According to recent research by AIIM, 50% of organizations using Business Process Management (BPM) tools achieve a payback of their investment in 18 months or less. In all, 72% recoup their BPM spend within 2 years.
This is some wonderful new data on the power of BPM in the enterprise today. Also interesting is the finding that once a company has implemented an initial Business Process Management project, additional projects take an average of 8 to complete. In addition to cost savings, users report faster process throughput and improved compliance from more consistent processes. No surprises there.
A majority of respondents reported that they have only addressed 1/5th of the potentially profitable BPM projects in their organisation, and consider BPM to be “significant” or “imperative” to their business.
Other important notes from the study include information on what tend to be the most popular processes for organizations to automate. These processes include: accounts payables (scanning, routing, approving of incoming invoices), processes from customer support, and HR processes.
Not too surprising, one of the biggest challenges for organizations is actually defining and agreeing upon the process. As I have mentioned time and time again in this blog, my number one recommendation and point of focus with organizations implementing Business Process Management is on the Statement of Work (SOW) because if you cannot correctly define your process in a simple format, then you are not ready to automate it using BPM software. I think the conclusions of this study undeniably support this statement.
One last note of interest is that despite claims by most BPM vendors that their tool is for “business managers,” fully 30% of all BPM projects originate in the IT department. The reason is simple – most BPM projects involve integration with existing applications and integrations always involve IT.
Conclusions: spend the time and money on your SOW. Define your business process or workflow before trying to automate it. But DO IT – the payoffs are significant and pretty darn quick.