Business Agility is how fast organizations can respond to a change. Within the IT professional and software developers’ community, there is a misconception to see business agility and software agile practice the same.
Gartner defines business agility as:
The ability of an organization to sense environmental change and respond efficiently and effectively to that change.
These environmental changes generally are across three key areas:
- Market dynamics and volatility
- Regulations and policies
- Data and information
Organizations are challenged constantly to respond to changes arising with these areas.
For example, in the financial industry, market dynamics have changed and been disrupted by COVID19. As a result, banks and financial institutes require to adapt to the situation and provide a new set of products and services to their new and existing customers. For instance, within a specific product range for loans, credit scoring is entirely different from prior to COVID19. Or for instance, in Australia since 2019, in the energy and utility industry, products offering to consumers is regulated. Providers and energy suppliers are not allowed to offer all the portfolio of available products to consumers. Their products and offers should be filtered out based on certain criteria that are dependant on the state consumers are living in.
As you can see from these examples, companies must deal with these kinds of unforeseen changes frequently. And the challenge is these types of required and constant changes will impact organizations’ ability to provide their products and services to customers and consumers.
The impact is not only product development but is within the whole value chain. As a result, the required changes are across; processes, applications, and information systems, functional groups, and teams that are reflected by internal and external policies as well as regulations and market dynamics. Therefore, the organization “as a whole” should operate differently and how people will do their day to day activities, tasks, and take decisions will be influenced by the changes.
Increasing Business Agility
In this battleground that everything is constantly changing, organizations need to look at solutions that ease the adaption and responding to required changes effectively and efficiently i.e. increase their business agility. Specifically when they fall into the day to day operations i.e. services and products offering which by the way are the most impacted and core the areas.
So far, Decision Management Suite (DMS) and Business Rules Management System (BRMS) addressed part of this challenge as they enable organizations to change and configure their products and services offering and related eligibility criteria. But this still takes organizations part of the way, as these changes in conditions, criteria, and circumstances will need new data and information to be built into the context. There will be a need to integrate with new data sources, systems, and processes using orchestration technologies to build the context for the current situation. And once the decisions are made, their results should be reflected in the processes, information systems, and the required tasks should be carried out.
Welcome to the era of End-to-End Decision Automation!
Decision automation techniques i.e. rule-driven or analytical and data-driven are to be part of end-to-end decision automation to have an impact on business agility. Because decisions As explained, if we do not consider organizations a whole, and deploy a solution that only addresses part of the challenge then business agility cannot be increased as required changes having a cascading effect. The changes force the products and services offering and eligibility to reflect new conditions, but there are many pre and post dependencies that need to be in place to make sure the context for new products and services are available, then the decisions will be made based on the context and results of the decisions should carry out required actions which it means the full-decision cycle should be considered so organizations can avoid the disconnected decisioning and truly increase the business agility.
Last updated July 21st, 2020 at 12:45 pm, Published June 25th, 2020 at 12:45 pm
CEO and the founder of FlexRule – He is an expert in architecture, design, and implementation of operational decisions, business rules, and process automation. Created Decision-Centric Approach, a methodology that brings People, Data, Rules, and Processes together to automate operational business decisions.
This approach is recognized by Gartner as the missing link to provide business value to organizations.