However, most (69%) admit that it can be either ‘fairly hard’ (52%) or ‘very hard’ (17%) to calculate the ROI on such an implementation. In contrast, just 14% feel that it is either ‘easy’ (2%) or ‘fairly easy’ (12%) to work out ROI.
Three-quarters of the sample have invested in either workflow (76%) or document management software (75%) over the last two years, and 59% have bought BPM technology. The majority (91%) indicate they have plans to make further investments in these areas over the next two years.
By doing so, most companies hope to introduce greater efficiencies and improve productivity. When asked to rate their reasons for using such technology on a scale of 1 to 5, the aggregated results show that this aim rates most highly, with a score of 4.46.
The desire to improve service (4.42), to reduce operational costs (4.23) and to improve organisational agility and adaptability (4.17) also emerge as critical goals.
In comparison, the need to meet the demands of new regulatory requirements
such as Sarbanes-Oxley, often cited as a factor in the increased take-up of
workflow and BPM packages, is not rated highly in the PMP survey. It scores
lower down the scale, at 3.32.
One reason why employees are reluctant to adopt workflow and BPM solutions may be the problems companies have in introducing applications which can
easily adapt to changing circumstances.
Just 3% of the sample say it is ‘very easy’ to make changes to processes
once a workflow or BPM application is in operation, and only 27% feel this
is an ‘easy’ task. Against this, 34% reckon it is ‘hard’ to change processes and 7% describe this as ‘very hard’.
Despite these issues, companies reveal ambitious plans for future workflow
and BPM applications, with 61% declaring their intention to integrate some of the processes supported by such software with those of external suppliers or partners.
Portal technology is viewed as a important element in this, by offering a
standard user interface for multiple applications. More than a quarter
(28%) have already developed such a portal and a further 44% are actively
considering this approach.