Business as usual is not working: Interview with Pegasystem’s Setrag Khoshafian

Doing the same thing and getting the same results no longer cuts it when markets are evolving so quickly.With the various pressures that today’s companies are experiencing, says Setrag Khoshafian, Chief Evangelist of Pegasystems, companies must look beyond what they’ve typically done.

In this PEX Network interview, Khoshafian, discusses how companies are leveraging Business Process Management at their core of their business architecture, discusses the pressures on companies to transform and the reflects on the types of capabilities and roles that will be required in companies of the future.

This interview is a transcript of a video interview conducted earlier this year. Watch the original video interview here: Business Process Improvement as a strategic initiative: Interview with Pegasystem’s Setrag Khoshafian

Is a new style of management emerging?

Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.

PEX Network: You recently looked at a number trends that are going to be driving enterprises this year and one of the first things, and this is what I’d like to focus on, is business transformation as a strategic initiative for adaptive enterprises. What does that mean?

Setrag Khoshafian: Let us look at some of the reasons why enterprises want to transform themselves and it goes back to doing more with less. They want to innovate more, they want to cut costs more, they want to comply more while doing less - in term of less costs and less overheads for their organisations.

That means there is really a very compelling demand for organisations to think about business transformation. The reason we talk about business transformation in the context of business process improvement or business process management is that you would like to see how BPM and business process improvement initiatives help various audiences. These audiences include the business – helping them to do more with less. For example, enabling the business to define their key performance integrators and then drill down and make changes relatively quickly and to have the visibility and the ability to make changes very quickly. When I talk about the business, this includes the line of business managers, of course the CEO, often the CFO, so the business is one of the groups that is benefiting from transformation.

PEX Network: Why do you think that business transformation, particularly in terms of becoming a strategic initiative, is becoming more compelling now?

Setrag Khoshafian: The thing is that organisations have realised that they need to think big. They cannot do business as usual. It’s not working. There are various types of pressures: marketing pressures, there was the economic downturn meaning we needed to do more with less. So if they keep on doing the same things as they have been, they get the same results and that is not satisfactory. The market is evolving very rapidly.

PEX Network: What are some of the trends you see within that space?

Setrag Khoshafian: We’re seeing that organisations are leveraging business process management as the core of their business architecture. We’ve heard about enterprise architectures, service oriented architectures and, of course, enterprise architectures have a history and we see a number of gaps that they’re trying to fill to meet those transformational needs. For example, there’s a gap between the voice of the customer on the social networks and what’s happening internally within the enterprise.

There’s also a gap between the various business objectives. For example, some organisations are driven to improving net promoter scores - those objectives and the execution. There are all types of gaps and BPM is becoming the core of the enterprise ecosystem in the new re-vamped business architecture.

PEX Network: My final question is what sort of impact is this having on the types of roles and, perhaps, capabilities that enterprises need?

Setrag Khoshafian: We are seeing the evolution of new roles, for example, Chief Process Officer. In fact I heard recently about Chief Designer Officer and Chief Digital Officer and Chief Customer Officer. These are new roles. We are also running into people who have roles such as Vice President of Business Transformation.

This means that rather than looking at the organisation in a silo fashion, where you have lines of businesses, organisations are considering ownership of processes that span multiple lines of businesses and multiple functional units within the organisations with serious ownership empowerment of somebody like the Chief Process Officer within the organisation.