Everyone knows that BPM can reduce costs. So, BPM should be a hot topic and investment area during 2009′s brutal reign, right? Well, we at Gartner think so. Elise Olding, Jim Sinur and I are going to be driving a full-court press on BPM and Cost Management this year and we are all excited about the prospects. We are so excited, we have established an internal working group to make this a weekly research topic. In fact, I am shifting my own research attention to this topic - it will be my top research focus for 2009. BPM has so much to offer. You know this. We are going to make it clear to the rest of the world.
You also know that BPM has more going for it than hard-core cost reduction. BPM has plenty of intangible benefits. Intangibles are great, but they tend to be downplayed when cash is King and the King has abdicated his throne. There is a bit of a Maslow’s Hierarchy at work when it comes to benefits. Call it a Hierarchy of Benefits. When times are good and cash is flush, the intangibles at the top of the pile – employee satisfaction, greater flexibility, etc – are sweet and honored in their own right. But, when times are tough, you see a resurgence of interest in the hard, cold, tangibles that reside at the foundational layer of the hierarchy. And nothing is more tangible than Euros, Dollars, Pounds and Pesos. Everyone looks at the bottom of the hiierarchy and wants to see bottom line tangible results. If they can’t see those, then their eyes do not even bother looking any higher at the intangibles. At least, that’s been my experience in this space.
Both classes of benefits – tangible and intangible – are available from BPM. Our working group is going to nail the storyline on tangible benefits and remind our clients of the importance of the intangibles. In short, we are going to have our cake and eat it too. Tangible and intangible – both are available from BPM and both are needed during 2009, like never before.
Comments on this topic are welcome. While the output of our research working group effort will be targeted to our clients through our traditional research channels, I am happy to engage in a lively discussion here and look forward to the give and take.