The need for the empowerment of business users becomes ever more apparent in modern workplaces and numerous studies prove that it is indispensable when it comes to the effective and efficient support of high-value processes and decision making. Yet the very concept of empowerment itself is repeatedly questioned because there are unclear notions of its meaning and its scope.
However, a good understanding of empowerment and how to use IT to enable knowledge work and innovation is crucial for an organization’s competitive edge. Only businesses that manage to use technology as an innovation enabler are shooting past those that control IT and/or processes by using governance, centers of excellence and best practices. Therefore empowerment for business users centers around the following:
What does it mean in detail? Authority for the business user must be within precise boundaries of a business architecture, business rules and security requirements. But there must be a degree of freedom for the social business process network of a business to produce outcomes within clearly defined and transparent goals. Achieving these goals and providing the necessary transparency again requires adequate means in terms of management guidance and technology to turn knowledge into perceived value for the customer. As this includes monitoring and auditing it reaches beyond basic collaboration, email or social enterprise tools. This kind of empowerment that produces results for the business rather needs tools to provide for continuous process improvement by easily adapting to changing business needs instead of flowcharted process models with substantial governance overhead.