This year will mark the emergence of business process management (BPM) software as a crucial corporate application, according to the Delphi Group. BPM software such as FileNET and Q-Link Technologies' Q-Link manages the relationships between processes and people, integrates internal and external resources, and monitors performance. BPM is rapidly gaining a foothold for a simple reason: It helps companies squeeze more value from their existing software infrastructure.

In a survey of 200 companies that each had more than 20 employees, the Delphi Group found that only 12 percent currently have BPM software. As the graph shows, a whopping 63 percent plan to evaluate BPM services this year, and the remainder plan to deploy BPM in the next 2 to 3 years.