Executives: IT More Important than Ever

Survey by the BPM Forum, webMethods finds growing competitive, customer and regulatory pressures driving demand to create a more "alert enterprise"


Survey by the BPM Forum, webMethods finds growing competitive, customer and regulatory pressures driving demand to create a more "alert enterprise"

Palo Alto, CA and Fairfax, VA — June 23, 2006 — Executives express widespread dissatisfaction with the ability of their organizations to assimilate and respond to business change, according to a new study issued today by the Business Performance Management Forum (BPM Forum) and webMethods Inc.

While recognizing the strategic role that IT can play in addressing these requirements, these executives also indicate that IT often fails to keep pace with the demands of their business. Due to these limitations, they face significant constraints in confronting emerging risks and opportunities, as well as additional challenges in their ability to create long-lasting competitive differentiation.

In fact, some three quarters of executives surveyed from larger companies with more than $500 million in revenues said they are not satisfied with the ability of their companies to respond to change. Forty-five percent of these executives believe that their IT departments are either having "significant difficulties" keeping pace or "can't keep up at all."

"Accelerate How You Differentiate: The Alert Enterprise Audit" is based on a survey of 320 business executives in a cross-section of industries. The study examines the enterprise need to more quickly enact competitive differentiation in response to growing marketplace pressures. It measures executive perceptions and satisfaction levels with their companies' progress toward becoming an "Alert Enterprise," a new model proposed by the study that emphasizes IT's emerging role in sensing operational performance and market change, assuring business agility, and driving market distinction. It specifically looks at three critical areas of need for becoming an Alert Enterprise:
* access to relevant, real-time business insight and information;
* the ability to adapt and modify key business processes and more quickly deliver applications for competitive advantage;
* the overall capacity of IT to keep pace with change and create business value.

"Executives in our study were consistent in their need to better grapple with business change," said David Mitchell, president and CEO, webMethods Inc. "Specifically, they recognize that the increasing pace of change requires a new model that allows them to more readily transform operational insight into better business performance. The other key finding is that IT — despite current challenges — is viewed as critical to achieving this goal. What's clear from these executives' responses is that the more business-focused and outcome-oriented IT organization will ultimately thrive as a 'game changer' in this new environment."

Key findings of the audit include:

* The Value of Being Alert — Executives see the ability to more rapidly build new applications, improve business processes and gain more relevant, real-time insights into critical market and operational developments as delivering significant business value by improving their ability to anticipate and respond to change. However, only one-third of executives are satisfied with the ability of their companies to respond to change. For larger companies with revenue of more than $500 million, the number drops further to just one in four.

* The Need for Real-time Information Access — Only about 30 percent of respondents say they have the ability to frequently access real-time insight into operations and business processes. Respondents say the leading pain points requiring real-time information access include a need for improved competitive intelligence, more accurate customer information and better performance metrics.

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