BRMS speeds up government decision making

Automated business rules management systems can improve the decision making process in government and create more agile and flexible operations, says Shaheen Abdullah of Isher Technologies

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BRMS speeds up government decision making Automating recurring decision processes in government organisations could significantly improve efficiency, says Abdullah.
By  Shaheen Abdullah Published  November 25, 2015

Operations across the public sector are being transformed by the advancement in technology which enables the sector to be more integrated and more connected. This advancement in technology also supports ongoing endeavours to implement the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to realise the vision of a smart government and for Dubai to be a smart city.

UAE Government stakeholders are expecting access to public services anywhere, anyhow and anytime; putting pressure on the Government to deliver. To effectively deliver on these expectations, government is known to be transitioning to a more transparent, engaging and beneficial relationship with businesses, communities, citizens, other key stakeholders and Government bodies such as police, civil defence, municipal affairs, residency and foreigner affairs and so on.

Since the Government is on a drive to improve policy design and implementation and aims to place business and consumer stakeholders at the centre of service delivery, it makes sense to consider or relook at automated Decision Management Systems also known as Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) that can complement the existing technology and aid in making complex decisions to manage compliance of rules, standards, policies and procedures.

A distinguishing characteristic of an excellent BRMS is that the business rules engine separates the business rules logic from the rest of the application, meaning the rules can be shared and reused. As the business rules are externalized, administrators or business users of the government entity would be able to establish, modify and maintain business rules themselves via an intuitive user interface and the rules would be verified by the system to ensure that they have been applied correctly. There is no need to touch development code or rely on IT for every detail, thus business users can work independently and productively, and then collaborate with IT as needed to perform a final quality assurance check. The number of people and hours involved in the change process would also decline significantly, and the entire implementation cycle of the rules for regulation and policies can shrink from months or years to days or weeks.

One of the current marketing-leading platforms for automating and executing business rules in a secure environment is Progress Corticon. Corticon is a Business Rules Management System with advanced tools that delivers high-quality and high-performance automated business decisions that can be rendered in English or Arabic languages specifically for the GCC market.

The solution is already being used by 28 out of the 50 US states, by government agencies including the Texas Department of Insurance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services. The system helps to increase the agility of decision change processes and enables new insights into the connections between individual recurring decisions and business performance.

Each business sector has its own proprietary business rules that specifically apply to their industry. A Business Rules Management System helps organisations across the spectrum of vertical sectors, including the public sector to automate operational decisions and intelligent citizen interactions in a number of different ways. The BRMS can accelerate the implementation and maintenance of regulations, rules, standards, policies and procedures; it can improve accuracy, consistency and speed across systems to enable delivery; it can consolidate redundant tasks and sharing information across programs; and it can improve agility and operational efficiencies by streamlining the implementation and testing process.

Other benefits include facilitating financial planning and decision-making by allowing organisations to easily create various rules-based scenarios; enhancement of control and quality by empowering business users, who are most familiar with the business rules, to author and test rules themselves and make incremental improvements; free IT resources/programmers to focus on security, system support and other higher value tasks; and support modernisation efforts by allowing gradual migration toward a service-oriented architecture (SOA) where rules are written once, and distributed as needed across the system.

Technology does not remain static and thus Governments cannot rely on their past successes and past implementations of technology to ensure future progress. There has to be continued innovation, evolvement and investment so that Government can make quick decisions and recommendations to improve and speed up service delivery, ensure quality of services and maintain transparency of departmental activities.

The evolution and availability of technology and innovations have often influenced changes in government decision-making. Nonetheless, recurring decisions are made in every department of the public sector, at a frequency and volume that significantly impacts business outcomes. In a world where we are focused on reducing operational costs and increasing business agility, it is a wonder that we are not automating more of these recurring business decisions. The question to ask is: why are we not treating our decisions as corporate assets—as we do with our data, our products, and our people?

Shaheen Abdullah is Head of Business Consulting, Isher Technologies.

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