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BPM - aligning business and technology for operational gains

Ben Farrell
November 30, 2012

Cloud computing, mobile devices, big data and many other technologies are emerging as solutions designed to make technology work for businesses, not just support it. This distinction is critical. In the past, IT basically facilitated operations. This meant that a business would decide that it wants to do something, and technology workers would look into ways they could support that goal. With new IT systems emerging in many sectors, technology can play the role of enabler.

On the surface, facilitating something and enabling seem pretty similar. But there is a key difference - facilitating is letting it happen, enabling is making it happen. With cloud computing, mobile devices and big data emerging, IT is increasingly tasked with making business improvements happen, not just passively supporting them. However, this new role poses new and significant problems for corporate IT departments, particularly in the area of getting technology to work well with end users. Business process management software is increasingly recognized as the solution to this problem.

Using BPM to ensure business-technology alignment

In theory, BPM is a managerial method that looks at all of the processes completed by workers on a day-to-day basis and identifies ways to get them done more efficiently. When coupled with software, however, BPM solutions become an integral part of the emerging enterprise technological landscape.

As cloud computing, mobile devices, big data and other technologies become more prominent, workers are pushed to get the job done in a more social way{,} while also making sense of data coming in through a variety of devices and application types. This is where the technology can get in the way. If workers are overwhelmed by the data and IT tools at their fingertips, it can get in the way of innovative and efficient operations. BPM software provides the foundational integration and automation that not only allows workers to get the job done more efficiently, but makes the underlying infrastructure more social in the way data is shared between IT systems.

By aligning the back-office technologies with end-user processes, BPM establishes the foundation needed to truly align IT functions with business needs. As a result, organizations can free IT to function as an enabler and put themselves in a solid position to improve operations through technological investments.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications