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Adding business rules to case management can bring the insight and transparency needed to make many processes more efficient, says Craig Le Clair, a vice president and principal analyst for Forrester Research.

In this interview, Le Clair explains how business rules technologies can translate large volumes of complex information to enable faster decision-making by business and case managers. He reviews the business needs driving broader adoption of both business rules automation and case management, offers advice on how to prepare for and implement rules in cases and offers a few near-term predictions for case management.

ebizQ: Automating business rules is a relatively new part of adding more functionality to case management software. Why is the need for automated business rules management increasing?

Craig Le Clair: The reason that rules are becoming more important is the need for companies to standardize and control these more ad hoc activities that are becoming the drivers of their business. The way you do that is to have that sort of guided expertise that a case platform gives you, but to have rules that can help guide that.

One big driver in addition to standardization is compliance. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation [a 2002 act reforming public-company accounting] was 60 pages. The Dodd-Frank legislation for consumer finance is over 2,000 pages and has 400 rules, of which only 10 or so are actually articulated in the initial draft. So the level of complexity around compliance, and the number of rules, and how rapidly they will change and the uncertainty around them is a problem that businesses are trying to solve.

So it's really about standardization of compliance. A case concept gives you not only rules to guide the events and the state transitions within a case, but a very strong documentation of who made decisions, when [they did so] and what rules they were leveraging when they did.

ebizQ: How effective have efforts been so far in terms of bringing together business rules and case management been?


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