We'll cover the strategic uses of business knowledge in the context of a company. We'll also speak about the concepts of business rules, business rules management system, their relationship to SOA and finally how these technologies impact your software development processes and culture. You'll learn how the use of a BRMS can increase software development speed, enhance your applications complaince to regulations and empower end users to make their own changes to applications.
Most CIOs want to became a company's advisor when it comes to information access, information flow and getting business decisions from business transactions information. CIOs think in terms of information and processes. Knowledge acquisition is a must to automate business processes. A byproduct of this knowledge definition is that given the right architecture you can reuse it across the whole enterprise. Reusing enables you to keep up with the changing requirements of business. Where a customer is not a customer? (Please explain)
Process innovation is one of the hottest trends right now. It enables you to rethink your processes in a way that will offer a better customer service, costs less and is much faster. This operational efficiency allows you to reallocate staff in the most needed places, such as customer service and quality control. One of the most impacted processes is Fraud Detection and Control. Business rules enables you to apply otherwise costly controls and verification with ease. Changes in business logic force software development teams to retest whole applications. Mature BRMS simulate changes in the rules. So you can see the difference of applying one or another rule with sample data.
Business rules technology actually enables some Fortune 500 companies to gain a competitive edge on their rivals. This edge is created by optimizing prices for the benefit of the company, searching the internet looking for the competition's pricing. Others use business rules by suggesting to the consumer more products to buy. In some cases, when new regulations come compliance can be extremely difficult to obtain. Business rules helps in this scenario by adding and modifying only the necessary rules and eliminating the need to develop new code.
Naive approach; hard coding rules into your application. This is a short term solution. Maintaince costs and time will go up and in time surpass development cost. Your company won't react as fast as it can and a faster competitor will get your customers. In e-commerce environments this is a critical component for every business. This will improve your other software products' headcount. (??)
It's difficult to ensure compliance in all your software applications. When in a SOA environment applications query just one source of business rules. If you modify this source, all applications become compliant.
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Implementing a BRMS impacts three business systems: First, the technological field, a new technology has to be learned and new software products run, so operation and support are needed. Second, the development methodology changes, with gathering requirements a novel approch is needed to document business rules in an usable form. Third, new people will get on board and the existing people will need training and constant support. Some people won't change their procedural mindset. Also, commercial products tend to cost a boatload of money in licences, consulting fees and recurring support.
Business Rules for a CIO Strategic knowledge management www.plugtree.com
Business processes are full of decisions. Using the correct automation in the right places can improve operational efficiency hundreds of times, reducing costs and freeing staff to help with other more value added tasks.
Reduce fraud by identifying more cases with precision, offering better protection to your customers.
Simulate the impact of a change of application behavior in a sandbox, trying different scenarios to enhance process performance and structure without fear of breaking anything.