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Challenges and opportunities in collaborative business

Challenges and opportunities in collaborative business -...

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Challenges and opportunities in collaborative business process management: Overview of recent advances and introduction to the special issue Chengfei Liu & Qing Li & Xiaohui Zhao Published online: 21 May 2008 # Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008 Abstract Modern business process management expands to cover the partner organisations business processes across organisational boundaries, and thereby supports organisations to coordinate the flow of information among organisations and link their business processes. With collaborative business processes, organisations can create dynamic and flexible collaborations to synergically adapt to the changing conditions, and stay competitive in the global market. Due to its significant potential and value, collab- orative business processes are now turning to be an important issue of contemporary business process manage- ment, and attracts lots of attention and efforts from both academic and industry sides. In this paper, we review the development of B2B collaboration and collaborative busi- ness processes, provide an overview of related issues in managing collaborative business processes, and discuss some emerging technologies and their relationships to collaborative business processes. Finally, we introduce the papers that are published in this special issue. Keywords Collaborative business process . Business process management . Service-oriented architecture . Process change and evolvement . Pervasive computing 1 Introduction With the booming business globalisation and commoditisa- tion, enterprises tend to be more dependent on business process management (BPM) to keep their business processes in control (Smith and Fingar 2003 ). By Gartner Inc., BPM has been ranked as the third of the top 10 strategic technologies for 2008, after green IT and unified communi- cation ( http://www.gartner.com/ ). As predicated by IDC, Australia, the revenue for BPM market will climb up from US$ 1.065 billion 2005 to US$ 3.8 billion by 2012 ( http:// www.idc.com.au ). Such globalisation trend highly urges the dynamic collaborations among organisations. The business processes of different organisations are correspondingly required to be integrated seamlessly to adapt to the continuously changing business conditions, and to stay competitive in the global market. Though current business process technologies have achieved a certain level, there is still a large room between the available supports and the requirements from real collabora- tion scenarios. Especially in a loosely coupled collaboration environment, many non-functional yet crucial aspects, such as privacy and security, reliability and flexibility, scalability and agility, process validation, QoS guarantees, etc., are with an outstanding lack of sufficient supports. This gap in turn poses an obstacle to further advancements and wider application of business process technologies. Therefore, more academic research, facilitating infrastructures, protocols and standards are being expected to shift current BPM for supporting collaborative business processes.
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