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The Role of Business Process Virtualization in Your Business

Chapter Description

Martha Young and Michael Jude introduce the concept of Business Process Virtualization (BPV) and explain how technology and the economy are its driving forces.

Technology and BPV

The point of technology within any company is to improve the way in which business is done so that productivity and revenue can increase, costs can decrease, and the quality of working people's lives can be improved. In that sense, this book shows you how BPV technology can work for you in your business and within your workgroup.

This is a wake-up call to all businesses. Profound things are happening; the paradigm for business has shifted. Those who recognize the signs and adopt the new paradigm early will have significant opportunities and competitive advantages. Those who wait might have no business future at all. BPV has the potential to accelerate business so extensively that enterprises adopting it will become much more agile and nimble. By the time nonenabled companies recognize the threat, the BPV-enabled firms will be in a market-dominating position.

This book is also a primer on how to make good decisions. Through each of the case studies, we will step you through BPV's rationale, technology, and real-life applications. In the process, you will be asked to think carefully about how technology is applied in your company. Each chapter concludes with a case study on the application of specific Cisco solutions to real-world business problems. Each case is framed in terms of BPV principles and is organized around a structured decision process, as shown in Figure 1-2. The case studies and analysis will give you the appropriate tools to replicate a similar decision process within the context of your own business environment.

Figure 2Figure 1-2 Structured Decision Model

The fundamental concept behind BPV is economic. Change when initiated only for the sake of change (Tom Peters notwithstanding) is rarely successful in improving the business. Only when a change has proven to drive cost reduction, improve efficiencies, or increase revenue will it last and enable additional changes. BPV, then, demands measurable improvement in the company's finances as it is applied. Caution is the key word; however, getting on with it is the key dynamic.

BPV is here today and is being implemented in a variety of arenas. Improved processes are the reason to apply technology in the first place, and BPV is the framework within which enterprises can rationalize their ongoing technological deployments. BPV does not demand radical thinking from decision makers, but it does ask that they think about the impact of networked technology as they make their plans and evaluate investments.

The path to enlightenment starts with a lesson. The next chapter explores why the conventional business model is no longer valid and how the dot-bomb made this clear.