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Business Rules and Digital Transformation

June 29, 2018

Gartner recently released an interesting tech note discussing the increase in interest for business rules management systems. Here is a link to the article and I’d recommend that you read the whole thing. The article addresses the challenges that companies face when progressing in their digital transformations and how business rules management systems fit in.

So, what are the key challenges for digital transformation efforts? Here’s what Gartner has to say:

  1. Keeping up with Business Change
  2. The need for more direct control of business logic by the business.

I think that both of these findings are right on point. When asked what are the best use cases for a rules engine, we at Decisions typically talk about decisions or rules that change regularly. There are countless areas in every business where rules will regularly change (packaging, shipping, pricing, returns, rebates, promotions, etc) and reacting to change quickly and easily makes an organization more flexible and agile. This is an easy story to sell.

There’s another aspect to business change that is often overlooked though. There are many areas where business logic may not often change frequently, either annually or less frequently, however the change process itself can be extremely painful and fraught with testing, broken processes or long delays. So, it is not only the change related to fast changing process that is a pain point but the change process itself that is a pain point. Moving more and more logic to a graphical, central ‘logic repository’ reduces this change burden.

The second point addresses who is best suited to control and change this business logic. Utilizing graphical, intuitive rules editors it is possible to put the control of the business logic in the hands of those who best understand it. This concept is also an easy discussion to have and business rules management systems are a good mechanism for turning some control to the business itself.

There is much more within the Gartner tech note and I’ll be highlighting other points in the weeks to come.

Gordon Jones
Gordon Jones has founded and sold three companies with the last built using Decisions technology. He has also led factories and large IT implementations both in the US and in Asia, where he lived for over seven years.

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