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Business rules and temporary applications

Interesting post on ZDNet - The age of the temporary application is here. Made me think about EDM and business rules in the context of a temporary application. The article had some great comments:

But there's also a huge sea change taking place at the highest levels, and we're seeing it happen through a convergence of trends, including on-demand, software as a service, and of course, SOA. Standardization makes this possible — in interfaces, messaging, service delivery, and hardware components. It's all become hot-swappable.

Yup - more and more things making applications more and more "hot swappable". But what does this mean for technology? He goes on to say:

Under this model, we can build and disassemble applications as business needs change. That could include services maintained within the enterprise and accessible via a common repository, as well as on-demand services available from an outside vendor or partner.

Well clearly if you are building these "hot swappable" applications then you need to be able to enforce policies, manage risk and show that you were compliant with those regulations imposed on your industry. Ensuring that you have the core business decisions implemented as flexible, rules-based services would seem to be essential. If you have an automated origination decision, let's say, then you can dynamically assemble different processes and campaigns around it while ensuring that this dynamic approach does not result in you acquiring a whole bunch of bad customers or breaking a whole raft of rules on what you are allowed to sell to whom. If you are using external services then you want them to think about being "decision service providers" or DSPs so that you can hook up decision services just like fulfillment or shipping services.

Gartner's Roy Schulte has pointed out that in the past, most applications were "built to last" — their longevity and robustness was the most prized features about the application. However, nowadays, the most important thing about an application is that it is "built to change."

A clarion call for business rules if ever there was one. Building the core business decisions so that they are not just agile but also precise and consistent will be key. Then you can work a flexible, changeable process around these important operational decisions that can rely on those decisions while making it possible to evolve the decisions to reflect new competitive realities, new regulations or new thinking.

Build for change, use business rules, use EDM.

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