I thought I'd close out 2011 with 5 guiding principles for companies striving to be more competitive and agile over the next 12-36 months. I'd love to hear your comments (and plans) related to these! You can comment below or reach me on Twitter at @danielselman. Happy Christmas! Have a fun, compassionate, healthy and prosperous 2012!
1. Exploit Historical Data
Enterprises amass huge volumes of transactional and event data. They use distributed batch processing to aggregate and classify historical data to gain insight and advantage. In some industries sophisticated predictive models are built from the historical data. Batch processing is typically very compute intensive and must typically complete in hours.
2. React in Time
To complement the historical data computed using batch the enterprise reacts to events. Millisecond, or sub-millisecond, response times are required to ensure enterprises stay ahead of competitors. In many cases simplifying algorithmic assumptions are made to speed computation, compared to more exact batch techniques. The next night's batch run may therefore change the enterprise's world view...
Monitoring dashboards provide humans with the insight they need to remain in control and to supplement the automated system with human intelligence.
Intelligent reaction requires a rich set of action primitives: send a formatted email, send SMS, start/stop a processes, block network access, set profile data.
Events tell us something about the state of the world at time T. What was believed to be true at time T may not be true at time T+1. How reliable are our event streams?
3. Make Consistent, High-Quality Decisions
Decisions made by the enterprise must be of high-quality and consistent across multiple touch-points: streams, processes, batch, and transaction processing. Decisions and processes emit events. Subject Matter Experts need sophisticated and scalable testing and simulation tools to ensure rules function as designed.
4. Performance, Performance, Performance
Both vertical and horizontal scalability are critical due to the volumes of data to be processed. Competitive advantage is based on crunching more data, faster, using more sophisticated algorithms, producing smarter outcomes. Elastic compute grids are required to easily scale and meet peak loads.
5. Move from Segments to Customers
Enterprises need to make the right decision for customer Daniel Selman, not the right decision for white-males living in Brittany, France. Every customer has an unique historical context, and personalized rules, and these must be taken into account during decision making. The enterprise context for a single customer may be spread across an Event Processing Network, CRM system, process instances, transactional databases and batch results. Customers may benefit from a distributed authoring experience to author and manage their own rules, on their own devices.