An emerging software category that is generating considerable interest is business management software. The growing maturity of this segment is being driven by the need to be more agile and manage the growing complexity within organisations.
Today’s enterprises are grappling with how to address constant change and disruption at both micro and macro levels. Size, complexity and the siloed nature of operational structures are making transformation and strategy implementation, not just challenging, but in many cases impossible.
Rather than implementing improvements department by department or silo by silo, executives need to see how change will impact entire value chains that flow horizontally and vertically across the organisation, affecting different areas, roles, processes and controls in varied ways.
What’s required to achieve this is a rethink of operational models so there can be a greater understanding of the relationships between people, processes and technology.
For this sophisticated tools, like business management software, are needed to help executives map the operating environment, allowing them more visibility over value chains and also the ability to simulate how changes will impact the organisation.
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The need for this capability has been recognised by Gartner Group when it identified a Business Operating System as a digital twin of the organisation. This is a vastly different proposition from simplistic process mapping tools that capture a single view of processes. While effective in helping break down silos and eliminating bottle necks in process steps, process mapping tools have their limitations. Unlike a full business management system, they can’t assist with business transformation as there are no means of analysing the process maps to simulate a future operating environment.
Digital transformation initiatives are complex and the many interdependencies of the organisation need to be understood to increase the likelihood of success. This includes an accurate representation of the current business as well as a simulation of the future business which may include a number of business options and the ultimate target operating model.
A true business management system provides an integrated view of an organisation, rather than singular areas. Instead of being system focused, it will show the connections between manual processes, responsibilities, control points and document management while also providing a full picture that is linked to risk management, compliance and operating procedures. In addition, it will assist in transformation projects by simulating future operating environments so change can be understood holistically and on a broad scale.
Today’s business management software represents a different way of thinking to support the agile business of the future. From a world of disparate systems that are organised in silos and managed by a multitude of documents, to software that allows every part of the business to be interconnected, while coordinating information, connecting risks, controls and processes, and integrating all of this into one model of how things work or a ‘single source of truth’.
As the market evolves what we’re likely to see is a shift away from many different types of single-purpose applications to software and systems that provide an integrated view of a business. This will enable great reliability and consistency of information as it will be frequently maintained, enhanced and accessed.
To combat growing complexity, businesses are becoming increasingly more digital, moving away from manual, paper-based models of working. These new sophisticated environment needs will require new approaches to management and, as such, it won’t be long before powerful business management systems will be the norm.