BPM - The Problem with IT as a Solution

Although IT has been touted by the experts as being the bedrock of next generation of business in which large organizations encompassing several thousand employees will seamlessly operate in a global environment, there are a good number of issues to be resolved. However, as we have already seen the merits of using IT solutions as BPM tools. The following issues need to be confronted.

  • Expensive to Implement: IT systems have traditionally been expensive to implement. Although they streamline the processes and the return on investment is quite high, but a significant outlay is required upfront. This puts them out of the league of small and medium enterprises. It is only the big corporations that can afford them.

    However the recent introduction of cloud computing has the capabilities to face the challenge. Advances in technology are now helping smaller companies use software like we use e-mail. One just needs to have an internet connection, no set-up, no servers, no infrastructure required.

    One good example of the same is salesforce.com, which charges customers on a per user basis. Thus even small companies can have the benefit of good quality software irrespective of their size.

  • Long Deployment Time: IT systems have also been traditionally plagued with long deployment times. Building a solution often takes months or years. However, the next wave of BPM tools has reduced the time by at least 70%. Instead of building the whole system from the beginning, one can combine pre-existing modules and tweak them to one’s own needs. Cloud computing is another viable alternative with almost negligible time lag in implementation.

  • Inflexible Solution: Most companies have not built their IT systems all at once. It has been built at different times, by different people and using different platforms and technologies. The result is a series of applications that perform well within themselves but do not communicate with any external application.

    Since business functions in an integrated manner, it needs applications which do the same as well. But integrating different applications to support a synchronized process has become a difficult task. The IT companies are touting Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as the solution. A discussion about what SOA really is, is beyond our scope. However, it must be noted that it is at a nascent stage and holds tremendous promise to make all system related woes disappear.

  • Dynamic Environment: The last issue is the fact that environment keeps constantly changing. The system needs to be flexible too. IT systems need to live up to the challenge. Till now IT systems do not have an answer to this issue.

The two biggest buzzwords in IT, SOA and Cloud Computing are most likely to resolve the issues.

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