Better question, "Does IT Still Have Too Much Control Over [any discipline, domain]
That doesn't mean within the business and IT both there aren't individual fiefdoms. That also occurs at a lot of places, but that's an individual problem, not an organizational one short of the individual being high enough in the feeding chain to effect change throughout the org. When I've seen that one though, that individual usually doesn't last too long and is shown the door.
Based on most of the organizations I know the answer is Yes.
Mostly because these organizations still see BPM as workflow automation and system integration, and not as real process and work management. Many of the so called "BPM Initiatives" are owned by IT departments.
I see a lot of organizations that have yet to take advantage of the information provided by a BPM System to make real business driven decisions and real process improvement.
So, from a "brand" point of view, IT still has a lot of control over BPM in the organization.
IT has too much control over business and it is BPM and supporting software in hands of business people that will change the future. Does IT even "get" BPM indeed do they need to? IT handles infrastructure, secure delivery etc and will be handling the mess they have created in legacy for many years as next generation business software driven by BPM thinking moves into supporting business the way business really works!
Management has too much control over many organisations.
For centuries we lived under the misapprehension that the best form of management was OWM - Old White Men.
The first generation of IT was commissioned by and to support this form of management.
But we know better ways.
We know, for example, that traffic lights work better than policemen on point duty.
Hole in the wall machines work better than banks with branches and tellers.
And we know that the biggest problems in any company walk out the door every evening.
We've created the first generation of IT to keep OWM in the loop.
They're now the bottleneck. IT needs to take them out of the equation.
We can create systems which...
Sample demand in 10,000 malls across 50 states and organise our inventory to maximise in-stocks.
Analyse returns in 100 countries and work out the effect on margins
Work out component and marginal costs to create optimal volumes dynamically and ramp marketing to suit.
Just a few examples - there's hundreds more. Against this OWM simply cannot survive.
So is the answer IT? Well any system is as strong as the weakest link.
Currently IT is focused on pulling millions of items of data into warehouses and cruching it, just to put pretty graphs on OWM desktops.
Managing the hell out of people who actually produce something just to create the illusion of management amongst the OWMs.
And it has the "old and slow" methodology which is the trademark of the OWM.
IT is instant. Pulling billions of bits of data together to make things happen and give instant feedback.
To learn from every transaction and take the guesswork out of every part of every process.
To dynamically make well informed decisions in milliseconds (not at board meetings).
And to remove the "Highest Paid Person in the Room" stranglehold on decisions.
We need rid of OWM. And the "IT as a means of control" mindset which goes with it.
IT can be part of the answer. But it isn't currently. And BPM is a classic symptom of the problem.
Isn't the question rather, is Business stepping up to lead BPM in enough organizations?
Or are they keeping BPM at arms length in IT where someone else can safely be blamed for any failures?
I'm pretty much in alignment with Patrick on this one...
Sadly enough, most of what is called a "BPM project" is either "BPM without BPMS" or "BPMS without BPM". IT has too little control in the former and too much control in the latter.
“...too much control over BPM in many organisations” is an effect, the cause is that BPM is a vendor-centric industry. Each BPM-suite vendor, each consultant, each BPM body-of-knowledge offer very different understanding of BPM (as a trio: discipline, tools and practices/architecture). Thus BPM projects/programs (being enterprise-wide activities by their nature) act as “amplifiers” of organisational health – very successful in places where business and IT are “in tune” and catastrophic in case of organisational tensions.
This is yet another argument in favor of BPM becoming a customer-centric industry.
Let me rephrase your question, as it should be asked, given the contemporary view:
Does business have too much control over IT?
IT specialists are moving up the ranks in business management while ecosystems churn and redefine under today's technical infrastructure. I even hesitate to call it "technical" - it just is.
We need to realize that we're heading towards an all IT business environment with various specializations into vertical services. Think of Amazon, the SaS model, cloud... For example, banking and finance are software and the means with which to wrangle the flow of money as information (digital currencies). Automating regulation, compliance, and meeting the customer not at the bank itself... but at their consumer-device.
Management needs to step aside and begin a new dialogue. Think of today's children with their smart-phones. They don't have an IT department. Children are just growing up to evolve and live within what we defined - the digital world. Technology didn't replace so much as augment existence.
Business is now technical. In a few years we'll see those grey, pinstripe suits at the virtual museum of natural history.
In my opinion, the answer is generally YES for medium and big companies. Let me explain why:
A medium or big company could have lost out of sight the organization's processes because the tasks became too daily-oriented. In those cases, the IT Department tends to be in charge of processes and have a bigger picture. The success of BPM falls into their hands. It depends on the effort that IT puts into processes to accomplish the company's goals, which doesn't always happen.
On the other hand, smaller companies don't normally have a strong IT Department, but rather a small tech team. In those cases, the COO or CEO can get involved in the processes using BPM. This is only possible if they have access to affordable and simple solutions. For anyone looking for advice on how to implement BPM in a Small or Medium Enterprise, have a look at this post.