Survey: IT hasn't delivered agility, yet

New BPM Forum survey says most business executives unhappy with the ability of IT to keep up
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

In my previous post, I shared the observations of Chris Koch, who said that business process management and SOA come from two different sides of the enterprise fence, and don't always see eye to eye. In addition, Koch is of the opinion that most advances in business agility in recent years have come from the technology side of the house.

Almost half of enterprises say IT isn't keeping up.

Now, a new survey out of the BPM Forum, and underwritten by webMethods, seems to say 'not so fast' in giving technology folks so much credit. In fact, most of the 320 executives interviewed for the study say their enterprises haven't gotten anywhere yet in terms of agility, and it's IT's fault. Some three quarters of executives surveyed from larger companies with more than $500 million in revenues said they are not satisfied with the ability of their companies to respond to change.  Forty-five percent of these executives believe that their IT departments are either having "significant difficulties" keeping pace or "can't keep up at all."

At this point, the percentage of businesspeople that say IT is in 'alignment' with the business is in the minority, the survey finds.  Only about 43 percent of all respondents, 37 percent among larger companies, say IT activities are closely aligned with strategic priorities. 

However, the executives by and large say IT has a crucial role to play in achieving agility. More than two-thirds of the respondents, 68 percent, said IT plays an important role in creating differentiation for their companies, products and services.

In addition, a majority agree that SOA is the way to get there. About 60 percent say SOA is an important initiative to becoming a more agile enterprise.

Obstacles to Modifying Core Business Processes 

  • Lack of functional integration  52%
  • Human factors   50%
  • Cultural resistance   42%
  • Incompatible legacy systems   33%
  • Obsolete practices   29%
  • Manual interfaces   25%
  • Inaccessible data   23%
  • Dated applications   23%
  • Other   8%

Importance of SOA is Becoming 'Alert' Enterprises:

  • Very important   22%
  • Important   38%
  • Somewhat important   22%
  • Not important    4%
  • Don’t know   14%
Source: BPM Forum/webMethods study


Editorial standards