BPM’s Business Value Grows

By Samuel Greengard

Over the last decade, business process management hasemerged as an increasingly common way to manage enterprise processes. It is aneffective and proven tool for driving gains in areas such as productivity,customer focus and compliance. But the state of BPM is evolving, according to aGlobal Business Process Management report from Capgemini.

The consulting firm surveyed more than 1,000 senior businessand IT leaders and found that more than half of respondents believe that BPMwill play a more prominent role in their organization over the next year. Morethan two-thirds of respondents indicated that their business processes areeither "managed" or "optimized" through the use of BPM.

"Many companies are seeing double-digit improvements asa result of implementing BPM," states Nicholas Kitson, head of businessprocess management for Capgemini. He adds that, even among companies unable orunwilling to measure ROI, executives reported significant benefits."Organizations increasingly recognize that integrating systems leads tomore productive workers and fewer glitches and problems," he says.

An overwhelming 82 percent of respondents indicated that BPMshould be treated as a C-level concern, and 68 percent said that it is animportant agenda item at the managerial level. More than half of the executivesbelieve their organization will place greater emphasis on BPM in the next year,while 68 percent noted that if the economic climate continues to challengetheir organization, they will ramp up investments.

Hot areas of BPM include banking, insurance and privateequity, where recent increases in regulation? such as MiFID (Markets in FinancialInstruments Directive) and Basel III (published by the Basel Committeeon Banking Supervision)?mean that compliance is paramount. In fact, 78 percentof the survey respondents from the financial services sector identifiedcompliance as a key driver for their business, and 48 percent said they will beinvesting more in the coming year to respond to the growing impact ofregulations.

The consulting firm found that social media is also drivingadoption of BPM. Over half (56 percent) said that harnessing opportunities andmanaging the threats of social media are important business drivers, and thesechallenges can be addressed via BPM solutions.

Meanwhile, for consumer-facing businesses, CRM isincreasingly delivered on the back of process management solutions. Anoverwhelming 78 percent of respondents who implemented BPM to improve CRM andcustomer interaction reported a positive impact. Overall, 96 percent that triedto measure ROI from a BPM investment reported a positive return.

Despite all the gains, organizations are feeling some pain.For one thing, Capgemini found that there’s a lack of clarity about who shouldhold the reins for the BPM budget. Financial management of BPM is split betweensenior business management (18 percent), IT (16 percent), operations (13percent), business units (13 percent) and dedicated process management units(12 percent). This fractured approach could ultimately undermine theeffectiveness of BPM, Capgemini notes.

Some organizations are more successful than others inreaping the benefits of BPM. Only 18 percent of companies reported that theyhave achieved process optimization, and 32 percent admitted they are failing toformally measure the ROI of their process management effectively. The majority(55 percent) stated that the key barrier to success is people working in silosacross organizations, thus preventing collaboration.

Kitson says that BPM will gain further traction in themonths ahead, especially as cloud computing takes hold. "BPM is becoming apart of the infrastructure layer of organizations," He concluded.