A new survey by Applix, Inc., a global leader in performance management applications, demonstrates the growth of performance management into operational aspects of business, the next step toward enterprise-wide performance management. This is the first in a series of surveys the company is conducting on the topic.

Applix and BPM Magazine conducted the first Operational Performance Management Survey in the spring of 2006 to investigate the alignment of strategic corporate initiatives with business-line function performance management. The survey delved into how organizations transform raw data into actionable information, creating a necessary and valuable link between finance, operational performance and overall business success. A total number of 239 CFOs, financial planners, analysts and line of business managers participated in the survey.

Performance management applications have been steadily gaining ground outside finance, their traditional stronghold. An ever-increasing emphasis on return on investment and profitability is encouraging this trend, spreading the need for tools to help manage business processes.

"There are a number of drivers creating convergence for performance management usage beyond finance," said David Menninger, vice president of worldwide marketing and product management, Applix, Inc. "One is that more and more executives in the C-suite are demanding visibility into the performance of the business, including instantaneous access to core operational information. The second driver is affordable 64-bit systems enabling real-time processing of enterprise-scale volumes of operational data. The third is that business performance management projects in finance have been very successful and many organizations have realized benefits that can be easily extended into operations. These are just a few of the many reasons why leading companies are turning to operational performance management."

Selected survey results show:

  • The majority of respondents, 64 percent, use performance management in multiple departments.
  • While Finance is the most common user of performance management applications, 23 percent of the survey respondents identified operations (manufacturing, professional services, core business) as the second most popular user of those applications, indicating that existing operational use is already more common than might be otherwise perceived.
  • Of the key capabilities required (but not yet active) in operational performance management, the ability to perform complex modeling is rated most needed, especially for the healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and utilities industries.
  • When performance management is already in use in at least one department, respondents saw sales and marketing, and operations as the areas that would benefit most from using these kinds of applications.

An executive summary of the survey results can be downloaded at http://www.applix.com/opmsurvey. In addition, Applix provides a white paper with additional background material on operational performance management at http://www.applix.com/productresources/operational-performance-management.asp.

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