RETURN ON INVESTMENT PROBLEMS HOLD UP WORKFLOW & BPM PROJECTS, FINDS PMP RESEARCH
Study by PMP Research reveals that calculating ROI is a major stumbling block to widespread adoption of workflow, document management and business process management systems
The majority of companies are finding it difficult to justify their investments in workflow, document management and business process management (BPM) systems, according to a recent survey from PMP Research.
More than three-quarters of those polled describe calculating the return on investment (ROI) in this area as either ’fairly hard’ (42%) or ‘very hard’ (36%), with only 13% saying that working out ROI is ‘fairly easy’.
In addition, only a third of the sample (35%) claim their implementations have delivered the benefits they expected, while one in five (20%) deny that this is the case.
The other major obstacle identified in the survey is the difficulty of integrating workflow, document management and BPM with existing enterprise applications.
Both problems are mentioned as barriers to adoption by 52% of those polled, along with worries about user acceptance of new technologies (45%).
Customer service and/or complaint handling emerges as the most common target for workflow and associated technologies at present, cited by 34% of respondents, along with the processing of online applications and inquiries (32%).
However, new regulatory and compliance requirements, such as the demands of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation are having much less of an impact than was expected on technology take-up in this area.
This came bottom on a list of reasons to adopt workflow technology – which is headed by the desire to introduce greater efficiencies and better productivity, plus the need to improve service.
As well as specialist packages, getting on for half (45%) of those surveyed use messaging products such as Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange as the base infrastructure for workflow technologies.
Overall, companies are more likely to be using a document management solution (39%), workflow software (36%) or content management systems (34%) compared to BPM software, which is a newer concept. Currently 12% of the sample have operational BPM systems in place, with 14% in the process of implementing and just 5% running pilot projects, suggesting that it may be some time before this option gains widespread appeal.
For this survey, PMP Research polled a range of UK-based organisations from a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing (18%), the financial services (16%) and the public sector (11%).
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