In a press release just over a month ago, Gartner said that Context-Aware Computing will provide significant competitive advantage. As the press releases says:
Gartner defines context-aware computing as the concept of leveraging information about the end user to improve the quality of the interaction. Emerging context-enriched services will use location, presence, social attributes, and other environmental information to anticipate an end user's immediate needs, offering more-sophisticated, situation-aware and usable functions.
Why is this interesting? Well I think that context-aware computing will have to be decision-centric. Think about it - if you are not able to make decisions with this context, what good will it be? You need to have a decision in your system or process into which you can feed this context. A decision, for instance, about what coupon or offer to make that uses the consumers current location and environmental factors to target them more effectively. A retention decision that takes their social interactions into account when deciding how valuable they are as a customer (like SingTel Optus do, for instance).
Gartner go on to say:
new business opportunities will emerge, by virtue of knowing the customer more intimately; and productivity will improve as systems eliminate complexity for the user.
Knowing more about your customer won't help if you cannot act on that knowledge - if you can't make decisions using it - and system that don't make decisions, don't act cannot eliminate complexity for the user. Decisions and decision management are necessary for context-aware computing.