Business process management (BPM) can improve your organization's efficiency and its ability to adapt to changing market conditions.

Now new software suites are taking these tools to the next level.

They are enhancing support for greater system and human intelligence within business processes — and helping business transformation leaders, business process directors and solution architects become more agile and responsive to change change.

But what is the best intelligent business process management suite (iBPMS) on the market? According to Gartner’s just released Magic Quadrant for iBPMS (iBPMS), three vendors lead the pack.

Changing Market

The iBPM suites integrate mobile, social, cloud and analytics to provide a seamlessly customer experience. The report notes, “An iBPMS orchestrates work to produce business outcomes that go far beyond typical process efficiency and performance measures.”

For this MQ, Gartner evaluated 15 iBPMS vendors.

Three of them — Appian, Pegasystems and IBM — were ranked as leaders for their abilities "to orchestrate increasingly complex work styles." Five others were rated visionaries and seven were ranked as niche players.

Gartner called the ability to address a wide variety of work styles as "increasingly important, particularly in the context of digitalized processes — which require greater insight into context, are executed at an increasingly rapid pace, and span the virtual and physical worlds for both contextual insight and work execution."

The company also evaluated how well vendors were able to support the orchestration of work to produce business outcomes across four use cases. They are:

  • Composition of intelligent, process-centric applications
  • Continuous process improvement (CPI)
  • Business transformation
  • Digitalized process

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The Leaders


Appian "is focused on helping our customers broaden their awareness of what is happening right now within their organization, markets and customers, and accelerate the translation of that awareness into action and business outcomes," according to its President and CEO Matthew Calkins.

Gartner reports it differentiates itself through its social centricity. Customers have indicated a high degree of satisfaction and calls it a business-user friendly platform. But the iBPMS does not have full CEP and analytics capabilities

And while it supports business transformation from the bottom up, it offers less support for top down transformation initiatives. It is now also targeting the application development market and will be challenged to be successful in both this and the iBPM market.


Pegasystems is cited as the largest pure-play vendor. Gartner reports that its Pega 7 Platform handles all usage scenarios analyzed in this quadrant and can be leveraged for large, complex initiatives. Its advanced operational decision management capabilities, predictive analytics and IoT integration has made them a preferred implementation partner for digital business strategists at Accenture, BCG, Capgemini, and McKinsey & Company.

However, Gartner added that it has not been competitive in the low- and midsize markets . Some customers also say they have difficulty finding Pega expertise, even though it continues to build its network of consultant and third-parry integrators.


IBM boasts that it is reinventing business operations. It's enabling greater customer-centricity in the age of mobile, social, cloud and big data while driving efficiency and optimization into end-to-end processes.

Gartner claims it is steadily expanding beyond its traditional systematic, on-premises approach to BPM to address cloud-based deployment and more-agile, lightweight projects.

It offers a complete set of capabilities and features, and it's a leader in decision management and analytics.

However, Business Process Manager Solutions are relatively hard to configure and deploy and while customer feedback is tepid.