Organisations need to be lean and agile, and to execute reliably (right first time).

Organisations can derive these benefits from technological solutions, but can they meet these short term needs (downsizing for lean-ness and moving towards centralised control for agility) whilst also addressing long term strategic aims that prepare them to exit recession better equipped for the future than they were when they entered?

I believe that they can. This is having one’s cake and eating it, and a solution to this dilemma is Business Process Management.

BPM is getting a lot of attention. Forrester Research estimates that BPM license, services and maintenance revenue will grow from the $1.2 billion we saw in 2005 to more than $2.7 billion by 2009 “an adoption trend vendors and practitioners alike can’t ignore”.

BPM has come a long way from the workflow systems of the 1990s; those old workflow systems managed document-based processes where people executed the workflow steps of the process.

Today’s BPM systems manage processes that include person-to-person work steps, system-to-system communications or combinations of both. In addition, BPM systems include integrated features like enhanced (and portable) process modeling, simulation, code generation, process execution, process monitoring, customisable industry-specific templates and UI components, and out-of-the-box integration capabilities along with support for web-services-based integration.

All of these ingredients translate to increased interest today in BPM suites because they bring businesses a higher level of flexibility for business processes while reducing risks and cost. Think of BPM suites as offering a way to build, execute and monitor automated processes that may go across organisational boundaries.

But the key here is higher level of flexibility and reduced cost. Lean and agile. Just what we need now, in turbulent times, and to set ourselves up for the future.

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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