Re-Engineering: Business Process Definition

Subject: Management
Pages: 7
Words: 2192
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

Major organizational growth and management have been on the rise for the last few decades. Robust growth and expansion to embrace new technologies have been the case. What has become more important in organizations is the power of information. It is now a common experience in many business organizations to find an information system or Information Technology department set aside to simplify efficient and effective information processing. Equally important, it should be noted that, while understanding the process of information generation, there are other duties about the process that many organizations need to be conscious about.

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It is no wonder for an organization to experience great loss or even total liquidation when its confidential information falls in the hands of its competitors. To deal with these instances, it is prudent for a company to make use of information system security. Many organizations, on improvising this system, will find it more convincing in handling their daily operations. Among the processes that can highly benefit from this system is the business process re-engineering. This process entails identifying an operation within an organization. The identified problem is then analyzed, and redesigned to improve the effectiveness of the operation in question.

Literature review

For quite some time, many scholars have devoted their time and energy to come up with a convincing explanation of the relationship between business process reengineering and the information system. Of particular concern in their studies are the organizational and sociological aspects rather than technical implications of business process re-engineering with information systems on security. According to Wiener (125), information system security is an operation that can be used to provide a solution to many business problems that a business organization could be facing. For business process re-engineering, information system security will equally have a big stick.

It should be understood that any organization with information on a business process that needs re-engineering, is in the same way, under the protection of the information system department of such a business institute (Watson, 131). In addition, Watson (131) observes that to reach the expected results, any business should frame and judiciously set up measures that will safeguard such information. Wendell & Bell (33) echo similar sentiments. Wendell & Bell point out that framing policies is not enough, though many organizations are so fond of it without necessarily implementing those policies or providing the needed business environment for such course of actions to take bear roots as stressed (35).

On the other hand, (Sisaye, 193) remarks that one can never handle the issue of business process re-engineering without mentioning the implication the process can have on both organizational and sociological aspects. In his words, Sisaye claims that many a time, that business operation completely disorients the social statures of the organization’s staff as well as the organizational aspect itself. He particularly remarks the major objective of carrying out a business process re-engineering is the observation by the company of some ineffectiveness in some business processes. He further comments that in the process of effecting the necessary changes, most of the workers are largely affected. Among the effects of the process is limiting contracts of staff that is believed ineffective. Jackson (13) similarly raises alarm on the way such issues are handled by the majority of organizations. Apart from radically terminating their source of income, the sacked individuals are subjected to more mental torture by waiting for long to be rewarded their compensations. Jackson (45), in addition, notes that organizational- wise, processes, if not well handled, can completely break the organizational system. After critically considering the sociological implication of the process, he remarks that the lucky members of staff i.e. those who are not retrenched are literally left with very low morale. This is a result of the fact that in case the process fails, they are held accountable hence susceptible to sacking. The exercise will therefore leave the whole organization disunited.

Technological advancement is one of the best blessings in the recent past not only to government organizations but also in the business world. Technology has literally made the world appear like a simple village. With a simple touch of a button, a businessperson on one side of the world can transact a multibillion business deal with another business person on the other side of the globe (Hammer and Champy, 122). The two authors as well remark that technology can equally bring a business down to its knees at the same rate in which it simplified to its raise.

Hammer and Champy in particular, give reference to connecting business process re-engineering in contemplation to information system security. Though information system security has always been a welcome idea as far as information in an organization is concerned, Hammer & Champy (130) views that in some particular instances the system can be a blessing in disguise. They particularly stress and highlight the implication of the system embracing sociological and organizational aspects rather than focusing on technical aspects.

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Previous Findings

As to research done previously, several results have been realized, raising many debatable issues. Most of these findings have hugely criticized the idea of business process re-engineering. From such findings, Pellissier (199) notes that rarely is the business process re-engineering operation as effective or successful as expected. He further remarks that many times the operation is carried out, failure amounts to more than seventy percent. This shows that many do not recognize the operation. Gulf Obolensky (158) notes that depending on different circumstances and organization levels, the failing issue of business process re-engineering is handled in a different way. Obolensky stresses that various issues in an organization hugely ease the failure of the operation (167). Several organizations do not involve all stakeholders during the process of information engineering; hence, sometimes this gives poor authentication of the process.

Business process re-engineering can attract its composition within an organization from various organizational levels. To ensure all levels are equally part of the team, an effort has to be made to incorporate various levels of management in the organization as noted by David & Willmott (79). Similarly, the business process engineering can experience setbacks because, in most scenarios, the technical know-how involved is far below the required standard. In the same measure, the other setback that leads to the failure of the proposed re-engineering operation is geared by the fact that many companies are not adequately funded. The financial constrain, which is mostly encouraged by embezzlement of funds by the company managers, and momentous mismanagement of the available finances, is the biggest obstacle.

The role of information system security towards business process re-engineering is fairly to ease most of responsibility associated with the daily operations of the organization (Obolensky, 246). Obolensky further remarks that, in daily operations of an organization, there are instances where the work done by the relevant workforce is far below the expected or targeted values. It is in such instance when the friction of laying-off ineffective workers crushes with the role of the system. In this case such actions are necessary to cultivate better revenues by getting rid off unrealistic costs. However, measures to reduce the agony of affecting many workers and at the same time disorienting the operations of the business incorporation should equally be crafted and implemented with need.

The theoretical background

The research question provided may not fully cover the research area at a deeper level as far as the time of studies or research subject is concerned. On the other hand, researches on individual sections that sum up the question have been subjected to intense research for many years. Studies on these various projects have resulted in diverse degree of success. In particular, the research on business process re-engineering according to Varlun & Markus (48) has been carried out for a while with specific attention agreed to its success and failures.

The Research Question and its Justification

From the research question aforementioned, one cannot fail to remark the need of carrying out a research to highlight issues of contention. From previous findings by several renowned scholars and researchers of high integrity, it is clear that, there have been several social and organizational implications resulting from business process re-engineering. This has been evident in information system security. Among the implications that have been advanced include the issue of laying- off workers, a concern that has affected the social life of many families. Similarly, the previous findings have equally shed light on the various effects that this practice has caused many organizations. David & Willmott, (136) however warns that many researchers have so much concentrated on the failures of different operations, citing the business process re-engineering in particular. These two authors further express grief on the fact that though many researches and studies have been carried out for many years, they all seem to deliver the same knowledge which has become synonymous with the research question itself. They warn that such quality of research work will with time put much question mark on the relevance of the research question, or the definite justification of the question (Varlun & Markus, 124).

Discussion

From the various results of previous researchers, quite many issues have raised some very exciting subject of discussion. According to Bertanlanffy (26), the main objective of developing and thus applying any system in many organizations is to perfect a certain process or to simplify efficient and effective operation of the same process. With the information system security, similar needs are the basis in which this system is incorporated in the business process reengineering. It however results that rather than coming up with measures to harmonize the whole process, the system applied ends causing more harm than good. Bertanlanffy, remarks that the specific failure of the system achieving the expected results does not necessary imply the system is ineffective (76). According to Robert & Carson (134), such failures are common if the correct procedures are not adhered to.

The actual goal of incorporating information system security in business process re-engineering is usually to deliver positive and ideal implications technologically as well as in other fronts. Of importance is the fact that such system is devised to lessen some tasks in many organizations that are of very little value or no value at all ( Kast & Rosenzweigt, 235). It is in the process of tackling such assignment the system faces friction with some workers and other machinery. Ervin (183) views that; special boundaries should be set aside to define failure. It should be made clearer, whether the system alone is the cause of such failure or there are other external reasons encountered in the process. Minger & Willcock (235) specifically note the sociological and organizational implication of business process re-engineering is a fact that can easily be removed if more attention is paid to the relevant outcomes proposed by the system security.

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Conclusion

It is clear that technological advancement in the past decades has highly contributed to economic growth and business expansion at unprecedented rate. The technological advancement has not however been without some few limits. It has altered the constitution of organizations and created socio-organizational implications. From the findings, many authors have embraced various reactions on the business process re-engineering.

The positive effects of business, processes engineering has accelerated business growth and revolutionized how information is received, and stored safely. An organization can accrue benefits such as; driving out effectiveness on saving of businesses, regulating risks and supporting investment on current IT infrastructures. Besides, the strategy should be aligned with business processes in the organization for maximum utilization. However, failing to embrace correct procedure in embracing the strategy can render it ineffective in enhancing organization information and process needs.

Works cited

Bertanlanffy, Ludwig. General Systems Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications. New York: George Brazillers, 1976 Print.

David, Knights & Willmott, Hugh, The reengineering revolution: critical studies of corporate change, New York: Sage Publishers, 2000.

Ervin, Laszlo. Introduction to Systems Philosophy. New York: Gordon and Breach, Science Publishers, 1972.

Hammer, Michael, & Champy, James. Reengineering the Corporation, New York: Harper Business, 2003.

Jackson, Michael C. Systems Approaches to Management, Michigan: Springer, 2000.

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Kast, Fremont. & Rosenzweig, Jamen,. “General Systems Theory: Applications for Organization and Management.” Academy of Management Journal, 1972, 447–465.

Mingers, John., & Willcocks, Leslie.Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004.

Obolensky, Nick. Practical Business Re-Engineering: Tools And Techniques For Effective Change, Texas: Gulf Pub. Co., 1995.

Pellissier, Roberts. Searching for the Quantum Organization, New York: Juta & Company Ltd, 2001 Print.

Robert, Flood. & Carson, Evans. Dealing with Complexity: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of Systems Science. New York: Plenum publishers, 1993 print.

Sisaye, Seleshi. Organizational change and development in management control systems: process innovation for internal auditing and management accounting, New Jersey: Emerald Group Publishing, 2001 print.

Varlun, Grover, & Markus, Lynne. Business process transformation, New York: M E Sharpe publishers, 2008 print.

Watson, Gregory. Business systems engineering: managing breakthrough changes for productivity and business, New York: john Wiley & Sons, 1994.

Wendell, French. & Bell, Cecil Jr. Organizational Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organizational Improvement. 6th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics, New York: Wiley, 1948 Print.