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Context-Aware computing needs Decision Management

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Syndicated from ebizQ

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.

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  • Paul Vincent November 6, 2009, 3:39 pm

    James – v interesting. TIBCO has customers using state models to track “context” (indeed, “track and trace” is a common pattern in complex event processing) for things like customer retention. Probably the combination of active customer context tracking (through events) and analytics (using state as one of the analysis variables) is going to be the future.
    Cheers