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Business process management sector poised for innovation

Ben Farrell
March 8, 2013

The business process management industry is maturing quickly, allowing companies to use BPM solutions to create major operational gains. According to a recent Gartner report, many organizations are already recognizing the gains offered by advanced BPM capabilities.

The study found that by 2016, approximately 70 percent of the world's top businesses will be using a combination of business process technologies, including extreme collaboration or real-time predictive analysis.

Looking at the future of business processes

Jim Sinur, research vice president at Gartner, explained that real-time predictive analytics is showing immediate value to businesses by giving them visibility into how they are getting the job done, and what may need to change. By using this technology, organizations can not only see what is happening internally, but also how external market conditions are possible. In theory, such solutions have been available for a while, but there has not been a clear case for adopting it from a process perspective. This is beginning to change, creating an environment in which innovation could happenquickly.

"Human or automated actions can be initiated for proper decision making to achieve the desired business outcomes," said Sinur. "If the situation dictates, knowledge workers can collaborate in and around the process, case or instance to decide on and effect change. We fully expect more organizations to leverage intelligent business operations in the future, resulting in innovative differentiation and higher performance."

According to Gartner, now is the time to start analyzing intelligent business operations tools. While predictive analysis and similar technologies may not be widely used for a few years, getting a jump on evaluating the solution can help process leaders evaluate their place in the organization. In particular, companies can take their time deciding where they can use intelligent business operations in critical systems and where it may only work for differentiating processes.

Considering the evolving BPM climate

As BPM solutions continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, companies have an opportunity to leverage the technology for major operational gains. However, business process innovation has to be handled with care. While the fiscal and operational gains of such strategies can be incredible, they can also be lost if organizations try to automate too much or push policies on workers. When executed well, a sophisticated BPM strategy will make day-to-day operations easier for most, if not all, employees, helping companies create efficiency gains.