Adopting “event-driven thinking” empowers businesses to respond to events in real-time to meet the global need for immediate gratification.

Asia’s current data explosion is bringing about a new wave of big opportunities and needs for real-time responses. Fueled by the rapid adoption of mobile devices, as well as the strong push for Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning in recent years, the ultimate goal is to raise operational efficiency and productivity, for businesses to make better decisions and enhance the customer experience.

One good example of how leveraging digital technologies and real-time data can help meet the demands of current urban mobility needs is Singapore’s Smart Transport program. For instance, the transmission of real-time data between sensors and systems within its public transport network enables transport operators and authorities to monitor commuters’ experience, mitigate the impact of train disruptions, improve resource deployment, and reduce travel delays.

Investments in digital spending show no signs of slowing down; according to IDC, corporations in Asia-Pacific are forecasted to spend nearly US$375.8b in 2019. Businesses can no longer afford downtime if they wish to remain relevant—some 71% of Singapore consumers expect businesses to interact with them in real-time, exemplifying the case for them to invest in real-time intelligence and responsiveness.

Making sense of the need for real-time response

Despite its clear benefits, the digital transformation journey for some businesses has been an uphill battle. For one, the real-time delivery of data is challenging, given the sheer volume and complexity of data and information organizations collect. Particularly in industries such as aviation, financial services and telecommunications where real-time delivery of data is mission critical, it is highly crucial that businesses have the ability to notify and communicate with multiple applications and take action in real-time.

In the foreign exchange market for example, trading systems have to handle massive volumes of FX trading demands while maintaining low latency. Imagine the dire consequences in the event of interrupted and inconsistent market data on the trading floor. Time is money; a delay of mere seconds could result in severe financial losses, and this is just referring to data alone.

Understanding and adopting “event-driven thinking”

On a typical day, organizations deal with many digital ‘events’ (business activities) that come from sources like IoT devices or business applications and triggered by human actions, nature, software systems or devices. These events occur across multiple lines of business and interact in real-time with a variety of applications in different cloud environments.

With the ubiquity of mobile computing, machine learning and IoT, businesses are collecting information and firing events throughout the enterprise and supply chain, to the customer base and the world at large. This means that adopting “event-driven thinking” is central for businesses to truly be able to respond to events in real-time.

According to Gartner, event-sourced, real-time situational awareness will be a required characteristic for 80% of new digital business solutions by 2022. The demand for organizations to operate in real-time means that they must adopt an event-driven strategy rather than only react to point needs. The upcoming Tuas Port in Singapore, with its new command centre that orchestrates the port’s automated operations and maintenance activities, is an example of how ports of the future will leverage event-driven architecture to intelligently filter and route information to where it is needed.

The way forward for businesses

The increasing sophistication and prevalence of connected devices, industrial control systems and sensor networks is changing the way people live and work. Businesses that wish to thrive in the digital economy need to be a step ahead, anticipating customer needs and responding quickly. Adopting an event-driven approach and implementing an event-driven architecture as the backbone of their infrastructure, will provide businesses with the agility to capitalize on and respond to critical business moments necessary for real-time responsiveness. Only businesses that are able to leverage and enable the flow of events will be able to innovate faster and stay ahead of the curve.