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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Anne Stuart

Gartner: BPM spending to keep increasing this year

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Businesses may still be cutting back on other initiatives, but they expect to increase their BPM investments during 2011, according to research by Gartner Inc.

Overall, participants in Gartner's global BPM spending survey were bullish on BPM spending, with 54% planning an increase of at least 5% this year. Nearly 20% expected an increase of 10% or more.

Survey respondents in the Asia/Pacific region, where some countries are experiencing strong economic growth, were especially interested in investing in BPM: Fully 25% said they expect increases of at least 10% this year.

What's behind the overall upswing? "BPM is focused on improving business outcomes and explicitly meets the objectives of many organizations' return-to-growth strategies," Teresa Jones, a Gartner principal analyst, explained in announcing the survey results. Gartner also cited increased interest in SaaS tools, which offer a cheaper entry point, and a shift toward funding BPM projects from business-unit budgets rather than IT, reflecting emphasis on BPM's business benefits.

But Jones cautioned companies against becoming over-optimistic about process-improvement potential. "There is a mismatch between what users think they will achieve from BPM and what they actually achieve," she said. "Understanding the real benefits and how to measure them will help organizations create better business cases and get the expected business results." (For advice on measuring the success of BPM efforts, see ebizQ's exclusive excerpt from the book "Faster Cheaper Better" and "Assess for success," the cover story in the current edition of our BPM Quarterly e-zine.)

  • The survey, which included nearly 600 midsize-to-large companies in 14 countries, indicated that companies' initial BPM investments fall somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000. Gartner calls that range low in comparison with the cost of many BPM-suite implementations. The upshot: Many companies want BPM capability--but aren't ready to buy a complete suite. As Jones put it: "Most people improve process by process."

    For information on obtaining the full report, see "BPM Survey Insights: Most BPM Budgets Set to Increase This Year."

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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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