Jack Vaughan just reported on what it took to modernize the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association's (AAFMAA) mainframe applications. The project couldn't have been done without applying the rigors of business process management (BPM), Jack relates.
AAFMAA, which provides insurance and related services directly to U.S. military personnel, set out to cut costs through automation and boost sales through technology. The insurer had mainframe systems it wanted to retain and connect to its Java and .NET-platform-based systems.
Such migration and integration efforts were once simpler—either rip and replace, or slap a Web front-end onto a green-screen interface. Now, as seen in the AAFMAA project, the effort now also infuses BPM to ensure that the business is on-board. With many initiatives, ranging from customer self-service to mobile access to cloud, many business processes are being upended: "The main thing for us is continuous process improvement. The key is to make sure, number one, that organizations can identify their business processes," says Amarish Pathak, CIO of AAFMAA. "Then they can start to measure the performance of those processes and to understand how they can be improved."
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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