The Chief Information Officer (CIO) can play an important role in organizational growth and development as the use of information technology has quickly become vital in today’s business marketplace. The CIO is typically responsible for the management, implementation and usability of information and computer technologies. As information continues to evolve, the duties and responsibilities of the CIO may increase. Thus, it may be important to consider the challenges and opportunities a CIO may face.
In a world where technological change is constantly rewriting the rules of how business is transacted, CIOs act as gatekeepers who determine which of the latest technological advances should be adopted to serve the long-term interests of the organization. The CIO should also understand the organization’s business strategy and enforce the principle that new technology is acquired and implemented to support business objectives, and that business objectives are not adapted to fit the latest available technology. Finally, a CIO should understand how changes in technology may affect an organization’s business model.
Business Process Management or (BPM) is composed of a set of methods, tools and techniques that help make business processes more efficient and effective. BPM can help increase an organization’s operational performance by improving the processes that sustain the organization. As technologies and markets change, BPM helps organizations monitor, analyze and control business processes to ensure they keep pace with the demands of a rapidly changing world. BPM techniques can also help organizations make sure their operational processes are aligned with their business objectives and strategy.
BPM may work best in processes that are dynamic, complex and have clearly measurable performance metrics. Processes that provide significant additional capacity through automation or that are currently handled manually are also typically ideal candidates for BPM.
Organizations can determine the return on investment (ROI) of their BPM efforts by using a clear and simple set of metrics. BPM provides three categories of process improvement by which ROI can be measured:
Efficiency – BPM enables organizations to deliver more with less. This can result in reduced process cycle time, reduced process execution costs, improved productivity and increased cash flow.
Transparency – With BPM, organizations can monitor the current status and output of their processes. This helps reduce process exceptions and errors in process execution while increasing customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance.
Agility – BPM helps businesses adapt quickly to changing conditions. Increased agility can help organizations bring new products to market more quickly, decrease the time required to respond to market changes and reduce development and integration costs.
CIOs may find that BPM is ideally suited to help them with their responsibilities and challenges. In a world of technologically savvy employees, CIOs and the IT departments they manage are finding that if employees don’t have the technological solutions they need, they build the applications themselves, without the benefit of IT enterprise architecture or governance. When executed correctly, BPM can help promote greater collaboration between technologically adept front-line employees and the IT departments who support them.
Like other C-level executives, CIOs often face the challenges of reducing costs and increasing productivity. BPM helps reduce costs by focusing on process efficiency and creating smarter, more effective processes. BPM can also help enhance productivity through optimizing processes and introducing innovations.
CIOs confront the challenges of implementing technology that support the organization’s strategy and objectives, and link technology to external products and services. They are also responsible for predicting how technology will change the marketplace and help prepare for those changes. BPM is a resource that CIOs can use to help their organizations remain centered on strategy while quickly responding to a rapidly changing environment.