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August 3, 2009

BPM adoption helping business fight downturn

Process management software secret to efficiency

By CBR Staff Writer

Business process management software is moving into the mainstream, according to analysts who have found evidence of a growing appetite among organisations for BPM software in support of new cost-cutting and service delivery initiatives.

Gartner has suggested that BPM is one way for companies to do more with less, and a tools that helps free up more funding for growth and transformation initiatives. BPM helps companies thrive and is not just a survival tactic, the analyst house has suggested.

Michele Cantara said, ‘BPM is quickly becoming an alternative and better way of developing solutions and improving processes for many companies.’ She added that companies prepared to ramp up their BPM investments now will be better poised for growth if and when the economy recovers. 

She recommended that organisations use BPM to help prioritise existing projects, and determine how any suspended or new projects should be prioritised, sequenced, funded and staffed when business growth returns.

Spending on BPM is expected to increase by 5% more over the next 12 months, Gartner said today as it disclosed findings of two surveys conducted among BPM practitioners in London in February and San Diego in March.

The analyst group found more than half of those surveyed plan to increase their spending on BPM efforts by more than 5%, with more than a third of respondents planning to increase BPM spending by more than 10%.

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Vendors such as Global 360, IBM, IDS Scheer, Lombardi, Metastorm, Oracle, Pegasystems, Savvion and Software AG are among the suppliers that are likely to take heart from the positive findings. 

Gartner reckons BPM has been a top CIO priority for some years, but that lately its importance has been elevated because BPM projects “act as a catalyst for cutting costs, improving productivity, accelerating business performance and bringing business and IT together.”

The survey findings echo earlier industry polls which revealed application modernisation as a top priority among large enterprises, with some 24% of sites viewing business process management initiatives as the top choice to fight the downturn. 

The line is that strategic investment in modernisation will deliver cost cuts and free-up talented IT staff to concentrate on business critical projects. Another draw to BPM was the reported view that sloppy process management is the best way to damage customer service delivery.

Gartner said that for the most part, those who participated in its BPM survey were not aggressive technology adopters, yet all were implementing or planning to implement BPM projects during the next 12 months.

“Only 12% of survey participants said that their organisations had an aggressive technology adoption profile. This finding suggests that this survey population doesn’t view BPM as bleeding edge.’

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