John McCormick had a nice piece over on CIO insight today – The 10 Most Important Technology Areas for 2008, a Garnter View. Four of these struck me as particularly important when it comes to consider decision management in this context:
- Green IT
While the discussion in the article was more about how hardware can help with green initiatives, it seems to me that decision management can also be “green”. In particular, the use of decision management to eliminate manual approvals (which often result in people printing things off to look at them) and reduce marketing waste (as discussed in this article by Jeff Zabin on how precision marketing, an application of decision management, can be a green initiative for Chief Marketer
- Business Process Modeling
Modeling business processes, and automating them, without considering decisions is a fairly futile activity. Without automated decisions, very little in the way of straight through processing can be achieved. Check out these post on my ebizQ blog – this one on process and decision management and this on on Gartner and agility.
- Metadata Management
Many people consider business rules a form of metadata (indeed I blogged about it on the Fair Isaac EDM blog here). Certainly a declarative approach to defining how you take business decisions is much more useful in a metadata sense than simply programming it.
- Mashups and Composite Applications
One of my big complaints about many people’s view of mashups and composite applications is that they seem obsessed with the user interface and nothing else. Unless these composite applications can take action, unless you can mashup components that do things, they will remain pretty and pretty useless. A recent Forrester piece called this new class of application Dynamic Business Applications and I blogged about how decision management is essential for these kinds of composite applications here.
So decision management should be on your list of things to do for 2008 if you want to make your systems smart enough, and green enough.