Who is investing in Business Process Management (BPM) technology?

PEX Network’s recent Future of Process Excellence survey of over 900 process professionals looked at, among other things, technology investment plans. Survey respondents were asked whether they were currently using or planning to invest in a variety of technologies.

Workflow automation and data analytics (big data) came out tops for investment while BPM Suites and other BPM solutions – such as social and mobile – were down towards the bottom of the technologies that companies plan to invest in.

These were the overall results:

Chart 1: Companies’ future technology investment plans (click to enlarge)

Overall, over 15% of all survey respondents reported that they plan to invest in a BPM Suite (either in the next 12-18 months or 2+ years). What are the characteristics of those who are planning to take the plunge and buy a BPMS?

We did a little bit of digging into the survey data to find out.

Which Industries?

Government, Financial Services and Healthcare top the list of industries looking to invest in a BPM Suite in the next couple of years, according to PEX Network’s survey results:

Chart 2: Percentage of industry respondents planning to invest or currently using a BPM Suite (click to enlarge)

Note: any industry with less than 20 respondents was removed from the analysis because the sample size was considered too small to produce reliable results.

Over 30% of government respondents said that they were planning to invest in either 2+ years or the next 12-18 months. This is a significant jump from the 10.5% of government respondents who said that they were currently using some form of BPM Suite.

Financial services was not far behind with 23.5% of FS respondents reporting future investment plans (versus 12.7% of financial service industry respondents reporting that they were already using a BPMS).

Meanwhile, healthcare – an industry currently reporting a low level of use of BPMS technology at 6.3% of healthcare respondents - looks set to invest heavily in the future with 18.8% reporting spending plans.

In most of the industries analyzed, more participants had plans to invest than were already using BPMS. However, in manufacturing and energy more survey respondents reported that they were already using a BPM Suite than had plans to invest in them.

Which size companies are investing?

The largest potential market for BPM Suites at the moment appears to be companies between 1001-5,000 with 17.90% of them reporting investment plans. But 5,001 employees appears to be the magical tipping point: at that size those who are already using a BPMS catch up with those who plan on investing in it. At over 10,000 employees the number of those already using a BPMS greatly outweighs those with investment plans – perhaps indicative of early investment by large companies in BPMS technology.

Chart 3: Percentage of companies by size looking to invest in a BPMS or currently using one (click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, a surprisingly large percentage of smaller companies (under 1000 employees) report plans to invest in a BPM Suite – 15.9% of companies with less than 100 employees and 14.5% of those with 101-1000 employees.

At which stage of process maturity do companies typically look at investing in a BPMS?

Perhaps not surprisingly, those who are just getting started with process excellence (with a programme that is less 2 years old) have the greatest future investment plans in BPM with 25% of respondents from companies whose process excellence programme had been running for less than a year reporting BPMS investment plans.

Chart 4: Percentage of respondents indicating plans to invest in a BPMS by age of process excellence programme (click to enlarge)

As process excellence programmes get more mature (3+ years in age) more respondents report that they already have a BPMS solution in place and the number reporting future investment plans begins to tail off.


Which regions are investing?

Respondents in the Middle East, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand were more likely to report future plans to invest in a BPMS; however, these results should be used with caution as they are from a low sample size (each region had less than 50 respondents).

Chart 5: Percentage of respondents from each region reporting plans to invest in BPMS versus those with a BPMS already in place (click to enlarge)

Asia came out fourth on the investment scale and with nearly 100 individual respondents, the sampling size is likely to give a reasonably indicative sampling of companies in the region.

Meanwhile, the European and North American markets – where the majority of our survey respondents came from - appear to be flat lining for investment in BPMS. The number of companies reportedly already using a BPMS outstrip those who plan on investing in it.

The full results of PEX Network's survey are available for download here: Survey Results: Future of Process Excellence. A report analyzing the result is also available for download here: Future of Process Excellence: 3 Trends Redefining Processes in a Digital Age