The combination of business process management technology and business rules puts organizations in the driver’s seat to maximize their business processes and hand that power off to their users.
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 businesses or the front of the value chain. That’s where the business connects directly with customers, suppliers, and partners. It might be through something as simple as supplier communications or something as complex as customer self-service or business-to-business (B2B) supply chain integration processes.
Improving a business’s 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 front of the value chain in order to meet rapidly changing customer requirements, increased user expectations, and more competitive market pressures, coupled with the need to increase revenue, customer satisfaction, and other key performance indicators. Unfortunately, most companies have realized that too much of their business logic is tied up in apps that are difficult to modify rapidly and adapt to the challenges at the edge of the business.
Rolling with the Changes
Over the years, some organizations — especially ones in markets such as financial services, banking, or insurance — have relied on specialized business rules solutions or technologies in order to help address the ongoing need for change. In general, these business rules technologies have traditionally focused on providing greater flexibility for back-office applications. Now, however, times have changed, and as the challenges that companies are facing have changed, the market for business rules is changing too.
What’s needed are new business rules approaches that dynamically cross a wide range of front-office business processes and applications, both stand-alone and embedded. Think of these as dynamic business rules solutions for customer-driven applications.
To enable faster, better responses to customer requests, to integrate more rapidly with business partners, or to create more compelling applications that meet changing market demands, business logic and business rules need to be pushed from centralized, monolithic applications out into appropriate components that can be managed locally — often at the edge of the business — by the business user. Moreover, they must be deployable quickly to reduce time to market.
That’s where business process management (BPM) coupled with business rules comes in. Business rules are an increasingly important aspect of complete BPM solutions. For most organizations, BPM solutions are just one part of the answer for creating a flexible and agile set of automated business processes. Business Rules are an important complementary technology that will enable organizations to realize the full value of BPM and reduce the amount of work required to modify critical business processes.
Any organization evaluating or deploying BPM should be sure to understand and explore the role that business rules play in process-oriented solutions and where they may gain benefits from using a business rules engine. Business Rules enable an organization to gain control of these valuable assets and manage them in a way that is both more efficient and increases the company’s agility to respond to competitive opportunities. Combining a BRE with a BPM system will enable an organization to maximize the power of business processes and put that power in the hands of the business users.
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