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Accelerating app creation by automating business rules

CIO Staff | June 28, 2016
Today’s competitive business environment demands that software development processes are as streamlined and automated as possible to ensure innovations are released on time.

Change to business rules and logic could usually be made and deployed independently of standard software release cycles; and many business rules could be changed directly by the business without IT involvement.

Finally, the cost of change was much lower - many common business rules changes did not require modifications to software or re-testing of components, says Watson.

Separating business logic from application code makes for a massive decrease in software development cycles, adds Bill Swale, senior account executive at Progress.

"This is especially true when rules can be modelled and integrity tested in a no-coding BRMS studio. Errors in logic are uncovered and corrected in minutes rather than months later during user acceptance testing. This significantly reduces delivery times and frees up resources to respond to the next market shift," he says.

Clinton Ross, head of IT projects at Aurecon, says some of the consulting engineering firm's business rules are built into the code base but not in a consistent fashion across all applications.

"This could be improved for us through standardised use cases to simplify the business rules, which would also drive efficiencies in the development cycle," he says.

Meanwhile, Roger Fredman, director, court processes and systems at County Court of Victoria, says more modern BPM-enabled case management frameworks allow the organisation to create requirements which self-generate a system configuration and 'spit out' a visual business process.

"This rapid requirement-to-deployment method allows the traditional software development cycle to be exponentially shrunk and changed," says Fredman.

"The move away from coding to configuring has happened and arduous waterfall or lengthy development cycles are a thing of the past if you're really serious about accelerating your business," he says.

Fredman says business rules are managed through government legislation but also through the department's continuous improvement culture. This is why platforms that allow visualisation of business processes, providing a thorough understanding and the ability to change, are critical for profit driven, citizen-centric services.

As industries become more regulated, some organisations are under pressure to automate more of their business processes.

Progress' Swale says as regulatory oversight increases whether it be for Basel risk models, greenhouse gases or welfare service delivery, the auditing and compliance overhead for any organisation also increases.

"This narrows the time available for core business activities so automating the compliance process frees up time for productive activities. Moreover, when these activities are carried out in real time, rather than at the end of the financial or reporting period, immediate corrective action can be taken to enhance customer service delivery," Swale says.

Aurecon's Ross adds that increased regulation isn't really impacting the organisation but digital disruption is forcing it to mature rapidly. Legacy systems that have been customised restrict the company's ability to drive change as the business rules are not clearly defined or sit in someone's head, Ross says.


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