Mike Gammage took a close look at IBM's latest study of 3,000 CIOs from around the world and noticed something about their commitment to business process management: It's not as strong as it was before -- down by four percentage points.
A statistical fluke? Often, variations in data from year to year need to exceed at least five percentage points or so to be considered a statistically significant change. Or is there something else afoot? CIOs are actually heavily committed to process improvements, Mike observes:
"In leading organizations 99% of CIOs say they would personally lead initiatives to simplify process. So process is on pretty much every CIO's agenda, and in many cases it's even a personal involvement. And yet - the study reports that CIOs do not see Business Process Management as their highest priority. In fact, BPM has slipped back as a priority - from 64% to 60% - since the last CIO Study in 2009. Which doesn't seem to stack up - unless you read it as a sign of how canny CIOs can be."
Canniness indeed. What's at issue, Mike says, is the business isn't buying into IT's version of BPM -- it often will simply go its own way, with its own tools, such as Visio.
Once again, we see examples of the disconnect between IT and the business -- as well as between the IT and the BPM teams in action. BPM has to be brought home to solving real business problems, not throwing a bunch of technology over the wall and hoping it will help somebody. As Mike puts it: "The breakthrough comes when BPM is extended to become an holistic view of the enterprise, not just what's automated."
So true, so true.