August 25, 2011 – Business performance management success reached a plateau in the last four years, with disappointment from enterprises lingering at 13 percent as more look to software as a service for business applications, according to a new survey.

BPM Partners compiled a report on business performance expectations and implementations during the year with information officers at more than 350 enterprises, one-third consisting of organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees and 79 percent in all from North America. Manufacturing and financial services led the respondents’ industries.

Sixty-four percent of organizations reported that business performance management had met or exceeded expectations, down about 10 percent from last year but in the same range of responses since 2007. Disappointment continued to hover around 10-to-13 percent in the survey. John Colbert, BPM Partners vice president of research and analysis, says enterprises could do more with performance management and other initiatives linked to business application projects “to assure you are doing it right the first time through.” In all, 67 percent of business performance projects were on or below budget, according to the survey.

While more than one-quarter of respondents said they “wouldn’t change a thing” with another business application project, about 15 percent remarked that they would “take more time” or “take advantage of external guidance,” respectively, to smooth the process.

Interest or involvement in SaaS for facets of business performance management increased by 7 percent since last year to 40 percent, according to the survey. That number was higher for enterprises with fewer than 1,000 employees, where 48 percent are looking to SaaS.

Colbert says the SaaS figures show that security concerns with virtualization have shrunk at larger enterprises, while the maturity of providers like Salesforce have given an as-a-service boost to use of business applications.

“Almost all major vendors have some form of a SaaS deployment plan in place, and ease of maintenance, ease of application use, and the ability to always be on the current version of the software platform are strong reasons to see increased adoption,” Colbert says, adding, “That said, there are still instances where unique application customization or legacy security standards will require an on-premise alternative.”

For a free summary of the report, “2011 BPM Pulse Survey,” and an on-demand Web seminar on its findings, visit here.

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