One of the themes from Impact 2013 that excites me the most is IBM's drive towards helping companies, and above all developers, build Systems of Interaction. If you are not familiar with Systems of Interaction I suggest you spend a few minutes watching Jerry Cuomo's keynote from Impact. The Systems of Interaction part starts 4.41 minutes in.
Systems of Interaction puts the customer at the center of application design, and combines elastic scalability, mobile, context, business rules, process and analytics to implement the "Detect, Perceive, Enrich and Act" sequence on the customer's behalf.
Business rules and events have key roles to play in building Systems of Interaction: rules make the systems agile and business user accessible, while an event-based programming model allows the system to be quickly modified for new situations, and can provide historical context (the sequence of prior events correlated with a customer) that drive better decisions and ultimately actions.
Couple this with predictive analytics and you are no longer reacting to past events in near real-time, you are predicting the occurrence of threats and opportunities before they happen, and exploiting the insights locked-up in your historical record of past interactions.
I am looking forward to IBM playing a major role in transforming how we interact with systems of record -- putting the needs of the customer first, ensuring they can have contextual and "smart" interactions, no matter where they are, what time it is, and what device they are using.
PS. Project Icap Technology Preview is a test bed for exploring several of these concepts. Check it out here.