When many people think of digital business as being new and different, they think of a new deployment option, the cloud, a new integration standard, APIs, a different delivery timeframe, weeks not months, and new business models and the promise of the API economy.

But people still need to think differently; digitally. Or let the software start thinking and making decisions in real-time. Because just about every initiative called digital business needs a digital brain to make the big impact on the business. Ask yourself, if you’re so concerned about improving the customer experience, how is it that you understand the customer experience, watch it, and then improve it at each opportunity you get? Or cross-sell and up-sell at every possible opportunity? Or fix issues before an SLA is violated? If you understand how to solve these problems, you’re thinking digitally.

Now, digital thinking is really about thinking with both sides of your digital brain. The first type of thinking is what some have called the ‘tortoise brain’, or the ability to gain a deeper understanding about your business. Before you can improve, you need to use your digital tortoise brain to take a step back, take your time, and think about what you should be doing better. You have to understand your business using analytics and learn how to identify those important events that are opportunities like cross-selling products or avoiding SLA violations.

Once you know what you need to do, then you need a ‘hare brain’ that watches for those events, and just acts on them in real-time. The digital hare brain is usually implemented using event processing. Event processing automates how you watch for these events in real-time using rules or other techniques. It anticipates that the event will happen. Once the event does happen, you need to act. Event processing is usually combined with alerting, dashboards, integration, business process management, or applications to seize the moment and get the job done.

You need both the tortoise brain and the hare brain to improve business performance. And you need to keep using them. While the hare brain continues to operate, you’ll use your tortoise brain to look for ways to operate even better.

At TIBCO, the digital brain, or Digital Intelligence is just another example of what we call Fast Data. If you’re interested in how the digital brain meets the Internet of Things (IoT), register for the upcoming Destination Digital roundtable webinar featuring Forrester on how IoT analytics can drive competitive advantage.

 

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