Investing in business processes as strategic differentiating assets

In today's business environment of increased globalization, greater competition and stricter regulation, enterprises need to optimize operations and achieve ongoing operational excellence. For many enterprises, with the increasing commoditization of products and services, how they operate may be their biggest differentiator over their competitors.

Business processes define how an enterprise operates and differentiates itself by managing the interactions between customers, employees, partners and systems. Competitive advantage lies in the ability to adapt business processes to changing conditions quickly and efficiently with minimal time and cost.

Business process management (BPM) enables enterprises to explicitly manage their business processes by providing the ability to understand, automate and optimize those processes. Enterprises that adopt BPM and embrace continuous process improvement stand to gain many advantages:

  • Ability to operate business processes more reliably, faster and efficiently.
  • Increased flexibility and agility while eliminating redundancy and cost.
  • Reduced cycle times to develop and deliver new products or services.
  • Improved customer service.
  • Provide information that enables better decisions.

"TIBCO's software gives us a competitive advantage against larger competitors (with larger IT teams) by providing an agile infrastructure that reduces development time and provides rapid return on investment."

- Paulo Dos Santos, CIO, PruHealth

Independent Business Process Layer
Business processes are performed by both people and applications. In an end-to-end business process, the implementation of the process is distributed throughout the various people and applications involved in the process. While there may be an explicit understanding of how the process coordinates these people and applications, very rarely will there be visibility into the state of individual transactions passing through the process. BPM enables the process logic to be managed in an independent business process layer that coordinates the constituent people and applications. This enables business processes to be managed as strategic business assets alongside other business resources such people and applications.

There are many advantages to adopting an independent business process layer:

  • Provides an explicit understanding of the end-to-end business process that coordinates people and applications.
  • Provides visibility into the execution of business processes both at the individual transaction and aggregate levels.
  • Enables the business process to be quickly and efficiently modified outside of people and applications to accommodate changing competitive, market and/or compliance conditions.
  • Enables continuous process improvement to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations for competitive advantage and market differentiation.