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Smarter systems for uncertain times – #brf keynote


I gave a keynote at the Business Rules Forum today on Smarter systems for uncertain times.  I gave the presentation without slides and had planned to use my notes as a post but, as the notes ran to 5,000 words, I have decided to write a white paper based on them instead!

To keep you going until I get around to that, here are the high level points I made in the presentation:

  • The business climate requires smarter systems
    • Change is constant and increasing with most executives, for instance, saying they face more competition than they did 5 years ago
    • The competitive landscape is changing with lower barriers to entry and the flattening effect of the Internet making for uncertainty and new competitors in unexpected places
    • The volume of transactions involved in running a modern business means you need systems that can deal with this climate not just an organization that can
    • More and more actions are required in real time and cannot be delayed until tomorrow, next week
    • Businesses are evolving to use complex business webs with outsourcing, partners and more replacing centrally managed corporations
  • Smarter systems have four key characteristics
    • They are action-oriented
      They make decisions so they can take appropriate actions on your behalf rather than waiting
    • They are flexible
      In business terms, not IT terms, because these decisions are managed using business rules that bring business people in and put them in control
    • They are forward looking
      Because they embed predictive analytics that turn uncertainty about the future into usable probabilities
    • They learn
      Because they support adaptive control/champion-challenger testing and because they use analytic models that learn and adapt
  • Getting there requires Decision Management
    • A management discipline focused on decisions not a technology stack
    • First step is to discover the decisions that matter to your business, understand them and separate them from the processes and systems that hide them
    • Second step is to build decision services or decision agents, components that can make decisions for other components
    • Third step is to implement decision analysis so you can monitor, improve and learn about decision making

You can also check out these posts from Sandy Kemsley and Eric Charpentier who were in the audience:


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