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IBM and ILOG – What Else?


Last post in my series as I am off to DIALOG next week and will get a chance to meet some of the IBM folks and chat about their plans. Here, then, are some quickie ideas for ways IBM could use rules besides the ones I mentioned already:

  • Modernizing Legacy
    IBM customers have LOTS of legacy systems. Baking ILOG’s rules product into their legacy modernization approach in a decision service-centric way would let IBM move its clients towards SOA by sensibly extracting business logic (brutally hard to maintain on the mainframe) into coherent decision services built with JRules. These decision services run on the SOA/BPM stack to support new systems while the COBOL version of JRules means that the rules can be re-deployed back to the mainframe to keep the old system in synch with the new. It’s been done, it works and IBM could make it the standard operating procedure.
  • Expanding Optimization
    Optimization is under-utilized in information systems. With resouce and price optimization top of mind in a recession, IBM could use some of ILOG’s new optimization frameworks and its integration between busines rules and optimization to really expand the use of optimization in operaitonal systems – moving it from back-office decision support to front-office decision management. There’s already a center for business optimization at IBM and I think this one’s a gimme.
  • Events, Decisions, Action!
    In the same way that rules-based decisions can make processes simpler, smarter and more agile they can help on the event processing side. Making it easy to deploy the same decision logic as a decision service on the process side and as a “decision agent” on the event side can make it much easier for suitable business decisions to be made in response to events.
  • Decisions on Demand
    There are some interesting moves afoot from some vendors to deliver Decisions As A Service (DaaS) using the cloud to execute business rules and analytic models so that anyone, anywhere can have access to the right decision. As companies become more distributed and more dependent on a network of third parties, this capability becomes more and more appealing. After all you have a lot more choices in outsourcers or partners if you know that the decisions they make about pricing and treating customers will be the ones you manage. DaaS can deliver that.

I am sure there are others but this should be enough for now. Looking forward to blogging about IBM’s actual plans.