It’s not easy being a business journalist you know. Everyday we are assaulted with phone calls from PR people (all called Kate) who keenly inform us about the next big thing in IT that we should write about. We just have to smile, nod in agreement and promise to read the press release. Which we never read.
Why the cynicism you might well say? Well, the problem is that 90 per cent of the time, we’ve heard it all before. No matter what the current term is, it’s almost certainly a rehash of something that existed years ago. Customer process management? Been there, done it, got the CRM scars to prove it. Business process management suites? That’s service management mate, and don’t you try to pretend it’s anything else. Even service orientated architectures (SOA), the great hope of making IT more flexible and therefore responsive to business needs, is a fancy way of saying that we need to integrate software better.
We can still learn
Where we have to be careful – and here I’m changing my use of ‘we to include you is that we don’t get so jaded that we miss out on something that is genuinely useful. Just because the terminology has be thrashed around and reworded, doesn’t mean that there is nothing to learn from what is inside.
CRM is a great example. The idea putting the customer at the centre of your business by empowering staff with the knowledge and ability to focus on the needs of each customer is a sound one. The reason why projects failed is not because of a problem with the concept, but rather poor execution.
Similarly business process management suites, which have recently been highlighted by analyst firm Gartner as potentially generating software revenues of $2.6 billion, should not be discounted as merely a fancy way of saying service management. Gartner says that focus on process management is vital if organisations are to achieve the triple crown (forgive them, they are American – only kidding) of saving money, saving time and adding value.
This is important because processes are the preserve of the service management department, and so you have a chance to prove your worth and forward your career. If you work in service management, and have expertise or even a working knowledge of process frameworks, then you should be putting yourself in the frame for leading development in this area. And this is the last lesson you can take from journalists use information when it suits. Journalists criticise research, but when it supports a point they are trying to make, it suddenly becomes worthy and respectable. So in the spirit of this way of thinking, grab hold of this Gartner research, circulate it around your organisation and pitch yourself as the person who can address this vital concern. I know I would.