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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Using business rules to build a Digital Business Architecture

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Randy Heffner over at Forrester has just published two new pieces - Implementing Your Digital Business Architecture and EDA, SOA 2.0, And Digital Business Architecture. They are both interesting but the first one in particular is great. Here's the summary of the paper from Forrester (my emphasis)

Forrester's Digital Business Architecture vision describes the future of IT architecture: A core of metadata that defines business processes, policies, and rules, and controls business operations across your diverse set of IT applications, computing infrastructure, and collaboration channels. But the vision is not intended and should not be used as the basis of a huge IT architecture conversion effort — a complete implementation with off-the-shelf products is not even practical yet. Instead, Digital Business Architecture provides a framework for planning an incremental evolution toward the future, enabling business technology solutions to deliver more business value today and to hold up better as business and technology evolve. So, the question is not, "How do we build a complete Digital Business Architecture?" but rather "Which pieces of the vision provide the most business value for us now, and how can we use it to prepare for future evolution of our business and our technology?"

I highly recommend the paper - well worth the cover price if you don't have a subscription - and think Randy does a nice job pulling together some key themes. I am not going to quote the paper too extensively (as it is a for-fee piece) but Randy identifies business rules as part of both the metadata core and as a key technology for deliver business services. He is spot on in both cases - metadata must define the business and this means being able to define the rules for how that business operates and decision services are a subset of business services that should be built using business rules for maximum agility. Together these allow decisions to be managed as a corporate asset and deliver real business agility (which also involves some changes to how things are done including one called Concurrent Business Engineering about which I blogged before). I like this concept (see this post also) and consider it highly complementary to both business rules as a technology and to decision management as an approach. As for the things I highlighted - managing rules is crucial to this vision, they offer a great vehicle for incremental change and they will hold up as your business and technology evolves.

His piece on Event Driven Architecture is also good and I don't have much to say except that like Randy I think many of the things you need to handle events well also help you handle processes and services well also - the DBA for example - and that I blogged around event processing here and have a whole section on it on the other blog here.


James Taylor blogs about decision-management technologies such as predictive analytics and business rules, discussing how they deliver agility, improve business processes and bring intelligent automation to SOA.

James Taylor

James Taylor blogs on decision management for ebizQ, and is an independent consultant on decision management, predictive analytics, business rules, and related topics.

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