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British project sheds light on how BPM can help companies

Ben Farrell
July 26, 2012

Organizational diversity is becoming increasingly common in the enterprise, with organizations functioning through departments and branch offices that are so clearly divided that they function almost as separate entities.

In the U.K., each individual police force operates, for the most part, on its own when it comes to IT. This has left police chiefs to develop IT strategies and deploy the technologies the various organizations use. According to a recent Computerworld report, the inefficiencies of such a division of resources and strategies has become problematic for police units. As a result, efforts are being made to unify police units in England and Wales under a single IT service, allowing chiefs to tap into technology resources without having to worry as much about broad strategic considerations.

The news source explained that the consolidation of diverse IT setups into a system based on using a single central IT provider is aimed at improving operational efficiency. This will be accomplished through the creation of the new Police ICT Company, which will be operated by the Association of Police Authorities and Home Office for a few months. When elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners are completed in November, that organization will take control of the central IT company.

Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice in the U.K., told Computerworld the program will offer considerable IT gains within the police forces.

"While some police IT is good, such as the new Police National Database, much of it is not. There are 2,000 systems between the 43 forces of England and Wales, and individual forces have not always driven the most effective deals," Herbert told the news source. "We need a new, more collaborative approach and greater accountability. By harnessing the purchasing power of police forces, the new company will be able to drive down costs, save taxpayers' money and help to improve police, and potentially wider criminal justice, IT systems in future."

Whether unifying IT systems between police forces or database solutions between sales and marketing departments, such integration projects are becoming increasingly common. As companies aim to improve functionality through large-scale technology processes, the need for business process management software increases. With such integration efforts, it easy for the technology to become distracting from end-user best practices. BPM solutions help better integrate data and solutions from a variety of sources in such a way that the IT efforts deliver procedural gains, ensuring companies get the most from their investments.