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IT plays critical role in
supporting process management initiatives
According to a recent
survey of more than 300 business and IT users, three-quarters of these
respondents state that IT needs to play a ‘critical’ role in supporting
process management initiatives. However, a majority of these executives
believe that IT has yet to fully satisfy this mandate.
The report, “Business Process Management and Service-Oriented Architecture”,
was produced by BPTrends and sponsored by Software AG, a global business
infrastructure software company.
Among overall respondents, 25 per cent suggest that other enterprise
priorities were undermining these efforts and 17 per cent believe that
technology limitations have prevented IT from playing a more critical role.
The study also found increasing recognition for the role that
service-oriented architecture (SOA) plays as an enabler of BPM success.
Forty per cent of respondents agreed that “BPM is more successful and drives
more benefits when deployed in an SOA environment”.
When asked about SOA governance specifically, 53 per cent described it as
‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their BPM initiatives with an additional
19 per cent describing it as ‘somewhat important’. Despite this enthusiasm,
adoption remains nascent as only 20 per cent report that they are using SOA
and BPM together on projects despite the fact that 90 per cent of these
respondents indicated that they currently have SOA and/or BPM initiatives
“While some confusion still exists to the ‘real’ meaning of BPM, the market
has matured considerably over the past year,” said Paul Harmon, Executive
Editor and Founder of BPTrends, and co-author of the study.
“Organisations are adopting BPM as an enterprise discipline and strategy and
have taken tentative steps towards embracing SOA as a key enabler. However,
work remains to be done as most enterprises have yet to fully grasp the
strong and constructive interrelationship between BPM and SOA,” he said.
The survey also found an increase in the number of enterprises that have
gone beyond Modelling, Analysis and Design (MAD) products to embrace more
broadly-focused business process management software suites (BPMS) to
automate and more actively manage their business processes.
Somewhat surprisingly, 39 per cent credit business users themselves with
having some responsibility for creating their organisation’s business
process systems. This is in addition to the anticipated split between
business analysts and enterprise architects/developers with each garnering
the support of two-thirds of respondents.
“The old wall that has separated IT from the lines of business continues to
crumble,” said Bruce Williams, senior vice president and General Manager for
BPM Solutions, Software AG.
“This is clearly an industry in transition, where business methodologies and
philosophies are being wedded to a new generation of more adaptive and
flexible enterprise tools and infrastructure. Those that take full advantage
of IT’s emerging ability to accelerate business change in today’s economy
are most likely to be the market leaders of tomorrow,” Williams added.
The survey was conducted in June 2007 with respondents drawn from BPTrends’
global membership base. Roughly half of the 348 respondents currently use
BPM software tools.
Additionally, the survey found strong interest in BPM within the financial
services, insurance and telecommunications sectors. Interest in BPM in the
government and defense sectors also increased sharply over previous surveys.