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BPM - are CFOs thinking corporate governance?

What drives improvements in business process management? Don't look for corporate governance at the top of the list -- it's closer to the bottom. Despite that, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its demand for fiscal accountability still has most executives concerned about tracking performance, according to a recent survey.

In a survey of 230 members of the Business Process Management (BPM) Forum, 68% consider increasing revenue and optimizing profit to be the driving factors for performance accountability; while 61% consider challenging marketing conditions a driver. Only 22% consider corporate governance. Respondents were allowed to give multiple answers to each question. Despite the low ranking of compliance as a driver, 73% said they're concerned about processes, tools and methodologies used to track performance as a result of Sarbanes-Oxley.

"While it's not cited as a primary need, it certainly is a catalyst," says Jim Bramante, a BPM Forum advisory board member and an IBM executive. "With Sarbanes-Oxley, when they talk through it they realize its part and parcel of BPM."

The underlying needs of the legislation are to improve performance, says Bramante. One aspect of that is reliable, credible information, which is also a Sarbanes-Oxley requirement.

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