By Michael E. Baskey, IBM Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect Systems Management z
This blog entry is part two of a pair of blogs on Systems of Engagement and Systems of record. Check out part one, Engaging Applications and the technologies they use, by Alan Little on the IBM Mainframe Insights blog.
Systems of Record are being reinvented in consideration of a new generation of “mobile led, born in the cloud” applications that are focused on rapid, continuous development and execution of “engaging” applications. The mobile applications interacts with many sources of data, including the Internet of things and System of Record data and applications. Clients not paying attention to the Systems of Record considerations do so at their peril (and competitors delight).
If we remember poor George and his auto accident from last time (he's doing much better now, thank you very much), let's take a closer look to how his insurance provider was able to improve his user experience and still efficiently and secure manage their client relationship – and remaining profitable.
The first consideration was the accident being reported and police involvement being initiated. Insurance industry regulations require strict audting as well as legal requirements being satisfied. Systems of Record have long been (securely) connected to these official agencies and the applications well integrated into the workflows which large insurance companies depend on to ensure consistent and highly resilient operations.
The next consideration is around payment – both for the tow truck to the repair shop and the subsequent repairs as well as reimbursement for car rentals and taxi from the accident scene. As one can imagine, any time checks are being cut and/or money being transferred from one enterprise to another, a SOR is at the center of such transactions. Plus, all the data in the SOR database is leveraged for analytics to detect potential fraud (unfortunately, the easier it is to do business with an enterprise, the higher the likelihood of fraud being attempted).
Finally, the Customer Relationship Management system (on the SOR) employed by the insurance company needs to be updated with any interactions (phone calls, emails, etc.) with George and the actuarial application (again, on the SOR) updated to reflect any liability, medical payments, policy limits.
Systems of Engagement are greatly enhancing user's experiences with their various service providers and are delivering new features at a rate previously unthinkable. The thing not to forget is there is a wealth of information, client insight and business processes that need to be integrated (and secured and made recoverable across failures) and the modern Enterprise considers both SOE and SOR in creating/deploying new mobile, social and/or Big Data applications.
Mike Baskey is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He served as chairman of the DMTF standards board from 2007 to 2011 and is now the Chief Architect for Management for System z with specific focus on cloud, IT analytics and mobile.