Report: Cloud computing impacting business process management

The advent of cloud computing has significantly impacted the development and use of enterprise applications. InformationWeek Reports has been tracking the use of next-generation solutions across the private sector since 2010 and has recently seen radical changes introduced by the growing adoption of cloud services.

The study found that approximately 49 percent of survey respondents said changing, upgrading or optimizing existing solutions is the most challenging aspect of successful application and business process management as they migrate to the cloud. Another 32 percent said adapting tools as enterprise demands evolve is also difficult, while 30 percent said implementing new applications is a major concern.

InformationWeek Reports revealed that opinions on cloud applications vary throughout the enterprise, as roughly 51 percent of respondents said they are not using Software-as-a-Service tools, compared to 38 percent who are and 11 percent who are not sure.

The report noted, however, that businesses have different goals when using cloud-based business process management software. Approximately 45 percent of survey respondents said their goal in using BPM is to increase operational efficiency, while another 38 percent said it is to reduce IT expenses. The top priority for business process improvement, however, is to automate manual work steps through the use of cloud computing.

InformationWeek Reports also said the adoption of cloud applications has driven the market for cloud computing and forced business process software vendors to create more innovative tools capable of operating in an increasingly cloud-based enterprise infrastructure. This trend has increased the presence of hybrid IT strategies, in which organizations host both cloud-based and on-premise applications.

The growing popularity of hybrid IT was echoed in a recent study by Gartner, which revealed hybrid clouds are changing the way business operate.

“Hybrid IT is the new IT and it is here to stay,” Gartner managing vice president Chris Howard said. “While the cloud market matures, IT organizations must adopt a hybrid IT strategy that not only builds internal clouds to house critical IT services and compete with public [cloud service providers] but also utilizes the external cloud to house noncritical IT services and data, augment internal capacity and increase IT agility.”

As the cloud computing market continues to evolve, it will impact business processes in ways that were previously impossible, potentially giving companies a competitive advantage over firms neglecting the cloud.