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When is a process a business issue and when is a process a technology issue?

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A question suggested by Jon Pyke, when is a process a business issue and when is a process a technology issue?

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  • Technology is one of (many) enablers to make a process perform. So executing, managing and improving a process might have some technology issues, but I hope it is started as a business issue.

    Customers are happy when your processes perform ; that they deliver what you promised. Seems very business to me.

    But what if a process has to deliver a technology product ;-))

  • OK I'm going to stick my neck out a bit and say that process is always a business issue. Automating a business process is usually a technology challenge.

  • I'm with Faun on this one. you may have technical issues with your process, but odds are, those issues lead to business issues as well :)

  • They are not mutually exclusive. Sorry. No matter what you do, no matter what you change, there are always impacts. A process touches everything; human, system, location, data.

    A process can no longer be trivialised as a business or technology silo or issue to resolve.

    Get out of the 80s folks.

  • Faun and Scott have nailed it perfectly, and there is no neck-sticking about it: processes are always business issues.

    Technology certainly can and does affect how successful an organization can be at putting those issues to rest, but so do other factors like organizational behavior, corporate culture, and other distinctly non-technical elements. But the cornerstone is always the business, and it is when that is forgotten that organizations get themselves in trouble.

  • I think they are sides of the same coin. The key lies in value added, ie the weighting within the business value chain. If the weighting is high then the value of the business through this process and makes it a predominantly business process, by involving more highly technical solutions. On the other hand if the weight is low and the value of the business does not go through at least minimal way, then we have a process that basically just needs a technical solution, even though it is sophisticated.

  • All business process logic belongs to the business. In the past it was a technology issue to see a business process implemented where coding opened up the interpretation gap and business users’ expectations plummeted or perhaps was a false dawn? Buying a BPMS was an interim step but lacked that vital business driven flexibility. But now there are tools that remove need for coding to build custom processes which will promote process to deliver on serious business applications. This move to commoditisation of business software allows the roles to be split allowing the required disciplines to focus on their core competency. Business for the business logic build, the system architect to deliver connectivity to legacy and “IT” managing hardware, infrastructure and legacy maintenance. Whatever they all need to work together to deliver on any serious enterprise level business process.

  • With great respect: technology issues are not always business issues. In fact, I'd argue that part of the job of propeller-heads like myself is to keep technology issues from becoming business issues.

    On the other hand, it's increasingly true that business issues are always technology issues. Even human interaction, the core of nearly any business, is being mediated, social networked, and surveyed through technology.

    Er... what was the question again?

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    In my opinion, a "business" process is a business issue : this is the way people work. Its implementation/specification will be a technical issue as the people who will implement the business process has to know the language to express, its logical to make it (if needed) executable and the way it can interact with other entities (IT, humans, processes, ...).
    The technological issue then will be the platform the process will be modeled and executed.

    My 2 cents

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