Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The (hush, hush) next big thing for your business processes

If you ever wondered how to improve your business processes today, to run your business better at a lower cost, you'll probably not be excited to hear that all the business process management (BPM) software industry can do is debate what the next big thing in BPM will be tomorrow (a related ebizQ forum is here). BPM is tied to big businesses who want to spend money, and as we all unfortunately know, there aren't too many of them around. So the software vendors need to guess where their next big buck is coming from.

Business processes are the workflows that are followed by your people, clients, partners and suppliers, and are internally how your employees respond to the requests to get the results that are needed, fast, accurately, and at minimum cost to everybody. Getting this right makes a huge difference to your business. So what are BPM vendors focusing on? Pretty diagrams of business processes that involve no more than five people and suddenly appear to have 53 steps; dashboards optimizing the sub-second response of stuff that is out of your control; and complex technology filled with buzzwords to keep their software developers in kicks.

Mid-sized businesses and departments of big businesses are in fact incredible similar. They need results and improvements in how they operate, today, not tomorrow. They need to use technology that is not for the laggards (to use a common, slightly derogatory marketing expression), but is still quite innovative, without managers and users struggling with its complexity to understand, configure or use.

Making business processes run better, by helping people track the work they do, across the many people they work with and systems they are forced to use, is what BPM vendors should be focusing on today. Taking that one step further and making that simplicity available as a service which you can sign up for, online, with no software to install is where email has already gone, CRM has gone and BPM is going.

A post from the Improving It blog

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