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What do you get when you combine 30 case management references and a 57-point criteria evaluation? The Forrester Wave: Dynamic Case Management, of course. The recent report sought to uncover the changing face of case management in a new generation of people-driven processes and found several core technological features, which the company defines as critical to DCM products.

Deconstructing Dynamic Case Management

Forrester classifies dynamic case management as solutions that

tackle untamed processes that service a myriad of customer and citizen requests, automate and track “incidents” related to investigations, and meet new compliance demands from a growing number of ever-more-scrupulous regulators.

By untamed, they mean business processes that form in the “seams and shadows of the enterprise," which require a balance of human and system support, as well as “cross department, technology, information, and packaged application silos to meet end-to-end business outcomes.”

Unlike business process management, which focuses on repeatable, structured processes, case management is, well, dynamic, and as a result involves unstructured, ad hoc processes.

Core Features of DCM: Complexity, Intelligence, Flexibility

Forrester’s survey found that DCM products usually support a number of features designed to handle the complexities and multi-faceted attributes of varying types of information. From handling multiple processes at once, to being able to identify different types of file formats, as well as being able to support different mechanisms, DCM is intended to make order out of chaos, while remaining flexible to changing workflows and platforms.

Not only that, DCM demonstrates the intelligence needed to help organizations make better decisions about their data as it relates to compliance and regulatory standards. Better visibility means better control, theoretically, and with DCM, companies seem to favor the flexibility and traceability that dynamic case management affords them. Because the world of corporate governance is in flux, having a system that can effectively monitor changing rules and regulations, from state to state, country to country, is attractive within the enterprise.

What Vendors Are Leading DCM Innovation?

While noting the significance of DCM within the enterprise is fascinating, what we really want to know is what companies and products are leading the charge. Forrester evaluated vendors according to 57 criteria and examined past research, user needs assessments and interviews with vendor and experts. Having organized the criteria into three high-level categories -- Current Offering, Strategy and Market Presence -- Forrester analyzed ten vendors whose products appeared on vendor selection shortlists, could be applied horizontally, demonstrated innovative approaches and included proprietary capabilities in key areas of DCM.

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Evaluated vendors and product information
 

Based on this, here’s what Forrester found:

  • Pegasystems, IBM, EMC, Appian, Singularity, and Global 360 lead the pack
  • Pallas Athena, Sword Ciboodle and Cordys offer competitive options
  • ActionBase offers an email-centric and Microsoft-oriented platform

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Results of Forrester Wave: Dynamic Case Management, Q1 2011

Among the pack leaders:

  • Pegasystems leads with dynamic, “build for change” capabilities
  • IBM will drive leadership in analytics in the dynamic case management market
  • EMC brings together a rich collection of dynamic case management technologies
  • Appian provides a strong integrated offering
  • Singularity is an early innovator in dynamic case management
  • Global 360 features strong design, automation, and event management

Interested readers can peruse Forrester’s detailed product evaluations to learn more. But what is summarized in the initial report is meant to facilitate conversations about DCM and how it can be used to help innovate, organize and automate the way data is handled within the enterprise. Merely recognizing that the very nature of data is dynamic is a starting point. Forrester’s Wave hopes to keep companies moving forward.