Has Case Management Arrived At Last?

Interest in case management will climb higher and higher throughout 2010. The drivers are a mix of old and new an include.  The most important - there will be an increased need to manage the costs and risks of servicing customer requests — like loans, claims, and benefits. Customer experience has evolved to where fundamentals of the product are secondary. Its now about design and the personality of the experience. I tried to help my daughter buy a car the other day. The Ford Focus didn't make the cut.  Why? No lighted mirror.  I then knew I was in for a long process. 

There is also a greater emphasis on automating and tracking inconsistent "incidents" that do not follow a well-defined process.  Does homeland security come to mind? And lots of new pressure on government agencies to respond to a higher number of citizen requests.  But this next one is the killer.  We will see new demands from regulators, auditors, and litigants  on businesses to respond to external regulations.  After Bernie "made off" with 50B or so the SEC had an epiphany of sorts. Gee.Lets give the field agents more authority to investigate — and perhaps depoliticize the process. Brilliant. Lets let the folks that actually know the regulatory target actually make decisions. Well. Great. We think this will lead to a ramped up number of investigative inquires and guess what?  Each one is best handled as a case where consistent policies, audit trails, and analytics can apply.  Lastly, there is the increased use of collaboration and social media to support unstructured business processes.

In the end, business process management (BPM) and enterprise content management (ECM) suites alone are insufficient for dynamic case management, but the convergence of BPM, ECM, business analytics, and event processing will breathe new life into case management. Lean initiatives to improve business processes will also shine a spotlight on case management. These forces will push document-centric BPM suites toward packaged case management offerings, and this new category of software will emerge as a distinct market by 2013. Lets hope so.  We all need the help.


Great points

Craig, you made some really good points. I think that ECM and BPM have proved themselves to be overkill in many scenarios when only the core bits of both are required.

In the real world, I don't think too many requirements have the budget or desire to get down in the weeds to implement complex solutions on these technologies at the start. Sometimes collaborative, case management style tools, if designed well can really shorten the time to an ROI, while allowing organizations to get into a competitive improvement cycle faster. I think we won't have to wait until 2013 for customers to make this into a distinct market.