The cornerstone of the whole discussion is the

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Unformatted text preview: re detail. The cornerstone of the whole discussion is the concept of rules – documented descriptions of how business decisions are made during IT-based operational execution. The issue being addressed here is that the desired automation, agility and control required to respond to the needs of businesses today is inhibited because of the way the IT systems and working practices carrying out operational activities have been implemented. On the working practices side, there is immediate value in actually recording the decision-making process within IT applications that can then automate as much of the task as possible, greatly speeding up operations and enhancing customer service. However, the IT side has problems of its own. Business owners have for many years come up with their requirements for operational business systems and then passed them to the IT department to translate into an implementation consisting of home-grown applications and purchased packages. These programs embody the desired processes and the decisions that control them, but not in any way that is externally visible to the business community. Often, decision information is actually spread across a number of different programs, with variable levels of documentation. When a business department needs to change the decision-making governing a particular process, the new requirement has to be submitted to the IT organization which then has to work out the places in the code where the decisions are embedded so they can be changed. This may paint a slightly unfair picture, because some IT departments have done their very best to design wellarchitected applications that gather business logic for particular operations in one place, perhaps using such Page 4 techniques as SOA (service-oriented architecture) to achieve this. However, even with the best architectures, it is still almost impossible for the non-technical business community to inspect current decision-making rules, and although the architected approach does make change easier, it is still some way from t...
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