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EDM should be a top priority for CIOs in 2008


Allan Alter over at CIO Insight had this article on CIOs Rank Their Top Priorities for 2008. Across all categories of company it was interesting that the top items were:

  • Delivering better service to customers
  • Improving business processes
  • Contributing to the creation of new business strategies
  • Cutting costs

I don’t know about you but I can see how EDM can help deliver on all four of these priorities. Let’s take them one at a time.

One of the most common uses of EDM is to improve customer service. EDM can be used to eliminate waits and delays for customers by automating decisions that would otherwise have to be referred to a supervisor. Automation of policy underwriting, loan approval, refunds, claims and similar decision making means that a customer can get an immediate response from a CSR or a website while ensuring that the company’s policies and legal requirements are met (thanks to the use of business rules as the platform for decision making). Whether it improves self-service or empowers front-line employees to serve customers more effectively, EDM can deliver better customer service.

Regular readers will know that the separation of decisions from processes and their effective management are powerful tools for improving business processes. I have blogged about this before and that post generated some interesting comments. Automating and managing decisions can dramatically simplify processes and make straight through processing more realistic. Simpler, more complete processes sounds like an improvement to me.

Because EDM puts business executives in control of the decision making in their systems (wiki) it can materially contribute to the creation of new business strategies. Increased agility and more opportunity for brining analytic insight to bear on business problems make EDM a powerful tool in bringing new strategies to market. Companies ARE their systems in a very real way these days and so no business strategy is really worth considering unless it can be made to change the way those systems behave. EDM-enabled systems offer just that kind of change-readiness. Add to that the power of adaptive control (wiki) to consider different approaches and it should be clear how EDM offers great possibilities for new business strategies.

Last but by no means least, EDM can deliver reduced costs. Eliminating manual reviews, reducing fraud, allowing fewer staff to handle more applications, making self-service more practical and much more can come from using EDM. Adding decision services to your application portfolio can make for smarter systems that waste less time and less money waiting for someone to decide.

Obviously I am biased, but this seems pretty clear to me…


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dave Dixon January 10, 2008, 10:56 am

    Hi James. Just a few comments.

    “Cutting costs” is an unfortunately myopic view, especially for a public corporation. If cutting costs today winds up losing even more revenue (or costing more) tomorrow, then the company has lost shareholder value. This is exactly the kind of thing we like to show people with decision modeling. For example, there’s an upfront cost in moving to EDM, but it likely saves (and creates revenue) in the longer term. A “cost-conscious” CIO might delay installation of an EDM system on this basis, but a more detailed analysis of shareholder value including future decisions, uncertainties, and payoffs would likely tell the CIO that more shareholder value is generated by moving early.

    “Contributing to the creation of new business strategies” is an interesting one too. IT departments are (amongst other things) stewards of vast amounts of corporate information. This information is potentially valuable for making better decisions at all levels and across silos. But information volume and complexity continues to grow, and humans are already overwhelmed. EDM provides a solution for extracting the value of this information in high-volume structured decisions. If CIO’s want to go a step further and contribute to business strategies at all levels and decision types, they need to facilitate the use of this information to assess shareholder value of decisions, freeing human creativity from the yoke number crunching and futile mental gymnastics.

    I don’t know if you noticed, but there are a few more pages to there article with other categories. I think you’ll find the other items relevant to EDM as well.