Bringing BPM to the Mid-MarketApril 27, 2011 No Comments
Written by: E. Scott Menter, VP of Business Solutions for BP Logix
In a recent survey, 40% of 110 CIOs responded affirmatively to the question Do you have a BPM project or initiative inside your organization. However, nearly twice that number responded affirmatively to a similar question, Are you attempting to automate some of your manual, paper based processes. In fact, the second number is even higher if you include several who responded with some variation on “no, but we will be soon”.
That struck me as odd. If you’re actively attempting to automate your manual processes, aren’t you involved in a BPM project? It seems as though CIOs care about BPM as a concept, but don’t know it as a product space.
Part of the answer lies in the population being surveyed. These CIOs were from mid-market companies with annual revenue under $1 billion. While businesses in this category are strongly in need of BPM solutions, much of the discussion around BPM seems to have excluded them. We hear and read a lot about BPM centers of excellence, or about high-priced BPM suites connected to even higher-priced complex event processing (CEP) engines, or about any number of other scenarios which clearly only apply to the high end of the technology marketplace.
But I’d argue that the mid-market needs BPM even more than the Fortune 500. An appropriately-scaled BPM solution offers mid-market firms the flexibility they need to adapt to changing conditions as they grow. What do I mean by “appropriately scaled”? Well, the solution should:
- Not require any expensive and complicated middleware, such as SharePoint, in order to do its job (but it should work well with SharePoint if you do have it)
- Require no developers—none—to design, configure, change, or manage electronic forms, workflows, business rules, or reports
- Be available via the cloud, for trial usage, quick deployment, or even long term production use
- Be easily deployed on a single (possibly virtual) server
- Be fully accessible via any browser, integrating easily with your existing authentication infrastructure
In short, in order to work at the mid-market level, the BPM solution has to be affordable, flexible, and easy to set up and maintain. Too much of our discussion in the BPM community assumes big budgets and lengthy deployment cycles, and so it’s no wonder that mid-market CIOs haven’t been engaged. It’s time to bring them into the conversation.
E. Scott Menter is the VP of Business Solutions for BP Logix, a provider of business process management (BPM) solutions to corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Scott is the former head of technology for WaMu Investments, a national retail brokerage. In addition to technology leadership positions he held in financial services and higher education, Scott spent over a decade leading his own identity management software firm. Scott invites you to contact him at Scott.Menter@bplogix.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESMatBPL.Fresh Ink