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Why are enterprise applications so dumb?

(Posted by guest blogger, James Taylor)

In general Enterprise Applications rely on human intelligence - Humans must use dashboards and reports to learn from their data, most decisions are managed with work lists, someone has to log on and act-on work list items before a process continues, and most alerting and monitoring functions are focused on telling someone what has happened rather than on doing something about it. These applications have been built around a mindset that automates the data collection and dissemination an organization requires and not much more – decisions are left to people.

When Enterprise Applications are designed to automate a decision, this automation is typically limited in scope, hard to configure to a company’s unique approach, frail in that change tends to break it and difficult to verify or regulate.

This reliance on people for all decision-making is a serious limiting factor for the long term growth of Enterprise Applications.

  • It severely limits the ability to attain straight through processing in any but the most simple processes
  • It means that 24x7 operation requires 24x7 staffing
  • It means that improving operational, high-volume transactions with analytic insight is almost impossible.

In addition current investments in Complex Event Processing/Business Activity Monitoring will not realize widespread ROI unless systems can respond intelligently and automatically to most events and this means making decisions about how to act without this reliance on people.

Not only do these limitations prevent companies from maximizing the value of their enterprise applications, where industries already have high levels of decision automation (such as in insurance underwriting or claims, marketing, credit originations, fraud detection) enterprise applications will struggle to attain penetration without strong decision automation.

If your business uses mainstream Enterprise Applications today, you should be investigating Enterprise Decision Management for tomorrow.


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