BPM Series: Do organisations need best of breed investments in BAM?

Few days back, I watched a webinar on BAM hosted by ebizq.comBAM for BPM Survey Results Are In! Learn What’s Driving New BAM Investments. While the webinar was good as it presented application of BAM in a number of different business scenarios, the presentation left me in doubt on whether organisations need to invest in best of breed BAM technology or can they leverage their investment in BI / Analytics / Reporting tools to achieve BAM.

BAM stands for Buisness Activity Monitoring. However, as per the presentation made by Systar’s Derek E Weeks, best-in-breed BAM delivers more than monitoring of process execution real time. It also:
– Measures overall business performance
– Predicts down-stream impact of events
– Analyzes and correlates events beyond BPM managed processes
– Delivers timely leading indicators

So, BAM is not just about monitoring of process or business parameters, but also anout analysising the business / process data related to the parameters being monitored real time, assessing / predicting the impact and initiating corrective action proactively. BAM may may blossom in BPM system environments, as BPM systems would enable collection of data and initiation of corrective action. However, BPM is not a necessary condition for BAM and BAM may exist in organisations even without or independent of BPM systems.

The presentation began with a survey conducted by ebizq (and soponsored by Systar) to assess the level of acceptance of BAM by organizations. To a question on the need for real time visibility, almost 50% felt that they required real time information on their critical parameters in less than 1 hour (21% within minutes, 8% within seconds). While business users may express such a requirement, there are two important considerations:
– What is done with that exception information / data?
– Is it really worth having this information within the seconds / minute / hour?

Most of the time, when users come to know of the costs as well as impact of such implementations on production systems (in terms of performance), my experience is that they back-out.

Recently, we had a requirement where our sales team wanted to track a critical KRA on an hourly basis. We could deliver the desired visibility by leveraging our existing Reporting and Analytics infrastructure. Hence, when I went through the webinar, I had my doubts about the need for the best of breed BAM. BAM may work for those organisations which do not have BI infrastructure. For those who already have BI infrastructure, my suggestion would be leverage existing BI system and tools to deliver BAM functionality. what do you think?

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