Almost one half (49%) of UK companies are not making the most of Business Process Management (BPM) in managing growing data volumes across their operation because they are failing to invest in enterprise-wide solutions. This is despite the fact that over 90% recognise the benefits such solutions can deliver, according to a survey of nearly 300 senior executives across UK private and public sector organisations undertaken on behalf of Software AG.
“Today’s organisations have been hit by a Big Data avalanche,” believes Mike Slater, UK country manager, Software AG. “This research shows clearly that process improvement initiatives such as BPM can help organisations in dealing with the dramatic impact it is having on their businesses.
“Yet these results demonstrate how many organisations have yet to convert this into effective action. They don’t understand the importance of an enterprise-wide approach in getting the most out of their data and processes.”
The Big Data challenge
This may be about to change. Almost three-quarters (74%) of businesses see Big Data as a distinct new challenge, with 56% already putting plans in place to address the issue. Only 6% saw it as an empty buzzword and simply another way of saying ‘a lot of data’.
“The findings echo many of the conversations we had with customers and prospects attending the recent ProcessForum UK event,” Slater confirms. “Social media and Big Data are headline news at the moment. However, the reality is that many firms are already struggling to cope with the data they already have within the enterprise, without the added complexities of trending or other social media phenomena.
“Far-sighted businesses already recognise that the concept of Big Data is not just around management, as they look to exploit this critical resource. Business Process Excellence solutions in particular succeed here. They enable the business to capture, manage and process all this data in a way that allows intelligent decision-making in real time as the basis of getting real edge over their competitors.”
The survey findings reinforced the central role of the customer in driving improved performance. Customer service was identified by 59% of respondents as their organisation’s greatest challenge, compared to just 14% who cited operational efficiencies as the biggest hurdle they had to overcome.
Almost two-thirds (63%) confirmed that effective data management is very important to achieving this key business goal, with only 7% seeing it as irrelevant. Similarly, 56% underlined the key importance of good process management, with only 4% seeing this as contributing little to their success.
However, in the case of both data and process management only a minority of respondents believe their organsiations are as yet very effective, with nearly 60% accepting they still have some way to go.
Though improving the customer experience remains the number one driver for change, regulatory compliance and operational risk also cannot be ignored. Half of those organisations surveyed are already in highly-regulated environments and 42% expect this to increase over the next five years.
Affordable, step-by-step solution
“All this change is taking place at a time when the CIO and CFO are under pressure to squeeze maximum value from tight IT budgets and get company-wide buy-in to any investment,” believes Slater. “Any data and process management solution must therefore deliver real value in achieving the organisation’s business goals. It must also make the most of the existing IT infrastructure and encourage the removal of the departmental silos which get in the way of effective information-sharing.
“Businesses need to access and analyse all the data they hold in order to get closer to the customer,” he confirms.
“Operationally, the best way to achieve this goal is to start small at the point of greatest pain within the business and then roll out business process improvement step-by-step across the organisation on the basis of proven success. A centralised, open-standards, technology-agnostic BPE platform offers an ideal high-value, low-risk entry point in delivering data and process management improvement and a better customer experience.”