The Next Hot Business Strategy?

As integration becomes a must in enterprises, business-process fusion is the key to achieving it, according to recent research conducted by Gartner. Business-process fusion is the transformation of business activities achieved by integrating previously autonomous business processes to create a new scope of management capabilities. It aims to drive stronger alignment of IT with core business processes, typically those that are customer facing, and to provide linkage of operational and management processes with a true end-to-end scope. Gartner analysts presented their view of the future for business applications, labeled business process fusion, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2003, which is taking place October 19 through October 24 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The research firm claims that over the next few years, business-process fusion will become a key driver for IT investment in a majority of Global 2000 companies. "Business-process fusion will be the foundational strategy for any organization working towards the goal of becoming a real-time enterprise," Simon Hayward, vice president and research fellow at Gartner, said in a statement. "Together with a real-time infrastructure, fusion can provide highly flexible systems that are adaptable at all levels, from hardware to business processes." What makes business-process fusion necessary is the risk, and in some cases, the pressing reality of competitive annihilation from an industry player that has successfully transformed its core processes. "Business-process fusion has transformational potential, and early adopters will take the risk and may reap the rewards of its potential," Hayward said. "Those that cannot or will not take the risk should at least prepare, so they are positioned to follow fast." Gartner analysts claim there are three key factors driving this trend: an evolution of flexible, more easily fused packaged business applications; emergence of real-time infrastructure; and the increase in business process outsourcing. "The next step is for CIOs to deliver technology that gives business management true control of their organization - not piecemeal, but in a comprehensive fashion," Hayward said. "This is vital because, in almost every industry sector, someone is trying to change the rules of the game. Not every management team is revolutionary, but each one needs the flexibility and control via IT to be able to react to change."
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