Trying financial times are here. I do not have to build or explain the argument here. You can just read the news:
- "A week after Circuit City began a downward spiral that began with massive store closings and layoffs and ended with a filing for bankruptcy protection competitor electronics retailer Best Buy sharply cut its 2009 outlook in the face of the "the most difficult climate" it has ever seen. - The Wired Blog
- "We expect to see further increases in jobless claims and higher unemployment," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist for Canto Fitzgerald. "We're expecting unemployment to rise into the first quarter." -Fox Business News
- Technology stocks showed few signs of positive momentum Friday after Sun Microsystems Inc. announced plans to lay off as many as 6,000 workers in a cost-cutting move to help deal with the slowing economy. -MarketWatch
- The government programs have gotten credit back on track from the month-long derailment sparked by Lehman's collapse. And while some analysts argue that the credit "crisis" is over, the credit "crunch" is still very much alive and will be a slow process to correct. - CNN
These stories tell of staff reduction, streamlined work forces, reduction in business costs, and businesses looking inward (for increased efficiencies) rather than outward (for new IT acquisitions). Specifically, it is vital today to ensure you are effectively and efficiently utilizing what you have. Conversely, if you are experiencing internal inefficiencies with what you have, what is the best acquisition can you make to overcome these challenges and ensure you will have a greater return on investment on your business activities going forward?
At the core of all of these stories are business processes. Business processes are the most granular aspect of day-to-day processing in the business realm. Regardless if times are profitable or challenging, the effectiveness of your business is incrementally measured on the business processes themselves. Executives from the companies in each of the stories above are now requiring heightened levels of visibility and reporting accuracies. Leveraging existing business process management installations (or investing in new and focused installations) makes perfect sense in these difficult economic times.
Consider the case that you have already invested in Ultimus Adaptive BPM Suite. Now is the ideal time to evaluate the effectiveness of these processes, how much visibility you have to your data and KPIs, and how efficiently the people who are involved in your processes are working. By ensuring your processes are efficient, effective, and the data is visible in them (for reporting, dashboards, etc.), you will have an exact measure of how well your business is performing as a whole. Moreover, with all this in place, you can understand what the impact to your day-to-day operations will be when your business undergoes economic, financial, and possibly structural changes.
Conversely, consider the case you have not yet invested in Ultimus Adaptive BPM Suite (or any business process management system). As a CIO or IT Director, you might be asking yourself these questions right now:
- Are my company's employees spending the appropriate amount of time to perform their daily work?
- Are my existing software applications working together seamlessly or are we spending time and effort re-entering and reconfirming data across these systems?
- Do I even know my true key performance indicators vital to measuring my business?
While times may be tight, can you afford to not know the answers to these questions? The answer is exactly where business process management makes sense. By implementing a quality BPMS, you are going to invest in a enterprise software application that will enable you to streamline your work force, ensure everyone is working as efficiently as possible, and ultimately save your business money. In fact, your return on investment will happen sooner than you believe it to be (as the direct and indirect money you will be saving with an efficient process multiplies as you invest more into the BPMS).