Process Improvement Should Be Primary Focus of IT

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Does IT pay enough attention to process?


Maybe not, contends Prevoyance Group President Patrick Gray in this CIOUpdate column. While IT pays more attention to processes than other business units, it tends to focus on diagramming or analyzing them rather than actually improving them, he says. And IT focuses too narrowly on technology as a process improvement panacea.


Gray suggests that CIOs should supplement IT's techie ranks with process improvement experts. That way, companies won't necessarily need to turn to outside consultants to lead their process improvement efforts. It's a great way for IT to closely align itself with business strategy and prove its worth to skeptics.


This approach may result in pushback from some business execs, who believe they are better positioned to lead process improvement initiatives, according to this CIO.com article. IT executives must persevere, however. IT is the natural leader, because of its high-level view of an organization, its technology expertise, and its familiarity with modeling and process analysis.


In fact, says process improvement expert Kiran Garimella in an IT Business Edge interview, smart CIOs will reposition themselves as Chief Process Officer and will adopt a technology platform that facilitates the integration of business processes with enterprise applications. The resulting process-oriented environment will free a company's employees from dwelling on non-essential information and allow them to focus on the areas that can boost competitive advantage.