Friday, December 03, 2010

Why bother with DIY BPM?

Companies that have tried improving their business processes, either through manual improvements or software BPM solutions, know that the DIY approach can be a big time-suck. So why bother? Everybody looks at the return on investment in projects based on hard costs, and the costs with in-house software are never small. But few people look at the costs on your time, the business person who desperately wants things to change, but can not spare the time to think about things deeply enough to make the changes useful rather than plain damaging.

I've been chatting with Ian Lever at Forward Look about alternatives to IT-centric BPM tools for business improvement. To steal one of his thoughts: why would you invest in building a leave/vacation request process, a travel expense process or a time sheet system using internal IT and business users, when there are a hundred low cost, ready made alternatives out there already? For many large companies, it seems easier to call the ERP vendor and have them enable the module and customize it to your needs (for tens of thousands of consulting and licensing costs), rather than suffer the indignity of going online and signing up for an easy to use system that doesn't really integrate  (but doesn't need to) to your ERP. Burn some IT budget and get something in six months, that's the only way to go for many locked in by their IT department. For the rest of us, where that one project spend like this would exceed the annual IT budget, build versus buy becomes a big question. Doing it yourself is not always the cheapest way to achieve the goals, and unless you are really handy with the tools it is rarely going to achieve the highest quality result.

For this reason, software as a service (SaaS) vendors exist to deliver solutions for what you need. This isn't like the BPM vendors and their 'templates'. This is real running solutions, ready to go. For this reason, Consected will be announcing some new Instant Apps. Look out for these new, free and low-cost apps at Consected Instant Apps.

"Great!", you say, "but nobody does what I want, my way". Well, if you really have faced that problem with the lack of appropriate SaaS solutions for you specific business need, add a comment below or contact me (select 'customer service', since I'm not in sales mode), and share your ideas, wishes or gripes with me. A problem shared... 

A post from the Improving It blog
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