…But consultants shouldn’t start calling every proposal a BPM project
BPX consultants will be happy to know that business process management programs are proving to be resilient while other IT projects are subject to cuts. Here are some correlating facts I’ve seen from recent IT market surveys:
- 40 BPM customers surveyed, none reported budget cuts for BPM, most expected BPM investments to grow (Gartner Market Trends Report, Michele Cantara, November 2008).
- 38% of companies have or plan to adopt BPM in the next year (Survey of 808 companies, same source as above)
- Three of top four reported goals by business strategy-oriented CIOs in 2009 are BPM use cases (CIO Magazine: “State of the CIO Survey”, Sept 2008):
- Drive innovative new market offerings or business practices
- Reengineer core business processes
- Improve end-user workforce productivity
- Improve quality of products and/or processes
- More companies are trying to protect new IT investment by reducing IT operating costs (McKinsey Global Survey, 547 executives: The McKinsey Quarterly, Oct, 2008)
Those involved in BPM consulting know there are two main reasons why BPM projects are finding funding. First, these projects are tied to specific business process improvements. This means there is usually a clear line-of-business owner, clear intended business benefits, and funded provided from business budgets rather than just IT. Second, BPM projects tend to have quick cycles with small implementation teams. They deliver fast results with potentially big business impacts in terms of increased efficiency and quality.
Window of Opportunity for SAP Partners in BPM Consulting
For SAP Partners looking for new business opportunities, a window has opened for you in BPM consulting as a result of new SAP offerings. You can leverage your knowledge of industry best practices and SAP to become involved in BPM initiatives at SAP customers, particularly those customers that have implemented SAP ERP 6.0 and SAP BusinessSuite 7. SAP provides a complete set of tools and methodologies to help enable your new practice.
Be warned, however that BPM consulting is a different kind of business from traditional SOA application development. You will be providing management consulting to line of business managers, rather than IT solutions to CIOs. This is a different set of decision makers who require a different approach. Your proposed solutions will have to fit these parameters: tied to specific business benefits and rapid small projects. Your customers will not be looking to do a big implementation deal, but they will tend to do many recurring projects once they start to see success.
I’m pleased to invite you to a special webinar next Wednesday, March 11 at 11AM Eastern / 8AM Pacific featuring Ann Rosenberg, the global lead of SAP’s BPM consulting practice. Ann will talk about how SAP partners can develop their own successful BPM practices. For more information, check out the announcement.