Is it time to review your need for business IT analysis?

Managers worldwide are realising just how important business process analysis is to their company. However, many firms do not have the skills in their workforce to fully benefit from this practice.

According to a survey by McKinsey and Company, the strategic value of IT has not been lost on business leaders when it comes to process improvement. In fact, one of the most common priorities is the use of IT to make processes more efficient, with 61 per cent of executives naming this as a key focus. Cost effectiveness was also important to executives, as 48 per cent aimed to use technology to achieve this purpose. 

74 per cent of companies can't find the links between process indicators.

Despite the good intentions of managers, there may be major shortcomings in their current systems.

In a more recent survey conducted by consulting company BearingPoint, 61 per cent of companies did not track process-specific KPIs. A further 74 per cent were unable to form links between individual indicators to get a clear picture of overall performance. 

If a company is unable to get specific and useful feedback from their systems, it can be very hard to action marked improvements. Even though three-quarters of participants feel that business process management is important to their business, without the right skills, you'll be unable to achieved the desired changes to your systems.

What makes a great process analyst?

While an analytical brain, a sharp eye for detail and the ability to process large amounts of information are all key to the role, social skills also play an important part. 

Analysts must be able to communicate their findings in a way that is understandable to everyone in the business. They also need to build strong relationships based on trust and respect, as they may have to suggest a contradictory strategic turn that goes against the common opinion. This could include a company-wide adoption of a new system or the introduction of an alternative delivery channel.

Business Process Analyst need to relate well to others in their firm.

Business process analysts need to relate well to others in their firm.

On top of all this, business analysts must be adaptable to change and able to grow, according to Craig Pitts, lead global information security architect for Mondelez International.

"What was relevant and critical five years ago isn't always critical today, even if it's still relevant," he said in an August 25 CIO article.

"If technology can make that easier, then you should leverage that."

Alongside IT project management training, offering your workers a chance to pursue business analyst courses is a very wise move. Having a knowledgeable analyst on your team can open up new possibilities for your company that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.