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IBM survey shows that BPM is a critical issue for senior executives

Larger companies plan to update business processes, but small and medium companies lag behind

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LONDON, U.K. - 08 Feb 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the results of a new survey which revealed that nearly three quarters of respondents think that BPM is critical for their business. The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of IBM and polled over 650 senior business decision makers from a range of small, medium and large firms in Great Britain.

The survey revealed some significant differences between attitudes toward business processes, depending on the size of the company. For example, the larger the business surveyed, the more likely they were to have plans in place to update their business processes in the next two to three years. For example, 70 percent of organisations with more than 250 employees had BPM improvement plans. However, only 31 percent of smaller companies (under 50 employees) had similar plans.

“It’s vital that smaller organisations don’t overlook the value of taking steps to improve their business processes,” said Phil Gilbert, Vice President / Business Process Management at IBM. “Today, you may be running your processes over email, using spreadsheets to convey data. In smaller companies, this results in critical lost time which is even more important when people are expected to wear many hats. The emergence of cloud-based solutions means that there are easy-to-use, cost-effective options for companies of virtually any size. These solutions empower employees while delivering a tangible return on investment... today's cloud-based BPM software is easier than email, and a lot more powerful.”

Gilbert explained that BPM is important for smaller organisations because the refining and planning of business processes early in a company’s development – by providing visibility into the work occurring across the organisation and its performance in critical areas – makes the process of growth more painless. The survey showed that an overwhelming 85 percent of respondents agreed that Line of sight, visibility into the work occurring across your organisation, and clear understanding into how your business is performing is key to the organisations success.

The strength of sentiment again trended upwards from small to larger business, but with far less divergence. For businesses under 50 people, 32 percent strongly agreed and 50 percent agreed that this kind of information was useful, while for businesses over 250 people, 43 percent strongly agreed and 50 percent agreed.

Gilbert explained that BPM is about managing and using the data within an organisation to determine the best use of resources, and that the arrival of Enterprise-class social media platforms will fit very neatly with the principles of BPM, “Social media can enable real-time communications and the analytics of ongoing work and processes within an organisation. For example, when you’re working on a task, you can be instantly connected to people who have just carried out similar work: instantly accessing their expertise. Without this kind of insight into processes and social connectivity, people are forced into silos without full access to the full range of knowledge in their organisation.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 654 senior decision makers in all business sizes. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 27th January 2012. The survey was carried out online.

The survey data in full can be found online here:

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