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What are the main benefits of business rules technology?

In many cases, a corporation’s business rules are defined in manuals or other documents, or possibly not defined formally at all—many organizations rely on business managers to interpret company policies as business rules. This can be inefficient and lead to inconsistencies in the application of the rules. Business Rules Management Systems are an alternative approach. The rules can then be applied efficiently and consistently across all touch points that use them.

Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) help companies develop and update business applications software more quickly and gives business experts greater control and power to make smart business decisions. With a BRMS, the total cost of ownership for managing business applications software is lowered by reducing programming requirements and delays in implementing operational rules.

  1. Allows non-technical business managers and analysts to maintain application logic as rules in production systems without being dependent on technical resources.
    This reduces application modification cycle time and thereby speeds organizational response to changing conditions.  It also reduces overall application cost of ownership.
  2. Allows application developers to separate business logic from procedural code
    Application logic can not only be maintained without bringing the calling applications down, but it can be viewed and understood more easily.  Also, faster development of business logic in many application development scenarios is possible.
  3. Allows business logic to be used by multiple applications, supporting enterprise consistency.
    This becomes more and more important as organizations decide to offer the same services and access to information over multiple channels of communication, whether it be to customers, employees, partners or a combination of users.
  4. Allows the automation of business processes doing classifications, diagnostics, configuration, control, monitoring, prescription, instruction, prediction, selection, simulations, scheduling and planning.
  5. Allows organizations to personalize their business and communication processes with rule-driven data displays, policies, interactive dialogs, content display, web site & article links, etc. based on general user categories, user history or user preferences.
  6. Allows enterprises to reach a new level of user-centric computing by combining enterprise data from multiple sources and company business rules to deliver superior service to the individual user.  Allows users to configure their own rules on how they want the diverse services of the Internet to work on their behalf.

Some specific benefits we have found when using Fair Isaac Business Rules solutions include:

Faster application development

  • Rule Services save time over procedural code in most applications
  • Rules can be used in business process management
  • 25% – 75% time savings over the application lifecycle

Faster response to change

  • Business staff given control over business logic
  • Systems can be updated while in production with minimal IT resources
  • Individuals, as consumers or as employees, can change the behavior of their applications

Reusability of work

  • Reuse your business policies across applications and across your “extended enterprise”
  • Reuse enterprise data across applications

Advanced Personalization

  • Respond appropriately to any situation with excellent service

Lower cost of ownership for software development life cycle

  • Significant savings in requirements and modeling

Added 2/6/2006 in response to comment.

We hired IDC to do some survey work on the ROI of Blaze Advisor and the results are available - IDC ROI study. To summarize the results:

  • Some customers report reductions in development efforts - sometimes up to 1/3 of the development effort, though typically the total cost of development is about the same as the original estimate without Blaze Advisor. Second and subsequent projects are more likely to see a reduction in the development time and cost as training and infrastructure set up are already done.
  • In maintenance, the savings become significant. Examples include 80-90 hours saved per rules change and a reduction in staff from 50 to just 5.

In addition Gartner has published some research that is based on their research across the range of BRMS products that talks about savings of about 15 percent for most organizations that follow the norm of 35 percent rule volatility and a 10 percent to 15 percent internal rate of return derived from IT change cost savings. In another report they said

"Gartner surveys and client interaction indicate a savings of 5 percent to 40 percent of the IT budget for application and infrastructure change using rule technologies."

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