In an interesting article http://kswenson.wordpress.com/2006/05/06/workflow-is-back/ K Swenson write about the changing of the word workflow into BPM over time and how the term workflow has gone out of favour. In fact if you look at Google trends the searches for the words workflow has gone down a few percent over the last few years. (Although the news items containing workflow seem to have doubled). Is this the end for workflow as a technology? As a name? Well neither.
Workflow as a Technology
I read via Gartner that workflow is still expected to increase in the 5-10% range over the next few years. Although referred to workflow systems as Business Process Management Suites by Gartner. Also an increasing number of companies have recognized that they need to invest in workflow systems.
Workflow as a Name
People are starting to use many other terms in place of workflow: such as Business Process Management, Enterprise Application Integration, Service Orchestration Architecture. That is the way of people that work with computers. We love a good acronym. The marketing people also love a good acronym. It can make their products sound better. Instead of a workflow systems why not have a Business Process Management Application Integration Service Oriented Uber-Mega Platform. Well there is one group that is less swayed by all the fancy talk. The people who buy workflow systems. Most after initial investigation realize that all these other systems are workflow but just using another name and from my experience they just want it to be called workflow.