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Coming this Fall (actually sooner): Law and Order EDM

(By guest Blogger, Gib Bassett)

Acronyms are way of life it seems for both crime drama television shows, as well as business rules technology.  Just as you have CSI, SVU and probably others I can’t recall in TV land, you have numerous terms such as BRE, BRM, and BRMS to describe variations on rules management concepts.  What spurred me to think about this was the August 3 Gartner research paper titled “Hype Cycle for Business Process Management (BPM), 2007.”  This very detailed report describes the adoption of different technologies used to support BPM, including business rules (in case you are curious, they rate Business Rules Engines (BRE) as offering a high benefit relative to other technologies and a mainstream adoption horizon of less than 2 years).  The report also dwells quite a bit on distinctions between technology approaches to BPM and organizational issues related to becoming a process oriented enterprise (isn't that the same story we've heard about CRM?).  The manner in which this logic played out in the discussion of BRE particularly caught my eye.

Gartner’s David McCoy relates ““By way of analogy, BRM (business rules management) is equivalent to “law and order,” while a BRE is equivalent of the local police department (that is, an engine of law and order).””  What he’s saying is that a BRE does not guarantee excellence in managing business rules on an enteprisewide basis, just as the presence of local police cannot guarantee that law and order will prevail everywhere.  In a very simple way, David has described a key value behind Enterprise Decision Management (EDM); that it is as much a methodology or approach as it implies a specific set of technologies.  He goes on to say “Although the engines are mature, the concept of BRM remains a poorly penetrated topic in most enterprises.  With the advent of SOA (services oriented architecture) and BPM (business process management), greater emphasis will be placed on leveraging explicit business rules as defined as reusable assets.”  BREs that have evolved into more functionally rich EDM-compliant Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) perform this role exactly.

So although Gartner says “BRE has lost its emerging technology glow,” that does not imply a lack of innovation in the business rules technology market – quite the contrary.  To read more about how BRMS that ascribe to an EDM approach to managing decisions can help your organization realize the true value of business rules management, you don’t have to wait till the Fall TV season.  Just visit here.

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