Combining Mobile and Business Process Manager: Personal space wins over office space!
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As a resident of a huge city where the streets are always very crowded like Cairo, I do appreciate the value of working from home. It saves me 2+ hours in commuting every day, makes me more available to my family, and more easily committed to my daily 2000 meters swimming exercise.
With the union of Mobile and BPM, the shape of office spaces will totally change. Not only will it be possible to work from home but from every where. It will be very easy for jobs like accountants, clerks, administrators, lawyers, and more to do a large part of their work from anywhere using their smartphones, or if it the task is a little more complex, from their tables.
I was recently part of the team that produced the IBM Redbooks publication Extending IBM Business Process Manager to the Mobile Enterprise with IBM Worklight. While working on this project in Austin, TX, I noticed that few IBM colleagues work on premises. We walked through several empty buildings on our way to the cafeteria. Several of these huge and expensive to maintain buildings with reflecting glass windows will not be used any more. People are choosing more and more to work from home and now even from anywhere.
Office space will only be used as meeting places. Team mates come together just to synchronize their work, have productive face-to-face discussions and then they go back home to execute their tasks. Furthermore, many of the meetings are held as Web conferences, workers collaborate using cloud-based tools, and the meeting space required for face-to-face meetings will be needed only for short periods of time. Companies will rent the office space as needed for the required time and capacity as opposed to owning the expensive office buildings.
It is clear that the question of "where" became irrelevant and the question of "when" will also be irrelevant soon. Working hours will be replaced by measuring workers based on objectives, quality of work, and tasks accomplished regardless of when and where the job gets done. You can complete many tasks in the waiting room of your dentist or while waiting for a delayed flight.
Picture a mortgage lending company. Would-be borrowers submit their requests through their mobile browser. Mortgage officers receive the mortgage requests for review as human tasks on their mobile app. They process the requests along the day as they arrive wherever they are, whether watching their kids playing soccer or at their home office. At the end of the day, they process the same number of requests as they would have in a 9 to 5 job but with more flexibility, more time for family and personal life, and even more timely as they will process requests even after 5 or before 9. Meetings with applicants take place in rented meeting rooms only if needed. All the information required to approve the mortgage application is updated as it is received and questions to the applicants are sent immediately with no delays which results on processing the application faster. The IT team is always available for support or to monitor the IT infrastructure that they rented on the cloud!
With this very low cost of assets and minimal spending on operations, comes some drawbacks. Team mates no longer see each other. The fun, jokes, and bonding that come with staying long hours together late at night, working on a critical situation in the machine room is no longer there. What remains is the stress that you have to face alone, either at home or while waiting for your plane to take off. Team and face-to-face relationships are converted to chat messages, mechanical speaker voices, and artificial live streaming on screen. But this change is inevitable by now, there is no way to turn the clock back. Organizations that have a clear direction for their mobile efforts and see their mobile
The IBM Redbooks publication Extending IBM Business Process Manager to the Mobile Enterprise with IBM Worklight outlines an approach that organizations can use to identify where within the organization mobile technologies can offer the greatest benefits. This book discusses architectural patterns for exposing business processes to mobile environments and it includes practical implementation examples.
Ahmed Abdel-Hamid is a Certified Expert IT Specialist in Software Group Services in IBM Egypt. Ahmed has over 12 experience in services projects in Mobile, IBM IBM Business Process Manager, and IBM Web Content Management. Throughout his career, Ahmed took on many roles, including software developer, solution architect, and consultant. In his
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