms will see a spike in demand for their capabilities in "future proofing" IT investments, reducing costs and improving compatibility with legacy systems.

According to Appian, the global innovator in enterprise and cloud-based business process management (BPM) software, process application development platforms are the natural evolution of BPM, and will be a unifying force in 2012 for fractured enterprises.

Emphasis on cloud and shared services is of particular interest in the Federal government, which has been advocating "Cloud First" and "Shared First" IT strategies under the guidance of Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel. Guidance for a "Future First" initiative, with an additional emphasis on agile development, will be promulgated through VanRoekel's office later in 2012, according to media reports.

This increased emphasis on future-proofing IT while taking advantage of cloud, mobile and social technology will be the linchpin for growth in process application development platforms, according to Appian CEO Matt Calkins. "In any enterprise, employees work with a wide range applications, and are often subject to hit-and-miss compatibility between applications and operating systems," Calkins explained. "Not all applications are available for a given operating system, and data is often difficult to access, particularly for an increasingly-mobile workforce."

A process application development platform creates an environment with a single easy-to-use interface that can work natively on every operating system, and with every form factor -- and therefore in any location, Calkins said. Any user can switch from one operating system or device to the next, and all of the functionality of any application works seamlessly and identically.

In the private sector, this push for future proofing is already underway. Process application development platforms are being used to improve processes at organizations across disparate markets, such as UPS, CME Group (the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), insurance services firm Crawford and Company and healthcare provider psHEALTH.

The environment allows users to get updates from every application, take action in every application, and talk socially about work and process within every application.

Process application development platforms bring the whole enterprise to each individual user, wherever he or she may be. By connecting legacy applications organizations can extend the usefulness of those applications. Users can pass variables, fill forms, and approve processes and plans in a mobile and social environment -- functionality that had never been designed into the actual legacy application.

Further future-proofing an organization's IT investments, modern process application development can also decrease costs when compared to other approaches to enterprise applications:

  • No need to train people on a new interface
  • No need to customize a new interface
  • No need to install or maintain a new platform in an IT structure
  • No need to upgrade multiple devices or applications; a single upgrade works across the enterprise
  • No need to worry about mismatches or incompatibilities between versions of an application
  • No need to buy additional user licenses for every new application

As the economy continues to demand improvements in IT purchases, both federal and commercial enterprises are being pushed to ensure that their purchases better withstand the test of time while making use of modern emerging technologies. Process application development platforms will enjoy a healthy spike in demand in 2012 and beyond as a consequence.

About Appian
Appian is the global innovator in enterprise and cloud-based business process management (BPM) software. Appian's combination of simplicity and power provides everything business users need to drive transformational process improvement -- on the desktop or via mobile devices. Commercial and government organizations around the globe use Appian to increase agility and collaboration, and accelerate business performance. Appian empowers more than 3 million users from large Fortune 100 companies, to the mid-market and small businesses worldwide. Appian is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. region, with professional services and partners around the globe. For more information, visit www.appian.com.

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