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Using Technology To Drive Business Performance

Until recent years businesses managed and reported their corporate perofrmance based on loosely defined strategic plans and financial budgets.

This approach as failed drive strategy down and across the organizations, unable to transform strategies into actionable metrics and failing to provide meaningful analysis to identify cause-and-effect relationships that give profitable insight to operational decision makers.

Today, advanced business performance management [BPM] [also referred to as corporate performance management [CPM]] software and methods allow a systematic, integrated approach that links enterprise strategy to core processes and activities. Enterprises are no longer run by financial numbers such as planning, budgeting, analysis and reporting, but instead use holistic scorecard performance analysis and reporting to ensure that strategy is being driven down through the organization and that the organization is performing on every level of People-Process-Technology.

Tools used for managing business performance can be grouped into:

  1. BPM Infrastructure – provide the back end capability to extract, store and access data
  2. User BPM Tools – used to view, mine, analyse and report useful performance information

BPM Infrastructure

ETL – application used to extract, transform and load data from enterprise transactional and operational systems into the data warehouse

Data warehouses – to store data used for business intelligence and corporate performance management

Document warehouses – to store documents available for analytical mining

OLAP — Online Analytical Processing [Analytics] is based on dimensional analysis and the "hypercube" or "cube".


Business User Tools

Advanced Visualization Tools - Scorecards and Dashboards for one glance performance indication

Data mining [DM] - extraction of relevant information from large volumes of data, and guided by the business user.

BPM — Business performance management systems. These include derivatives such as:

EIS — Executive information systems
DSS — Decision support systems
MIS — Management information systems
SEMS — Strategic Enterprise Management Software

Until recently, such tools were reserved for use by C-level executives and corporate analysts. However, with the change in the corporate mindset to accepting that corporate performance is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, BPM tools are being deployed right throughout the organisation.

This is having many benefits, including:

  • Enhancing individual morale and productivity – through gaining insight into the value of their role, and real time feedback on performance
  • Improving operational performance – ensuring all operations are aligned to corporate objectives and measured using meaningful KPI’s
  • Powering innovation – through increased collaboration
  • Increasing Profitability – through a combination of more efficient and effective operations, product design and marketing campaigns
  • Maintaining competitiveness – through increased insight into market dynamics and forces preceding required change.

Organisations not employing business performance management technology will find they will be left out in the cold, not longer able to compete with more agile and aware businesses and lacking in the flexibility to innovate to better meet market demands. BPM is no longer a nice to have, it is an essential part of corporate survival.

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