Cloud, Mobile, Collaboration Top BPM Partners 2014 Survey Trends as deFacto Is Named Best New BPM Vendor

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BPM Partners’ recent webcast summarized the results of its 2014 Pulse of Performance Management survey, conducted from April 2014 to May 2014, which sheds light on the latest BPM trends. The survey took stock of users’ experiences with their budgeting, forecasting, consolidation, reporting, and analytics initiatives.  In surveying the field for new standout BPM solution providers, BPM Partners named deFacto Global as a Best New Vendor of 2014.

The purpose of the survey was to give businesses a solid background for selecting a BPM solution. The survey results were based on 250 “valid responses” that showed how businesses were deploying BPM solutions, including their reasons, issues, challenges, and areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

In presenting the survey results, BPM Partners set the stage by reviewing the predictions its analysts had made in its January 2014 blog, which they believed were the following:

  • Cloud becomes the dominant solution approach for Performance Management
  • Mobile becomes an important differentiator
  • Vertical solutions will be included in more evaluations
  • Growth of packaged operational analytics
  • Predictive analytics will continue to slowly gain steam
  • Big Data will not have a major impact on Performance Management
  • There will begin to be a focus on execution


These are the key developments BPM Partners said it sees trending now, with its survey results providing data to support the trends. For example, the survey results showed the top three reasons users were deploying BPM solutions were to:

  • Improve management reporting
  • Improve decision-making and execution
  • Enable more agile planning


The findings, said BPM Partners CEO Craig Schiff, showed that execution was, in fact, a primary concern and motivation of BPM users today. A focus on execution is spurring demand for operational detail, real-time access, and collaborative decision-making in BPM solutions, he said.

The most important reason users cited for performing BPM, the survey showed, were operational, financial, and strategic planning, with 51% of those surveyed saying all three of these reasons were most important.

For budgeting, the survey showed that 43% are using an on-premise application, 20% are using a cloud-based application, and 19% are using spreadsheets. However, 80% said spreadsheets were used to supplement their BPM application. There is room for improvement, users felt, with most of those surveyed saying they were either dissatisfied (40%) or very dissatisfied (16%) with their current budgeting process.

Advanced BPM

New categories in the 2014 Pulse survey included predictive analytics, collaboration, big data, mobile support, and cloud computing, all of which were considered “advanced” areas of BPM. Predictive analytics is still a minority practice, the results showed, with 61% either having no plans or just looking into the practice. Only 12% perform predictive analytics within their BPM process, and another 27% outside of BPM. The best use of predictive analytics, said the survey respondents, is to gauge the likelihood of a forecast coming to pass.

The survey showed the demand for collaboration is growing, with document sharing, adding comments, and workflow being the most desired features. Big data, the survey found, “has a peripheral but important role in BPM,” said Schiff, with results showing that almost 50% see Big Data as a challenge that needs to be addressed, particularly for large volumes of financial data.

Unsurprisingly, the demand for accessing BPM data on mobile devices is growing in importance as mobile devices proliferate. About 50% of those surveyed desire mobile support to access reports, dashboard data, alerts, and to participate in workflows, approvals, and ad hoc reporting.

The survey showed a swelling support for BPM in the cloud, with users embracing the cloud and finding it beneficial.  The key benefits of cloud BPM cited were easy access, ease of use, easy product updates, easy implementation, and lower cost. Interestingly, a very small percentage of users saw any negatives in cloud BPM, with less than 5% citing security and availability as negatives.

Looking more closely, said Schiff, BPM Partners found that security issues were seen in on-premise solutions hosted by a vendor rather than in true multitenant cloud services that had very strict security in place. “The security issue is more of a perception issue. It is not reality,” said Schiff.

Vendor Ratings

To help companies select a BPM solution, the Pulse survey includes vendor reviews and ratings, which are comprised of established “core” vendors and the most promising new vendors. “New” is a relative term, said Schiff, explaining that a new vendor means being new to the broader U.S. market, with the new vendors having established products and customers.

deFacto Global was named Best New Vendor because of the all-around completeness and capability of its BPM solution, including, said Schiff, “the drill down capability everyone is looking for.” deFacto’s BPM solution, he said, was a solid addition to BPM Partners list of top-rated and recommended BPM vendors, enabling users to model business operations, plan, and manage performance against the plan.

The entire 2014 Pulse of Performance Management webcast can be seen on the Business Finance website.

by deFacto Global

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