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  • Making Intelligence Actionable: Business Process Management and Business Intelligence A Savvion Solution Brief Savvion, Inc. 5104 Old Ironsides Drive Suite 205 Santa Clara, California 95054 | 408-330-3402 | 888-544-5511 | www.savvion.com
  • Synopsis Business Process Management picks up where Business Intelligence leaves off—by making intelligence actionable. Intended Audience Business executives, IT strategy leaders, and process improvement managers and consultants. Those responsible for business intelligence or performance management initiatives, as well as anyone using dashboards, scorecards, and analytics solutions to measure departmental or organizational health. Introduction For more than 15 years, Business Intelligence (BI) has lived at the intersection of people and data with the noble goal of making people and organizations smarter. The vision of turning data into intelligence has become a reality for many corporations and groups. Numerous studies suggest that BI projects deliver measurable ROI. The premise behind the growth of the tools and the BI category is simple: Information is good. But, for many organizations, the ability of individuals, teams and departments to apply the “intelligence” they’ve gathered from BI into an actionable plan or process isn’t possible. The information companies get from BI projects isn’t matched to the underlying processes that inform how people work. So, the processes aren’t repeatable, measurable, or captured in any enterprise systems. Most organizations using BI solutions don’t see sustainable, repeatable business improvement for three key reasons: • Most functional business line owners don’t know the details of their daily business processes. • BI metrics and analytics aren’t made actionable. • Existing applications and systems that track process don’t map to the way people work. Despite these challenges, companies pour millions of dollars into analytics, reporting, infrastructure, and systems every year and don’t see full return on their investments. Many common escalation issues and exceptions to common business rules are handled as one- offs, in a combination of manual work, e-mail, and meetings. BI awareness doesn’t turn into action, much less repeatable improvement. The opportunity is to turn that information into action. This is where Business Process Management (BPM) picks up and BI leaves off—by making intelligence actionable. Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 2
  • Many organizational issues are really process issues. The “as-is” process of “how things are done” isn’t well-understood, documented, or audited by functional departments and leaders. The process of doing something as simple as approving, booking, and shipping a sales order isn’t well-understood, nor consistent across teams and organizations. Compounding the problem are: • The complexity of legacy systems • Regulatory requirements • Mergers and acquisition job rotations • Evolving business and product strategy • Varied processes due to language and culture differences. BPM enables work processes that are captured in people’s heads and as shared experiences to be recognized, defined, and translated into automated processes. This simplifies and expedites All the data and analytics in the workflow across an organization and on the global stage. world are worthless if no one Forrester Research and IDC are both doing research on the understands how they inform the intersections and convergence of BI and BPM. IDC has coined process of how people work. the term Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) to help explain the convergence and complementary nature of the BPM and BI markets. Both research organizations are commenting on the need to make BI actionable and process improvement repeatable. The leading BI vendors have recently expanded their product portfolios to move out of IT departments and directly address the needs of business operators. The goal is to help companies manage the complexity of the business and process of improving performance. Balance Scorecards and Total Quality Management (TQM) remain buzzwords. While the industry has consolidated into a handful of leading players—Business Objects, Cognos, SAS and Hyperion foremost among them—their product portfolios have expanded with a myriad of dashboard, scorecards, custom and packaged analytics. The marketing message for business audiences is simple: Manage your most important metrics BI provides information, but doesn’t consistently across all departments and functional areas to drive improved financial performance. The provide the decision makers with message for IT is almost equally as simple: Manage the tools needed to gain benefit, or your entire applications systems infrastructure and create action, on the processes that data warehouse with centralized administration, data yield inefficiencies. cleansing, data integration and metadata management to provide complete intelligence for the enterprise. All Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 3
  • these things should mean enterprise improvement. Unfortunately, just having information is useless unless you can apply it in a constructive way to productive ends. In essence, BI provides information, but doesn’t provide the decision makers with the tools needed to gain benefit, or create action, on the processes that yield inefficiencies. People or Process? Many companies can’t articulate the way they work today. Corporate leaders know, for example, that they have too much margin exposure, that returns management is a problem and that new product introduction is key to success over the next several quarters. Yet those same leaders can’t clearly articulate the order management process, don’t have confidence that everyone on the team is executing against the same metrics, and know it’s still taking them too long to get sales orders approved, inventory shipped and sales people paid. Wasn’t BI going to solve these problems? If you can’t manage what you can’t measure, then the first step to business performance is process articulation. The first step in a When organizational improvement performance management strategy should be to bring business starts from a focus on people, and IT owners and contributors to the table to share in a common it increases the likelihood that definition of the current process. This may be a new product analytics can be applied to decision introduction, expense management or quote to cash. Almost points that drive measurable, without exception, any process can be improved and many can be automated. BPM provides the catalyst required to take the repeatable improvement. information gathered from BI and create actionable processes for improvement. All the data and analytics in the world are worthless if no one understands how they inform the process of how people work. The core value proposition of BPM is the ability to articulate, simulate, and optimize this informed knowledge of how people work and integrate it into the enterprise. When organizational improvement starts from a focus on people, it increases the likelihood that analytics can be applied to decision points that drive measurable, repeatable improvement. BPM provides a prescription for analytics and progressive, measurable improvement. It also helps configure information and context to accommodate the way people work, increasing repeatability of the process. Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 4
  • Process: Making Improvement Actionable Once the process is defined and optimized, it’s critical that it become actionable. This is where the intersection of BI and BPM is best illustrated. BI and analytics platforms with Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) are great for helping identify a problem—often in near real-time. However, they often fail when it comes to helping the user actually do anything about the problem. For the IT side of the house, a BPM platform allows system-to- system, system-to-human interactions and human-to-human exchanges to be captured in a repeatable, manageable way as a BPM allows execution on complete solution. BPM allows execution on business activities business activities without without production system or code changes or human intervention. production system or code In addition, these solutions can be supported with minimal IT involvement while working with existing legacy infrastructure changes or human intervention. and systems. BPM often fills in the gap where existing anchor applications leave off when business conditions change and people have problems. For business line owners and management, BPM makes metrics actionable, often without requiring direct human interactions. It lets business owners drive process improvement while providing the flexibility for the process to reflect the way people and teams actually work. It enables process improvement without big bang costs or large IT integration projects. Often, initial process projects can be deployed in 30 to 90 days. The result is a strategic approach to process that starts with rapid modeling and iteration followed by a fast roll-out, enabling measurable results. Using BPM, organizations can begin improving top-line and bottom-line metrics in the same quarter they’re rolled out. Avoid Unnatural Acts With Existing Applications The reality for many organizations is that process improvement is stalled by the legacy of past failed projects and a lack of concrete requirements from business owners. IT budgets are often constrained and IT departments naturally default to existing infrastructure and systems for new projects when possible. The hard truth is that existing systems don’t match the way people work and every system that ever reached the capital expenditure committee has some form of workflow. With multiple projects, teams, applications, geographies and workflow tools, process improvement can turn into chaos. The result: workflow gone wild. Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 5
  • The outcome is that organizations attempt to respond to people-driven process issues by attempting to perform unnatural acts with existing applications. While BI has helped fill some of the information gap for people, it hasn’t truly unlocked the promise of putting data in the hands of people where it can become actionable. In addition, complex middleware and application infrastructure may conspire to make the problem worse. Add the buzz about SOA, the requirements around compliance, and business owners’ insistence on “real-time” everything, and process projects and problems become hugely complex and costly. In this scenario, the likely outcome is highly taxed IT systems and people who aren’t equipped to truly solve the underlying problem. BPM provides the ability to capture users and system requirements In BPM, the same process to optimize how people work. It’s more than just workflow or a Visio model that’s defined, iterated, diagram. In BPM, the same process model that’s defined, iterated, and optimized becomes the application specification to deploy in an and optimized becomes the enterprise environment. The model becomes the common language application specification to deploy to meet user requirements for automating and improving processes in an enterprise environment. and the IT specification for system connections, business rules, and data architecture. Process management tools also become a highly customizable platform to enable the continued, rapid roll out of process applications while maintaining common security, administration, flexibility and control. When considering investments in BI, don’t just think about the ability to consistently monitor metrics and reports. Instead, think about intelligence as content and context for how people and organizations work. The ability to unlock the power of intelligence is usually directly connected to the organization’s ability to define their current processes, optimize and improve those processes and make them actionable. BPM becomes the engine to drive the performance-driven organization to the next level. It should be considered a strategic part of a business improvement strategy and IT architecture. More importantly, process should be considered key to competitive advantage, something you can’t get from BI alone. Process makes your BI strategy actionable. Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 6
  • Conclusion Business • BI provides information, but doesn’t provide the decision makers with the tools needed to gain benefit, or create action, on processes that yield inefficiencies. • The first step to business performance is process articulation—any process can be improved and many can be automated. • BPM lets companies articulate, simulate, and optimize the knowledge of how people work and integrate it into the enterprise, making intelligence actionable. Technology • Existing systems often don’t match the way people actually work. A BPM platform lets system-to-system, system-to-human interactions and human-to-human exchanges be captured in a repeatable, manageable way as a complete solution. • BPM begins with a process model that becomes the common language to meet user requirements for automating and improving processes and the supporting IT specifications. • Many initial BPM projects can be deployed in 30 to 90 days. To begin improving your business processes and reaping the benefits today, download Savvion Process Modeler for free at www.savvion.com. For more information or to discuss how BPM can extend your BI capabilities, contact Savvion today at 1 (888) 544-5511. Savvion, Inc. – BPM and BI: Making Intelligence Actionable Page 7
  • Savvion and Savvion BusinessManager are trademarks or registered trademarks of Savvion, Inc. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. ©2006 Savvion, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Savvion, Inc. 5104 Old Ironsides Drive Suite 205 Santa Clara, California 95054 | 408-330-3402 | 888-544-5511 | www.savvion.com