Sunday, November 15, 2009


The lessons learned show that BPM poses several challenges. A number of additional challenges make training in BPM competencies in South Africa even more difficult.

Politically, South Africa is still obsessed with the legacy of the “apartheid” (segregation) system. In the late 2000s, the social action of various stakeholders such as unions and political parties has become more prominent. Unfortunately, this creates a negative environment for the pillars of economic growth: innovation, trade-free (and fair) regulations, accessible capital, and technology.

Economically, South Africa lags behind in the ‘digital revolution’. At the time of writing, ten new undersea data cables were laid or planned, to link South Africa/Africa faster and more cheaply with the rest of the world. South Africa has one of the highest telecommunication cost structures in the world (mobile phone companies consistently rank in the 75th percentile of the most profitable telecommunication companies in the world), so telecommunication connectivity is expensive and difficult.

Socially, political factors focus on uplifting previously disadvantaged individuals. Ten million people (out of forty million) live on state social grants. As a result, scarce skills and innovation platforms have been neglected since 1994, with evidence of acute skills shortages in the market place. Many companies have put projects on hold owing to the lack of skills.

To implement technology strategies such as BPM, BPMS, and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) successfully, we need fundamentally different management skills, strategies, and capabilities. In our work with large South African corporates, we see the extreme lack of BPM-required capabilities and of people to assist organisations in BPM, using the best of breed BPMS.

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