In an earlier post (Café Innovation – Going beyond IT-Business alignment and integration), I had raised the need for organizations to go beyond IT-Business alignment and IT-Business integration, and aim to focus on assimilation of IT expertise within the business, and the assimilation of business process knowledge within IT. The main thrust of this argument was to stress that organizations need to move their workforces toward adopting a process view of the solutions they must deploy to solve business problems.
It is becoming increasingly clear that this could be quite a challenge for organizations since most of them are organized around a functional division of labor. Over the years, most of these functional areas have become functional silos. For example, the needs of the Finance folks are pitted against those of the Human Resources folks. Customer needs are often sacrificed in the internal conflicts between those that are in a Customer Relationship Management arena with those that are involved in Sales and Operations planning. So on the one hand we have the IT-Business divide and on the other we have the functional silos. If process excellence is to be achieved, something quite different needs to be in place.
This is where the Business Process Enterprise (BPEn) comes in. In the most recent issue of the SAP NetWeaver Magazine (Summer 2008), I introduce this in an article titled: SOA Success: Is Your Organization a Business Process Enterprise?, and online at: http://www.netweavermagazine.com/archive/Volume_04_(2008)/Issue_03_(Summer)/v4i3a04.cfm?session. This is not exactly a radical idea, but one whose time has come because “until an organization can truly function as a Business Process Enterprise, it will not be able to fully exploit its enterprise SOA capabilities.”
I invite you to read the above-referenced article, and join the discussion here.