Process Is King
That means automating these processes both inside and outside the enterprise. The data center challenges will be familiar--deploying software to support these initiatives--but implementation will also require interacting with your colleagues on the business side of the cubicles.
BPM (business process management) and its cousin, BAM (business activity monitoring), will be important next year. BPM automates the processes; BAM provides a view into a process. Shipment tracking, for example, illustrates how BAM can be layered atop a strong BPM implementation. BPM lets the data flow from one system to another--as when a customer enters an order over the Web and that order gets routed to an order-fulfillment system, which reduces the stock to reflect the order. The order then gets routed to a system that schedules actual shipment of the package. BAM, meanwhile, tells a customer-service representative exactly where the package is at any given time during the shipment cycle, making it easier to resolve problems.
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