In a piece of curious timing, I saw this new report by Jim Sinur and Bill Gassman of Gartner - "Continuous Optimization: A Primer". It's curious timing as I just finished a series on adaptive control.
This is an interesting paper by Jim and Bill and emphasizes the importance of decision optimization as well as process optimization. Now decision optimization is a pet topic of mine, as regular readers will know. The paper makes the point that traditional BI is not enough but I would go further, nor is traditional Business Activity Monitoring (BAM). Now Bill might hate this comment, but BAM too often can tell you what is interesting but does nothing about it. BAM as defined by most people is inherently manual - it assumes a person is making the decision - and not all decisions are made by people, some must be made by machines/systems/processes. This is why you need EDM and BAM. Reading the paper also reminded me that people forget that decisions are different from other kinds of code - they are never "done" when the system is implemented, they evolve all the time. A decision needs maintenance and change even if it was implemented "right" the first time. Hence the need for adaptive control and the importance of all this for real agility.
Decision optimization, as Jim and Bill describe it, requires predictive analytics and adaptive control. You need business rule externalization and decision management to make this work. I blogged about Jim's earlier paper and another around the use of decision automation to drive processes. Obviously this is a hot topic.