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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Opening keynotes from Gartner BPM

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I am attending the Gartner BPM conference this week and will blog a few of the sessions. The conference is focused on people, patterns and possibilities. Jorge Lopez started off introducing some Gartner data on CEO confidence that shows a modest recovery in confidence. This is interesting as the CEO confidence index is a pretty good predictor of bad or good news. Although CEOs seem upbeat on almost everything - sales, capital spending - but not employment.

As a result the game plan for 2010/2011 looks pretty clear - reallocate cost savings from today's breadwinner products to invest in tomorrow's growth products. As the economy recovers the key risk moves from spending too much (driving a cost reduction mindset) to missing an opportunity (driving a growth mindset). And this mindset must be realistic about how integrated the world has become.

Gartner has outlined three most likely scenarios for 2010-2011:

  1. Grinding growth (70%)
    Growth stays below 2.9% so flat budgets, low risk business changes, efficiency introspection
  2. Rocket recovery (20%)
    Unexpectedly rapid recovery results in funding spikes and major business strategy plays focused on external growth
  3. Double trouble (10%)
    Could get a double dip and as a result get slashed budgets and crazy outsourcing that take risks with service levels etc.

CEO's concerns identified by Gartner are:

  • Planning for a return to growth
    But doing so in a "new normal" where concern about job security is widespread and where consumers are constantly focused on saving money. Add-in other concerns and companies will need to focus on driving down their break-even point. Focus is still on a full recovery by mid 2010.
  • Integrity, corruption and fraud
    Business trust is down, government trust likewise. Fraud and corruption also likely to rise as money is injected into the system and as people get more desperate. Jorge thinks you need pattern-based strategies but I think you just need pattern-detecting analytics (which are well established and proven)
  • New bargain with government
    The return of big or at least bigger government. This means understanding how public entities value investments. Gartner sees a focus on risk management and on bridging agility/flexibility and regulatory stability/compliance. The power of rules-based decisioning to balance agility and compliance while managing risk should not be underestimated. In addition companies will rebalance operations between locations to reduce overall taxes. One imagines that the ability to include taxation in decision making might be helpful.
  • End of low volatility era
    Recent period has had little boom/bust, low volatility. Need to manage a potentially more variable environment. This is a challenge as many companies have legacy applications that prevent the kind of agility they will need. Modernizing these applications using business rules would seem to be essential. All this puts demands on organizations to look ahead - to predict. You need to understand your customer's intent, predict the impact of business conditions and connect your strategy to outcomes (actions, decisions). The need to put business analytics, especially predictive analytics, into your information systems using decision management has never been clearer. Check out this post on a journey to adopt business analytics.
  • Search for new value
    New business models, new business process (and new decision making approaches).

I was struck by how many opportunities for rules, analytics and decision management came up. Cool.

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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