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CamundaCon 2018: The (Re-)Emergence of Workflow Automation (Keynote) (Camunda)


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Presented by Jakob Freund, CEO at Camunda

The world is going digital. Within the next few years, business processes will be automated to an extent that we can barely imagine today. Almost any disruption of traditional industries with new business models--sometimes executed by existing organizations that modernize their infrastructure (often referred to as “digital transformation”), sometimes executed by new startups in industries such as fintech--requires a high degree of complex business process automation. To this end, many new technologies are added to the mix, including up-and-coming trends such as RPA or microservices orchestration. Workflow automation sits at the very center of this technology puzzle and is an indispensable cornerstone for the vast majority of business process automation endeavours. In my keynote, I will explain why workflow automation technology can make or break your digital business, how this technology is evolving, and how it fits with other pieces of the puzzle.

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CamundaCon 2018: The (Re-)Emergence of Workflow Automation (Keynote) (Camunda)

  1. 1. The (Re-)Emergence of Workflow Automation Jakob Freund - CamundaCon 2018
  2. 2. Commerzbank to be replaced by Wirecard in DAX 30 2 Mr Zielke also argued that the ascent of Wirecard shows that Commerzbank’s own strategy is the right one: “This development . . .  spurs us on to push ahead with the transformation into a digital enterprise.”
  3. 3. Lidl cancels SAP introduction, focus on homegrown tech instead 3
  4. 4. Volkswagen consider acquiring software companies 4 Software in cars plays a decisive role. “But if we are being honest, this is not the domain of German car manufacturers, big techs like Amazon and Google are much better at this. However, if we want to survive, we must achieve this digital transformation.”
  5. 5. Microsoft bought GitHub for $7.5 billion 6 Today, every company is becoming a software company and developers are at the center of digital transformation; they drive business processes and functions across organizations from customer service and HR to marketing and IT. And the choices these developers make will increasingly determine value creation and growth across every industry.
  6. 6. Outline 7 • We’re all turning into technology companies.
  7. 7. The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) 8 A chief digital officer (CDO) or a chief digital information officer (CDIO) is an individual who helps a company, a government organization or a city drive growth by converting traditional "analog" businesses to digital ones using the potential of modern online technologies and data (i.e., digital transformation).
  8. 8. If you ask senior executives in the insurance industry - who are currently driving digital transformation projects - about their main objective, the usual answer is: “Getting an insurance needs to be as simple as buying a product on”
  9. 9. … as confirmed by Capgemini 10
  10. 10. ING Bank: Going “real-time” 11 Example: Customers can immediately activate “international payments” when travelling (self-service via web).
  11. 11. From Batch to Real-time Processing 12 => As a customer, I need to wait for the next day. => As a customer, I get what I want right away.
  12. 12. Outline 13 • We’re all turning into technology companies. • Digital Transformation relies on Business Process Automation (BPA).
  13. 13. A quote from the “World Insurance Report” 14 “German insurance companies are leading the pack when it comes to automation: When asked about Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or Blockchain, the number of German insurance companies claiming that they are piloting or already implementing those technologies is clearly above average.”
  14. 14. The Problem 15
  15. 15. Google “Robotic Process Automation” 16
  16. 16. Gartner Hype Cycle vs. Technology Adoption Cycle 17 Source: Source:
  17. 17. Status Quo: The “Terrible Legacy Monolith” (TLM) 18
  18. 18. TLM Feature Highlights 19 ★ Clumsy user interface ★ No proper API ★ Just one big piece of code ★ New features released once per year ★ Supports parts of our core processes ★ No actual transparency re those processes
  19. 19. Process Mining can reveal process logic 20 Terrible Legacy Monolith Source:
  20. 20. RPA can help integrating the TLM 21 Terrible Legacy Monolith User Interface RPA Product
  21. 21. Some RPA flow example 22 Terrible Legacy Monolith User Interface RPA Product Source:
  22. 22. The “P” in RPA might be a “T” 23 Source:
  23. 23. End-to-End-Process? 24
  24. 24. Orchestrating RPA Bots as part of End-To-End-Processes 25 RPA Product Workflow Engine Terrible Legacy Monolith
  25. 25. Google Trend Curve for RPA 26
  26. 26. In the long run, we must get rid of the Terrible Legacy Monolith! 27
  27. 27. RPA vs. Microservices 28
  28. 28. The Crux about Thinking in Silos 29 F I R !
  29. 29. Martin Fowler on Event Notification 30 Event notification is nice because it implies a low level of coupling, and is pretty simple to set up. It can become problematic, however, if there really is a logical flow that runs over various event notifications. The problem is that it can be hard to see such a flow as it's not explicit in any program text. Often the only way to figure out this flow is from monitoring a live system. This can make it hard to debug and modify such a flow. The danger is that it's very easy to make nicely decoupled systems with event notification, without realizing that you're losing sight of that larger-scale flow, and thus set yourself up for trouble in future years. The pattern is still very useful, but you have to be careful of the trap.
  30. 30. Workflow Engine Workflow Engine can participate in Event Stream 31 Event Bus Event Type: “My Event” Payload: abc = “xyz” Event Correlation: abc = “xyz” => Workflow Instance 123 subscribe Event Type: “Other Event” Payload: abc = “xyz” notify Publish
  31. 31. Exemplary, simplified Roadmap to Digital Transformation 32 Technology 2018 2019 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 RPA Setup Phase out Process Mining Setup Phase out Microservices Replace TLM Functionality with Microservices based Infrastructure Workflow Automation (Camunda) Setup RPA Bots Orchestration Phase out Setup Process Events Monitoring Setup Microservices Orchestration
  32. 32. Outline 34 • We’re all turning into technology companies. • Digital Transformation relies on Business Process Automation (BPA). • BPA is a technology puzzle that suits your business.
  33. 33. 35 “The 21st century will be dominated by algorithms. ‘Algorithm’ is arguably the single most important concept in our world.” Yuval Noah Harari Homo Deus, 2016
  34. 34. Business Processes are the Algorithms of an Organization.
  35. 35. BPMN - a language for describing business processes as algorithms 37 If An event occurs A task is completed Data have certain values Then Wait for an event Announce an event Trigger a task
  36. 36. Workflow Automation means running those algorithms 38 Workflow Engine Running Workflow
  37. 37. Model > Execute > Improve 39
  38. 38. Why BPMN is successful 40 EasytoUnderstand ExecutableCode Established ISO-Standard
  39. 39. A flexible Workflow Tech can help in any setup 41 Workflow Engine Technical Operations Tool Business Optimization Tool Service Legacy App Workflow Design Tool µs µs µs pub/sub pub/sub pub/sub Orchestrate via pub/sub Event Bus Orchestrate via Req/Res Orchestrate via RPA Orchestrate via Task Handler
  40. 40. Outline 42 • We’re all turning into technology companies. • Digital Transformation relies on Business Process Automation (BPA). • BPA is a technology puzzle that suits your business. • Workflow automation is always one piece of that puzzle.
  41. 41. “Workflow Automation” is not exactly a hype topic 43
  42. 42. “Workflow Automation” vs. “Camunda” 44
  43. 43. Our Mission: Create the best possible technology stack for workflow automation.
  44. 44. Our Vision: Any significant business process automation project in any organization is using Camunda technology.
  45. 45. Our Impact: Provide the Backbone for Digital Transformation.