Every organization is an evolutionary system, constantly adapting to its environment.
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
This is a quote from business management professor Leon C. Megginson, inspired by Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” Biological analogies are often used in economics, especially when explaining how organizations emerge, evolve and either thrive or fail.
Today, in the age of globalization and digitization, the adaptability of a company is mainly determined by the flexibility and agility of its IT. Starting from its original supportive role, IT has evolved into a central, unifying part of the enterprise – it is the nervous system that has to adapt to internal and external influences more rapidly than ever before.
If IT is not able to do this quickly enough, the long-term survival of the organization will come into question. One of the essential elements to making an organization more efficient and flexible is having dynamic business rules.
Every company has business policies and standards that provide guidelines on what managers and employees can and cannot do in order to achieve business goals. In most cases such policies are abstract and not really actionable. Business rules are often derived from these policies; making them very specific, understandable and - most importantly - actionable. They provide clear guidance on what to do and what not to do in specific situations.
For many years, rules have been used in business applications. Once defined by subject matter experts, they have been initially implemented in the code by IT developers in form of “If-Then” statements spread across the application. But, due to various internal and external influences (market and business requirements, legal regulations, company policies), business rules tend to change often. So the problem with embedded rules is that changing them requires changing the code and redeploying the whole application. Since the need to adjust the rules comes up more often than the need to change the application itself, this approach is not very efficient. It requires IT developer resources, even in the case of minor changes, and it is time-consuming.
A business rules approach aims to leverage business rules in a more efficient and flexible way. It extracts rules from the application code making them separated, dynamic entities that can be applied and executed across applications and business processes.
Using Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS), subject matter experts can define, test and maintain the rules without having to involve IT for every minor change. BRMS provides them with the ability to adjust the behavior of applications or business process without changing the application code or the process design itself. By allowing the business to keep the ownership and change rules effectively, the business rules approach and BRMS are essential elements to increasing business agility and improve adaptability.
Interested to learn more about Business Rules capabilities of Software AG`s Digital Business Platform?
Join us for a demonstration of how to create and manage dynamic decision entities using webMethods Business Rules and how to leverage them in webMethods Integration and BPM projects. Click here to register for a live webinar!