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The benefits of running a business in real-time, the Real-Time Enterprise, are clear: decisions can be made and user needs can be met immediately, business processes are adapted quickly to meet demand or resolve an issue, supply chains can be instantly shifted, and the entire business can be viewed in real-time to enhance enterprise efficiency.

Surprisingly, even in this time of big IT expenditures, the most aggressive enterprises have only begun to deliver on the potential of this vision.

More recently, the Event-Driven Enterprise has helped deliver the core attributes of the business, in the form of business events, to drive the real-time enterprise. The Event-Driven Architecture (EDA), where business processes flow between departments, suppliers, and throughout an organization, is getting a boost from Complex Event Processing (CEP) solutions that correlate business events from all aspects of the business, to achieve the Event-Drive Enterprise.

The Role of Events in the Enterprise

Events have been under-utilized in business applications to date. Where events have been used, they are typically simple events. More-powerful CEP uses have been limited to leading-edge approaches, such as business activity monitoring (BAM), Business Process Management (BPM) and computer hardware design.

Complex events are becoming much more widely used in business applications, with strong business benefits driving their adoption.

For example, financial services firms require real-time events to protect their customer's identities and assets from fraudulent behavior. It matters little to know two weeks later, going through event logs, that someone's identity has been stolen. But it makes a significant difference to know in real-time that an online user is behaving erratically and you're able to stop the behavior, thwarting theft before it occurs.

There are enormous financial and strategic benefits to implementing event-driven business processes, because they follow the inherently event-driven nature of many aspects of the business environment. Business analysts and line managers can understand event-driven processes because they involve standard business issues, such as customer and supplier relationships, operating procedures, processes and workflows.

These events include everyday business transactions from daily operations, such as orders being placed from suppliers, customers purchasing products or making queries online, shipments being made, deliveries being made or delayed and more. From a business perspective, this is logical and straight-forward. But from a software or data management viewpoint, it's not nearly so clear-cut.


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