Rome was not reinvented in a day. Your enterprise business processes won’t turn around overnight either. You’ll need to re-engineer processes while you continue to run an ongoing business concern — albeit one with many buried layers, some splendid ruins, and many construction projects that cause never-ending traffic snarls.
Business process optimization is not a project you can deliver in a fortnight, nor is it a specific architecture or business model. Rather, it’s an ongoing program under which you implement various transformative technical projects in order to enable greater agility, efficiency, and effectiveness throughout key processes.
What are the key components of a business process optimization program? Forrester recommends that you establish an ongoing initiative that involves all business stakeholders, at all levels in the organization. Just as important, you will need to establish tight collaboration between business stakeholders and the myriad change agents, business architects, process architects, business analysts, data stewards, and analytics professionals upon which the success of your optimization efforts depends.
Enterprises should establish cross-functional programs under which to prioritize business process optimization projects around the following key pillars:
Open source software (OSS) and business intelligence (BI) are two related market segments where Forrester sees continually increasing interest and adoption levels. BI specifically continues to be one of the top priorities on everyone's mind. The main reason? Enterprises that do not squeeze the last ounce of information out of their data stores and applications, and do not focus on getting strategic, tactical, and operational insight into their customers, products, and operations, risk falling behind competition. And when it comes to open source, 2009 could best be described as "the year IT professionals realized that open source runs their business." The reason is simple: Over the past few years, we've seen that developers adopt open source products tactically without the explicit approval of their managers. This has shown up in numerous surveys where the actual adoption of open source ranks higher than what IT managers report. Well no longer: Forrester's Enterprise And SMB Software Survey, North America And Europe, Q4 2009 shows that management has caught on to the fact that developers increasingly use open source to run key parts of their IT infrastructure. And management has grown increasingly comfortable with it. In fact, throughout 2009, most client inquiries Forrester received regarding open source were focused on how to move from tactical adoption to strategic exploitation.
Yet, when you put the 2 and 2 together (OSS and BI), you mostly get a mixed market, where one unfortunately has to compare apples to oranges. Why? Before plunging into a tool evaluation and selection process, ask yourself the following questions, and make sure you are doing a like-to-like comparison: