Business Process Fusion Comes from Common Vision

Gartner says business, IS managers must create common vision for successful implementation

Gartner says business, IS managers must create common vision for successful implementation

Stamford, CN — November 3, 2003 — As business process fusion becomes a driver for increasing value from IT investments in enterprises, it will create new challenges for business and IS management, according to analyst firm Gartner Inc. One such challenge will be choosing where to target investments for integrating and accelerating business processes to create savings or new or enhanced competitive capabilities.

"This will require a level of understanding and common vision between IS and business management that many enterprises will find difficult to achieve," said Michael Gerrard, vice president for Gartner. "By fusing business processes previously perceived as loosely connected or even unconnected, enterprises will create new entities. Enterprises will need more complex and precise management to perform these processes effectively and deliver on their business value potential."

Business process fusion is the transformation of business activities achieved by integrating previously autonomous business processes, creating new challenges for management, Gartner explained. It will drive stronger alignment of IT with core business processes and provide linkage of operational and management processes with a true end-to-end scope. The objective is to integrate business processes to create value, regardless of how, or even whether, the underlying technology is integrated.

In February and March of 2003, Gartner surveyed 100 companies from a variety of industries to determine how they are using, or considering, real-time enterprise (RTE) concepts and practices for which business process fusion is essential in their operations. The results of the survey can be found in the report, "Unlocking the Value of Business Process Fusion."

According to the survey, 87 percent of respondents said they have projects under way to improve the speed of business processes, 49 percent expect to have similar projects under way during the next 12 months and 40 percent during the next 13 to 24 months.

"Business process efficiency and speed are already widely regarded as important investment opportunities, especially because 90 percent of the respondents believe that improving the speed of processes is important to their companies' success," said Gerrard.

Participants in the survey were asked what they believed would be the biggest barriers to redeveloping business processes to enable the real-time enterprise. Multiple responses were allowed.

  • 64 percent of respondents cited a lack of funding

  • 45 percent cited the inability of business management to visualize how the RTE would improve financial performance

  • 40 percent cited a lack of senior management understanding

  • 35 percent cited business management's inability to visualize how the real-time enterprise could affect market performance

"Business and IS managers must communicate such concepts as business process fusion as a specific business vision. This will help business managers understand the business opportunities that can be created from the inventive use of technology," said Gerrard. "Focus on the business model and key business processes, and how changes in the speed and dynamics of these processes can have significant, even transformational, effects."