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Forrester Research Explains The ROI of BPM Software

Ben Farrell
August 23, 2011

Clay Richardson at Forrester Research has just published a great research paper on "The ROI of BPM Suites." Clay puts forward some very exciting market data demonstrating the enormous business value of process improvement through BPM software. He also gives insightful prescriptive guidance on how to plan, measure and maximize BPM suite return on investment. According to Clay's data, "implementing a BPM suite produced an expected return on investment (ROI) of 58% and a net present value (NPV) of $1,585,457 over three years via an on-premises deployment."

According to the report, BPM suites deliver a range of business benefits in addition to pure cost-cutting:

"Instead of deploying slow-to-change packaged applications or building difficult-to-change custom solutions, leading organizations embrace BPM methodologies supported by BPM suites that drive rapid process change, increased business engagement, and dramatic improvements in worker productivity [as well as] driving greater process orientation, improving the customer experience, and accelerating the integration of merged and acquired companies."

Appian customer Nick Deacon, global head of Business Process Management at Nokia Siemens Networks, is quoted in the report citing BPM software as a new, faster and less-costly alternative to traditional application development:

"One of our business teams received a quote from a systems integrator (SI) for nine months of development at a cost of $1.2 million to extend a particular process within one of our packaged applications. Our BPM team also reviewed the requirements and was able to deliver the same functionality over a three-month period at one-quarter of the cost quoted by the SI. We believe that much of the savings came from the BPM suite's model-driven approach, which allowed us to quickly engage business stakeholders."

The report also outlines the common costs of implementing a BPM suite. The top two are software license costs and maintenance fees. Appian is cited for offering full-featured BPM in the cloud - eliminating both the up-front license investment and the ongoing maintenance. The three most common reasons for BPM suite project failure are also noted:

    • Inability to establish the proper business context for BPM

    • Shortage of BPM skills

    • Lack of planning for business change management

Addressing these issues at the outset of a BPM initiative will greatly increase your chances of success, and will position you to heed the report's advice to "go all in with BPM suites to gain the greatest benefits."

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications