Using BPM in Public Sector IT Management

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The public sector in the United States spends a considerable amount of money on IT, from computer hardware to all of the different software packages that are needed.  Latest figures suggest that the total budget for IT infrastructure in 2012 was in the region of $120 billion.  In previous years, the spend has been even higher; around $200 billion in 2006.  These extremely high figures simply highlight the need to have a proper business process management scheme in the public sector.

Business process management, or BPM, is a computerized method of streamlining a wide variety of tasks, and it can be implemented across any type of industry.  It can help to ensure that all of the regulations and policies are being adhered to throughout the entire company and even the business sector concerned, while encouraging transparency and ensuring the accountability of staff.

With increasing reliance on technology in the workplace, it is simply not practical to use the paper audit trails any longer, and BPM can provide a replacement for these.  Purchase orders for new IT equipment, for example, would be submitted by people who had the authority to do so (as not every employee in the sector would be able to do this), approved by the relevant department, and the invoice would then be paid.  

If all of this had to be done on paper, it is entirely possible that some or all of the documentation could go missing, meaning that the required equipment never arrives.  However, using a business process management system, the documentation and requests for authorization would be sent directly to the relevant people using the automated system, which can then also be used to place the order and make the payment.  This means that less time is spent filling in paperwork, and the system is much more efficient, ensuring each stage of a task is complete before it can move on to the next.

Business process management can be used to ensure that only authorized people have access to sensitive information.  It also ensures that when this information is shared, only the people who need to see it will have access, so everything remains confidential.  This is a concern in many industries, but a BPM system can help to maintain secure storage of confidential data.

In some parts of the public sector, it is necessary to share considerable amounts of information.  This would be much easier, and also more secure, if the different software programs currently in use could be integrated properly with BPM software such as that developed by AgilePoint in Mt. View, California.  .  

Integration must become a high priority for public sector IT in the coming years and will provide considerable benefits in the long run (assuming it is done correctly).  Proper integration of the systems will allow seamless and secure sharing of sensitive data, as it will control who can have access.  It will also save both money and time, because administration tasks can be carried out more efficiently, requiring far less time and effort, and allowing employees to concentrate on other tasks.

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Tim Roberts has 29 articles online


Tim Roberts is a certified practitioner of Constraints Management in addition to LEAN and has successfully re-engineered over 50 companies including Freedom Enterprises, Kaufman & Broad, Talbert Medical Group and PacifiCare Health Systems.  You can find more content from him at

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Using BPM in Public Sector IT Management

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This article was published on 2013/03/21