Approach to BPM Adoption – Europe Vs The U.S


    Paul Harmon of Business Process Trends writes a very interesting column – BPM in Europe –  about the differences he sees between Europe and the US, when it comes to adoption and use of Business Process Management approaches, tools, and techniques.

    Paul observes that Europe is probably more advanced in its use of workflow automation software and hence Business Process Management as a disciplined technical approach seems to be more mature there, than in the U.S.

    He also observes that among technology consulting firms, use of BPMS tools is more pronounced in Europe than the U.S. He observes that in the U.S, a lot more companies are engaged in Organizational Information Architecture than in Europe.

    However, interest in Business Process Management as a priority within companies is equal in the U.S and Europe.

    My guess is that use of information technology may have a longer history in the U.S than Europe. Consequently, there are many more islands of systems that do their own thing. Tying them all into a cohesive Business Process Flow Orchestration may involve retrofitting the older IT systems with technologies like Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) before BPMS solutions can be applied to tie them all together in the context of end-to-end business processes. This is where they may be doing a lot of Enterprise Architectural work on the existing Information Systems.

    One of the more interesting observations Paul has about U.S companies is that they are more experimental in nature, switching over to new, untried approachees, while Europe may be more deliberative before adoption of new technologies. This is a double edged sword. Unless somebody tries these new approaches out, they may not be able to see the problems with them and fix them! Seems like sometimes US companies may be the guinea pigs for new approaches and technologies.

    Interesting set of observations that could help both parties on both sides of the pond!

    Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences, our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them. – Judith Henderson


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