Why Business Decision Management Is Vital for Success
Decisions are a big part of everyday business operations. In the most basic sense, business decision management means defining the right path to the desired outcomes.
However, decision management is increasingly becoming more of a technical operation as software applications are now making business decisions instead of humans.
From a technical standpoint, business decision management refers to the control, management, and automation of repeatable business decisions powered by business rules, analytics, and optimization technology.
Automation is indeed the hallmark of business digitization. According to IBM’s 2021 CIO Study, 37% of CIOs cite business process automation as the top opportunity for positive impact within their organization. Decision management is at the heart of business process automation. In fact, decision management is a crucial component of the IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation.
Let’s discuss the role of business decision management and how it fits in with business process automation.
What Matters When Making Business Decisions?
Decision-making is the cornerstone of business operations in all organizations. It’s a core undertaking that’s becoming increasingly complex as the list of considerations (business rules, choices, stakeholders, outcomes, customer experiences, compliance, etc.) grows and changes constantly. Plus, business decisions can have far-reaching implications within and outside the organization. That’s why effective decision management is so important.
Ultimately, decision management comes down to three main considerations:
How fast can your business make operational decisions? Faster is always better, whether you’re looking at customer or employee-facing services.
Automated decision management means allowing digital systems to make decisions on their own, eliminating slow human approval processes.
Let’s take a personal loan app as an example. You want the app to decide on an applicant’s eligibility for a loan based solely on the supported virtual interactions. If the app is configured with the right decision flow, it will approve or deny loan applications instantly, as opposed to having a human painstakingly evaluate each application manually.
There’s rarely any room for error when it comes to business decisions. One bad decision could jeopardize business operations, customer relationships, and service/product delivery.
“Making the right decision is as important as making the decision.” — Alexandre Lanoue, VP & Leader, Business Reimagination, SIA Innovations
In the earlier example of a personal loan app, the system must make the right call every time. You can’t have an app that denies loans to eligible borrowers or, worse, approves borrowers who’ll never pay back the loan.
Business decisions should align with your business rules, regulatory compliance requirements, and targeted customer experiences. That is what it means to make the right decisions.
Lastly, decision management should be focused on boosting overall productivity in terms of customer engagement, employee performance, sales, and operational efficiency.
For the most part, productivity-focused decision management involves optimizing workflows and business tasks to minimize resource utilization and maximize positive results. There are many ways automated decision management can improve an organization’s productivity. It all depends on the business value automation brings to the table.
Sticking with the loan app example, faster and more accurate decisions can make all the difference between successfully selling financial products and missing out on business opportunities or entire market segments.
Top Priorities Behind Business Decision Management
Decision management is right at the heart of business process automation. From IBM’s perspective, automation drives business value by increasing productivity, boosting business performance, and sharpening the competitive edge using data-driven insights to enhance business agility.
Automation value can mean different things to different organizations. But overall, here are the three main reasons why proper decision management matters in business:
Put simply, growing a business is making a business bigger and more successful. It could mean expanding into new markets, making more sales, offering more services or products, or expanding investment portfolios.
Automated business decisioning makes your business more agile — able to quickly adapt to business and market dynamics. It does so by:
- Personalizing customer and employee engagements
- Improving overall customer experiences
- Increasing customer loyalty
Efficiency is doing more with less. Decision management helps your business make the best use of the available resources, be it time, digital infrastructure, or employees. Faster, better decisions drive business value in the following ways:
- Improved responsiveness over digital touchpoints
- Consistent and predictable outcomes
- Reduced operational costs
Decision management ensures all business operations comply with regulatory requirements and internal business rules. Automated decisioning maintains consistency across all business processes, eliminating the risk of workflows or tasks deviating from the norm. Plus, it’s much easier to track, visualize, and understand automated decision trees.
In a nutshell, decision management helps achieve compliance in these three aspects:
- Regulatory management
- Fraud management
Decision Automation for Better Digital Experiences
Today’s business world is more digitized than ever before. Subsequently, with the ubiquity of virtual business-customer interactions, digital touchpoints now define customer experiences. And these customer experiences can very well make or break your business.
In the 2022 Customer Loyalty Index survey, 43% of respondents said they had switched from a brand they were loyal to due to a bad experience.
“Digital experiences are often the difference between growth and decline.” — Mouad Atfi, Business Automation Technical Specialist, IBM
The same goes for HR communities. You can’t afford bad employee experiences, not with the prevailing labour shortage and the global movement toward more flexible workplaces. It’s no wonder most HR leaders are keen to prioritize employee experiences. And again, these experiences are now, for the most part, defined by interactions with digital workplace tools.
So how can organizations improve digital experiences for both customers and employees, and what does decision management have to do with it?
First, it’s important to understand what makes a good digital experience. Let’s look at the hallmarks of acceptable and exceptional digital experiences:
- Contextual and frictionless — smooth interactions within the user’s context
- Hyperpersonalized — provide relevant information, solutions, or services on the individual user’s level
- Consistent — uniform outcomes across all user touchpoints
- Instant — fast and highly responsive
Maintaining excellent digital experiences is not always easy, especially when juggling operational costs, risks, and business dynamics. That’s where automated business decisioning comes in handy. Automated decision management makes your workflows more efficient and agile to cater to your customers’ and employees’ needs while managing business dynamics and constraints.
Decision management tools draw from rule-based business logic, contextual business data, and robotic process automation (RPA) routines resulting in faster, smarter, risk-free, flexible, and meaningful digital experiences.
Embrace Decision Management with SIA Innovations
The importance of decision management in today’s digital-first businesses cannot be overstated. And SIA Innovations can help your business automate decision-making in your business processes for better digital experiences and more efficient, agile, and productive workflows.
SIA Innovations is a digital consulting firm dedicated to empowering businesses with innovative enterprise technologies from IBM. We have successfully delivered over 350 digital transformation projects to various industries since 2000. We can do the same for your organization.
Contact us to get started on business automation and more.