BPM becomes CIOs' top priority

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BPM becomes CIOs' top priority

Improving business processes has become the highest priority for today's IT department, according to a global survey of more than 3,500 CIOs undertaken by analyst group Gartner.

IT leaders were quizzed on their business priorities, and while cost cutting and customer relationship management initiatives came high on the agenda, improving business processes was top of the list, said Mark Raskino, research vice president at Gartner (pictured).

Raskino presented the preliminary results of its annual survey at Gartner's BPM summit in London this week. The full survey results will be released later this month.

This surprise result is indicative of the growing recognition that IT can play a pivotal role in driving business improvement, said Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer. Early adopters of BPM were now delivering the sort of attention-grabbing agility that was persuading others of the technology's value, he said.

“In a process-centric organisation, people know about processes and understand who to call on when processes are disrupted,” he said. “Organisations can also gauge the success of processes by measuring how well they serve the organisation’s need.”

Meanwhile, those early adopters were starting to find that BPM programmes had some unexpected benefits, reported Raskino.

One example was an improved ability to attract the latest generation of web-savvy talent. This new generation of employees are increasingly intolerant of inefficient, Byzantine processes. "If one member [of this next generation] thinks a process does to work, they will all move on," he told delegates.

BPM is also helping alleviate the burden of overflowing email inboxes, Raskino said. “Although processes start in email, they should not stay in email,” Raskino explained, adding that the creation of “proper processes” will reduce the email overload problem.

And the focus on BPM is likely to intensify, as the likelihood of yet more government regulation increases. The decision of both the UK and US governments to intervene in the current mortgage crisis was indicative of the way regulators were becoming more hands-on, said Raskino. That suggests business leaders need to be evermore aware of their internal processes, he concluded.
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