Imagine a world where technology is so advanced that it can maintain itself with minimum human intervention and adjust to your expectations and needs to provide you with the ultimate user experience. This might sound like a plot of a sci-fi movie, but it could turn into reality sooner than you think.

With the advance of technology, organisations are able to automate and optimise not only manual work tasks but also complex work flows and even ad hoc activities. The future of work will see technology moving beyond simply automating planned and unplanned work flows to accommodate a wider range of participants in the working environment including machines.

As connected devices generate huge amounts of data and interact with each other on the Internet, business process automation can be used to operationalise these insights and turn them into actionable tasks and practices that can adapt to a given situation in real time. This could enable live processing and control of connected devices to pro-actively make recommendations, escalate, or avoid disasters. It can even facilitate self-maintenance of connected devices and IT systems based on pre-determined and automated rules and tasks.

What’s even more exciting is that BPM technology can be also used with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to create the next ‘killer applications’ that will allow human participants to interact with smart devices. By interacting with BMIs, BPM can guide, coach, and provide intent-driven interactions for machines and human participants optimising the execution of complex tasks. This could be used for the development of technologies assisting humans intelligently with much wider implications than simply automating work-related tasks.

Think about Siri for example. The Apple ‘personal assistant’ app uses rich voice recognition and conversational interface, coupled with access to internet resources, to deliver real-time intelligent assistance. Using the same principle, BPM can leverage instructions from BMIs to automate intent-driven rules and intelligently guide machines and even humans in resolving a task or a problem. Such technology can be embedded in robots to fully automate work activities and complex tasks.

This offers great opportunities for improved collaboration between machines and knowledge workers and can drive innovation and creativity. End customers can also be involved in this process through the power of crowdsourcing and social media. BPM’s analytic capabilities can be used by organisations to analyse and proactively respond to customer observations, feedback and even suggestions for innovation.

As customer relationship management is evolving to a fully interactive two-way communication with the customer, businesses will be able to more effectively tailor their offerings to customers’ needs. This offers great potential for creating customised products and services on-demand.

With the advance of new technologies such as 3D printing organisations will be able to create bespoke products based on customers’ needs. BPM can step in to help knowledge workers co-ordinate the tasks involving machines, designs, and human participants across of the on-demand production chain.

Despite being quite futuristic, these technology trends can bring significant benefits to consumers and organisations by boosting productivity and innovation, and enabling personalisation of products and services. By leveraging BPM and technology innovations organisations will be able to stay ahead of their competitors and achieve dramatic business transformation that will give them unrivalled competitive edge.