The correct approach is to evaluate the business processes before investing heavily in the IT systems that automate those processes. This task originated in the 1990s as business process reengineering, but is also known as functional process improvement, business process redesign and business process analysis.
Whatever the label, the philosophy is basically the same: the organization that deploys systems on a solid business process foundation is more likely to (1) solve the business problem it intended to address, and (2) obtain the greatest return on its technology investment.
Getting started with business process analysis means asking yourself some pointed questions. Whether you pursue this analysis on your own or working with a consultant, here are five important questions you should consider.
Complex and outdated business processes increase effort, slow down the tempo of operations and shrink margins. Mature businesses need to keep an eye out for potential profit thieves, but young companies on the rise must also be wary. As an organization grows, profits will only follow if it gains efficiencies as it expands. A critical task for companies of all sizes: identify cumbersome modes of doing business and convert the wasted effort back into income.
Here is a short list of business processes that may be causing you problems. These problem processes should not be overlooked:
Indeed, IT systems can speed up cycle time and boost productivity, saving labor expenses along the way. But, ironically, an organization’s IT infrastructure can emerge as a large and rapidly expanding cost contributor. The issue can sneak up on companies as they accumulate new systems to accommodate business growth.
Most enterprises won’t have to look very hard to find opportunities to trim their IT outlays. The following six IT areas may be good places to start for your cost reduction strategies.
At Lithyem, we place the business operating platform concept at the center of the cloud-based software solutions we develop for customers. The main objective is to streamline the operations of medium-to-large scale enterprises. Our platforms empower customers to meet that goal, reducing costs, saving time and increasing productivity.
Lithyem’s business operating platform consists of software application modules and business process workflows, reinforced with security and backup capabilities. Those components are built upon a 24/7 cloud platform foundation. At the top of this platform stack, an insight and analytics layer gleans actionable information that supports executive decision making.
This approach offers organizations a number of advantages as they look to cut through the complexity of IT. Here are some of the key benefits:
Many businesses suffer from poorly integrated — or completely disconnected — software and IT systems. They simply cannot increase profits without adding overhead.
As a small company begins to grow, it tends to add systems and applications as needs arise and without any particular technology strategy in mind. That business, at some point, ends up with an array of disconnected systems and processes. Such systems often serve only a single purpose and, therefore, are hugely inefficient. What’s more, the systems may operate largely in isolation. The ability to share data among applications and enable smooth, end-to-end business processes becomes extremely limited.
A business operating platform, in contrast, offers a unified foundation for software solutions that support an enterprise’s sustained growth. The Lithyem business operating platform consists of a number of integrated layers. At its core, the platform features application modules configured to unique process workflows for each business. A security and backup layer supports the applications and workflows, providing encryption and 24/7 availability among other disaster prevention capabilities. Those layers, in turn, rest upon Lithyem’s cloud platform. The top tier of this platform stack consists of an insight and analytics layer, which gleans actionable information and supports executive decision making.
Lithyem positions its business operating platform at the very center of the cloud-based software solutions its offers medium-to-large scale enterprises. Our objective is to streamline operations and provide efficiency benefits that dramatically increase the bottom line.
It’s a rare business that can’t find a few opportunities to streamline internal business processes. After all, any business activity can accumulate complexity over time as an organization evolves. In addition, a process may become irrelevant as business models change, yet retain its grip on a company. And some processes may involve multiple hand-offs and re-entering data, slowing cycle time and increasing exposure to human error.
Cloud-based software is a proven technology that can help companies streamline their operations. In particular, organizations can deploy a range of cloud-based software offerings to help them on their way. Here are three ways cloud-based operating platforms can streamline business processes.
It’s a common trap.
Organizations become enamored with information technology and see it as the remedy for all their problems. They hear that implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or a customer relationship management (CRM) package will boost productivity and increase sales. Expectations are high.
But an IT solution, on it own, often fails to deliver the anticipated miracle cure. Here’s why: the technology-besotted business fails to assess the underlying business processes it seeks to automate. A business that ends up automating broken, inefficient business processes won’t realize the promised benefits of IT. An organization may layer the latest and greatest technology on business processes that have persisted for decades. Adding new technology to the same old processes, however, will never yield the hoped-for technology return on investment.
Any company looking at a major IT implementation should first examine its business processes. Here are four signs that you need to embark on business process reengineering program: