Business Performance Metrics Will Be Critical IT Elements: Gartner

Organizations are adopting intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) to increase their proactive response to business disruptions.

As companies enter the digital world, they will need to digitalize business processes, invent new digital business models and compete at the speed of business moments, and organizations that use predictive business performance metrics will increase their profitability by 20 percent by 2017, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner.

With this in mind, organizations are adopting intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) and operational intelligence platforms to dramatically increase their successful and proactive response to unexpected business disruptions.

These technologies leverage predictive analytics and provide information that makes it easier to identify relevant predictive metrics. Gartner estimates that the BPMS market will reach $2.8 billion in 2014, an 8.8 percent growth from 2013.

"Using historical measures to gauge business and process performance is a thing of the past," Samantha Searle, research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "To prevail in challenging market conditions, businesses need predictive metrics—also known as "leading indicators"—rather than just historical metrics (aka "lagging indicators")."

The report noted organizations struggling to cope with today’s accelerated business cycles, which require business and IT leaders to track work in progress, are seeing an increasingly vital need to make optimization adjustments in real time, and increase organizational responsiveness to market dynamics and evolving event patterns.

"Business process directors who don't apply predictive metrics to cross-boundary business processes will leave their organizations vulnerable to the risk of failing to execute their business strategies," Searle continued. "This is because they are unable to anticipate how well critical processes are driving strategic business outcomes, and therefore are unable to make well-informed decisions and intervene when process performance has plummeted below acceptable levels."

As the speed of business increases velocity, the report warns senior IT managers and business process directors will increasingly be called on to manage an unprecedented degree and pace of business change, and to seize transient business moments by discovering what customers value and by personalizing processes to deliver that value—all in the same instant.

A recent Gartner survey, conducted among 498 business and IT leaders in the fourth quarter of 2013, showed that 71 percent of business and IT leaders understood which key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical to supporting the business strategy.

However, only 48 percent said they can access metrics that help them understand how their work contributes to strategic KPIs, and 31 percent agreed they had a dashboard to provide visibility of these metrics.

"Business process directors should identify the business processes that are critical to driving strategic business outcomes and strategy execution, and determine how best to measure business outcomes in a way that triggers human or automated actions before an undesired outcome occurs," Searle concluded. "This ability will be crucial in determining the organizations who survive the shift toward a digital world and those who will be left behind."