Monday, December 19, 2005

Trendwatch: BRM will be big in 2006

Business Rules Management is poised to be huge in the mortgage industry next year, whatever that is. I mean, I know what BRM is and I'm sure you do, but it's unlikely that we're thinking of the same thing. But that's probably true of any two people you ask in this business.

A good example can be found in the recent article in Mortgage Technology's electronic newsletter. Managing editor Tony Garritano does a fine job of bringing the technology into the light, but it's clear from the responses of the interviewees that it's easier to say what BRM does than what it is.

I think there are two primary reasons for this: first, there are so many ways to implement BRM. Secondly, no one that builds a multimillion dollar technology platform wants to admit that you need a separate controller to take advantage of it. And that's what these systems really have become. They are the brains that allow the technology to automate workflows in accord with the business managers' desires.

In some respects, companies like Mortgage Cadence (featured in the MT newsletter article) have a leg up when it comes to integrating BRM into its LOS because they built the rules engine into their software. Those companies that are using third-party BRM systems to bolt onto the sides of existing LOSs are more likely to have difficultly explaining exactly what it is.

But they all understand what these systems do. They allow companies to make changes to their automation, which is vital when they add new products, target new markets and attempt to streamline their processes. I expect a lot more companies to begin to figure out how to take advantage of these systems next year.