Rules are Trending in Government


Rik Chomko


The Real Trend in Government

Given all the attention that’s been given to the federal government shutdown, you might think the only thing trending in government is the shutdown. Not so! While you won’t necessary find it on Twitter, rules and the rule management technology to manage them in government is gaining traction like never before.

Last week I was at the IT Solutions Management for Human Service (ISM) Conference. I was encouraged by the number of state and local governments who are looking to use technology to help streamline the programs and services they provide for their constituents. Many people were there to learn more about these technologies, including Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS) like InRule.

Rules Are Everywhere – Especially Government!

One of the people there to learn more about these systems was an editor from a government news magazine. As you would expect he first asked what our technology does. I explained that a BRMS allows technical and non-technical people to manage the rules and calculations that drive important decisions without have to program code. He asked how it applies to Health and Human Services: I explained to him that BRMS technology is used in many HHS systems including integrated eligibility, health insurance exchanges, prior authorization, case management, claims adjudication, and population management.

Each one of these HHS subsystems needs to implement hundreds if not thousands of rules to satisfy the laws that are ratified at the Federal, State, and County levels. Rules are literally everywhere in these systems.

BRMSs Beyond HHS

And even though the conference focus was on Human Services like Medicaid, Women and Infant Children, child care, child welfare, etc., I noted to the editor that BRMS technology is being adopted by many agencies beyond HHS. InRule in the last year alone has been part of solutions for the following agencies (in multiple states):

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Department of Corrections
  • State Retirement Systems
  • Federal Aviation Administration

It made me step back and realize that BRMS technology is having a very positive impact on making the development and maintenance of government systems more efficient which I believe is a good thing.

We’re Not (Just) In Kansas Anymore

What’s interesting is that the rising interest in the benefits of BRMS is not just in the United States but in government agencies around the world. Some are from food safety agencies (like the USDA) in Belgium, others are from labor departments in New Zealand and still others are from environmental agencies in Australia. It’s got me excited because I know BRMS technology can not only help make the process of change more efficient, it can also provide transparency into the actual decisions.

And while I realize that a BRMS may never quite trend the way the shutdown is, from my perspective it’s an important trend that we as citizens should be excited about. It will lead to better programs and services through consistent and timely decision making, especially for those that need it the most.