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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Michael Dortch

The Big Mash-Up Meets the Big Meltdown: Why Now's a Great Time to Invest in IT, and Where

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To be brief, you can never find better bargains than during economic turbulence. So if you can find technologies that deliver business value - lower costs, higher profits, better productivity or customer/partner satisfaction - you should find a way to invest or expand investments in them. My favorite three candidates:

BPM and related solutions and services - because there's no better time to optimize processes than when every improvement can mean more money in the business' coffers.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - because the technologies have evolved and improved, and keeping better track of high-value business assets, from laptops to people, is a sure way to make and save money.

Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing - because they are nothing less than the future of how software will be developed, delivered, and supported cost-effectively, because no business decision-maker I know also wants to be in the IT infrastructure management business.

The great thing is, RFID and SaaS can be both driven by business processes and provide information that can help to improve them. Which can result in even more business benefit.

The big caveats:
1. Make sure you have accurate, reliable metrics and processes for identifying opportunities to pursue initiatives in these areas that can generate meaningful business benefit. There is never a time for a business to invest in anything just because "it's cool." During economic turbulence, such investments are opportunities to make what some of us analysts like to call "career-limiting decisions."
2. Make sure you do sufficient due diligence on every candidate and chosen vendor. You don't want to pick a strategic partner that suddenly disappears, which means you want to focus on those with deep pockets and/or wealthy and well-established industry allies...or both.

An Invitation: If your business has any interest in or curiosity about RFID, please go to http://www.aberdeen.com/survey/rfidbeyond/ ASAP and take my 10-to-15-minute survey. You'll get current and upcoming Aberdeen Group research at no cost, and help me a lot. Thanks, and please tell all of your professional friends.

Another Invitation: If your business has any interest in SaaS and/or cloud computing, check out my initial take on Salesforce.com's recent Dreamforce event, courtesy of still more complimentary Aberdeen research: http://www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/market_alert/5627-MA-salesforce-software-service.asp.

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Business process management and optimization -- philosophies, policies, practices, and punditry.

Anne Stuart

I am the editor of ebizQ.

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