Fusing IT for the next decade

AUCKLAND (10/21/2003) - Analyst firm Gartner Inc. is promising to unveil a new way to deliver IT that it says will change business management and corporate performance over the next decade.

Gartner has coined the term business process fusion (BPF) to describe the trend to integrate distinct IT processes into one system "to take the quality of management decision making to a new level."

BPF will be explained by analyst Simon Hayward at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo in Sydney next month.

Hayward says several factors are driving IT departments rethinking how they can architect systems to meet the demands of new business processes: a new generation of packaged business applications; the emergence of real-time infrastructure providing greater flexibility in use of computing resources; and business process outsourcing.

Hayward predicts business process fusion will be a key driver for IT investment in most Global 2000 companies by 2007, and should be the foundation strategy for any organization working towards the goal of becoming a "real-time enterprise."

"The aim must be to improve business performance that goes beyond passing data between large software applications," he says. "A new process must be engineered to increase the speed and flow of information but also allow senior management to plan and optimize strategies based on current and accurate data from everywhere in an organization."

Hayward stresses business process fusion is a business rather than a technology strategy. "I'd put it in the same category as knowledge management or customer relationship management - these are business initiatives underpinned by technology."

Hayward singles out SAP's NetWeaver platform and xApps strategy as one to watch in the BPF area.

The conference, in Sydney's Darling Harbor from Nov. 11 to 14, will also feature presentations on the top 10 strategic technologies for 2004, the future of Windows in the enterprise, IT ROI in government, emerging technologies to 2014 and converging wireless technologies for the enterprise.

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