Business Rules for Business People

August 1, 2005

Today, business success is not just a matter of how effectively an organization can create or sell products. It’s also about how fast it can react to changing market conditions. Speed, flexibility, and organizational agility have become critical success factors for all companies.

Many companies are experiencing some of their fastest rates of change and the most important process requirements at the edge of their business. That’s where the business connects directly with customers, suppliers, and partners. It might be through something as simple as an application used to interact with suppliers or something as complex as customer self-service or B2B supply chain integration processes.

Improving business agility increasingly depends on the ability to quickly and easily modify the decisions and business logic that drive and manage its fastest changing and most dynamic business processes.
As a result, business processes and applications must be brought out to the edge or front office of the organization in order to meet rapidly changing customer requirements, increased user expectations, more competitive market pressures, coupled with the need to increase revenue, customer satisfaction, and other key performance indicators. Unfortunately, most companies have realized too much of their business logic is tied up in applications that are difficult to modify rapidly and adapt to the challenges at the edge of the business.

That’s because business rules technologies traditionally focused on providing greater flexibility for back office applications. Now, however, these traditional rules solutions have proven inadequate at meeting the challenges constant change presents. They’re simply not designed to address the rising demand for agility in front office applications. The architecture of traditional rules solutions can’t cope with the more dynamic environments found in customer-driven applications.

For example, most organizations need CRM applications, sales configurators and other dynamic front office processes to provide users and customers with the flexibility to explore a myriad of options and outcomes as they progress through a business process. Business rule solutions should help drive this agility. Yet, because of their architecture and original purpose, traditional BRE solutions limit users. Such BREs can’t provide dynamic interactivity—what people refer to as “start anywhere, go anywhere” capabilities.

For example, you may think the most important thing when choosing a computer is screen size. Why not start there and choose other options further on down the line? Why does a customer have to start or to go where the company traditionally dictates? Why take a straight-through, single-path approach? This ultimately translates into lost revenue, low customer satisfaction and decreased opportunity for companies.

What’s needed is a new business rule approach that dynamically crosses a wide range of front office business processes and applications: from stand-alone or embedded applications to business processes crossing application and business boundaries. Think of it as dynamic business rules solutions for customer-driven applications.

This white paper provides a perspective on the challenges traditional rules engines and technologies face in addressing today’s dynamic business needs. It also focuses on the new business rules requirements needed to bring processes and applications to the edge of the business, enabling organizations to rapidly meet changing user and customer expectations and needs as well as to run more effective organizations.

Click here to download the complete Upside Research report on Business Rules

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