Within the last century, what we consider to be a part of work management hasn’t changed, but the tools and technologies we use to manage work have drastically changed. The rollout of siloed tools within the last decade has resulted in a significant struggle for power — but now, there is a golden opportunity for workplace management and a solution that will sit on the iron throne of IT work management.
The Dark Ages
Prior to the years of personal computers for every employee, processes were documented in paper checklists, projects were coordinated by word-of-mouth, communication was conducted by physical meetings or phone calls, and data and documents were organized in oversized filing cabinets.
Despite how archaic some of these processes sound, managing work was a relatively efficient process. Yet, as organizations continued to grow and teams became more distributed, technology allowed remote employees to feel as connected as in-office teams, regardless of location.
The Initial Dictator
In the early years of business technology, email was initially used to provide an efficient solution to remote collaboration. However, as email functionality grew, it began to control other parts of work management — by attaching files and coordinating approvals, email soon took over collaboration and project management as well.
Without question, email was the unchallenged ruler of almost every piece of work management over the next decade. From the moment workers entered the office to when they headed home from the day, email was the solution to anything work-related — but, the Email Empire didn’t last long.
The Fragmented Kingdom
As email took over the full spectrum of work, its inability to handle work management caused an abundance of workflow inefficiencies and issues. Yet, while it has proven itself ineffective as a monarch time and time again, many organizations are still stuck under the messy rule of email.
Those that understood the insufficiencies of email replaced it for dozens of smaller tools — with dedicated point-solutions helping organizations manage projects, collaborate with team members and streamline processes. Recently, the work management kingdom has moved from an undisputed dictator to dozens of isolated leaders, each trying to defend its territory from foreign competition.
The Reign of Many Kings
Email’s domain keeps shrinking as companies invest in niche solutions that handle a specific area of work management — but now, IT managers’ are faced with the challenge of how to reduce the number of rulers fighting for the throne. Each type of work requires a different solution, with each department leveraging numerous software applications.
Every year, organizations spend millions of dollars on multiple siloed tools, which most often have overlapping features. While no one is willing to let email once again reign over all of work management, companies are growing weary of appointing yet another lord that promises to improve its small acreage of work.
The Golden Opportunity
As CIOs prepare for an increasingly digital world, they need more than tools that only take up small silos of work management. Following the path of other disciplines, business process management (BPM) doubles down on how to make processes more efficient and improve functionality. However, with their advanced technology, process management providers have the best opportunity to capitalize on consolidation.
The golden opportunity for IT is to reduce the number of overlords teams serve and BPM tools have a chance to claim more of the work management kingdoms as their own. As more BMP platforms dive into the possibility of providing a solution for multiple areas of work, consolidation will sit on the IT iron throne of work management.