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Live from the Gartner BPM Summit in Orlando – The EDM Opportunity Zone

(By guest Blogger, Gib Bassett)

This week I am in Orlando, FL, attending the Gartner BPM Summit.  This morning’s keynote speaker was Janelle Hill, Research VP for Gartner.  The title of her presentation was “Business Processes: The Foundation Linking Business and IT.”  One slide of her presentation, as well as the overall implied though not explicit theme, spurred me to run back to my hotel room between sessions to post this blog.  My apologies to Ms. Hill; I extracted the slide in question, and overlaid what I term the “EDM Opportunity Zone.”  It is the stripped area below the Productivity Curve and above the Innovation Curve in the attached slide capture.

Recalling my college econ courses where intersecting regions of supply and demand curves always seemed to mean something important, here too I saw something worth noting.  This is only my interpretation, but her presentation seemed veiled in the notion that BPM, as a category or market, needed to evolve quickly, lest it become what the general ledger is to an ERP package today.  The evolution was about abstracting BPM to a higher level, where innovation and agility defined the space, not simply the management of business processes.  The drivers of this change would be global, increasingly competitive markets, real time systems and near perfect information.  She mentioned terms like agility and adaptability.

Relating back to the slide, Ms. Hill described how today, most adopters of BPM software derived value from gains in productivity, not innovation.  Only after experiencing this benefit over the course of time and via multiple projects, does an organization begin to ponder what added benefits might be derived from managing their business processes more intelligently.  This is when innovation becomes the primary benefit of BPM (or whatever the category is termed in the year 2012).

When I saw this slide, my immediate thought was: “why should an organization wait five years before exploring this idea?”  EDM is, after all, largely about adding intelligence to business processes, proven in multiple industries, and approaches such as Decision Yield can identify ways to get started with minimal risk.  The moral of the story is that any adopter of BPM interested in attaining higher revenues, more profit, increased customer satisfaction, greater shareholder value or other metrics important to their business, should consider this chart.  There is no reason to wait, and being among the first to take advantage of this “EDM Opportunity Zone” can have significant long term benefits.

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