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ORLANDO, Fla., October 21, 2009 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Companies Must Adopt Modern Event Processing Techniques to Improve Operations

Analyst Highlights Findings from Upcoming Book "Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies" at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2009, October 18-22, in Orlando

In an era of accelerating business processes and exploding volumes of digital event data, companies must master the art of event processing if they are to thrive or even survive, according to Gartner Inc. 

Gartner explains how to implement modern event processing systems in the recently released book “Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies”, published by McGraw Hill. Roy Schulte, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, and K. Mani Chandy, Simon Ramo Professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, are co-authors of the book.

Mr. Schulte and Mr. Chandy presented findings from the book at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, taking place here through October 22. They said escalating business requirements are driving the need to use event processing.

“It’s a familiar story: the pace of business has increased, the world is changing faster, and competition is getting tougher,” said Mr. Schulte. “These business pressures have inspired the development of numerous modern management strategies with the net result that the world is awash with advice on why your company needs to be more responsive and adaptable. It’s now time to move on to the more important discussion of how to actually do it. Smart devices, sense-and-respond systems and situation awareness depend on getting the maximum value from business event data.”

Mr. Schulte and Mr. Chandy warned that these aspirations can’t be achieved by simply speeding up traditional business processes or exhorting people to work harder and smarter with conventional applications. Instead they urged companies to make fundamental changes in the architecture of business processes and the application systems that support them by using more of the event-processing discipline.

“While a typical business process has time-driven, request-driven and event-driven aspects, event-driven architecture (EDA) is underutilized in system design resulting in slow and inflexible systems,” said Mr. Chandy. “Event-driven systems are intrinsically smart because they are context-aware and run when they detect changes in the business world rather than occurring on a simple schedule or requiring someone to tell them when to run.”

If EDA is the first big idea on which event processing is based, then event-driven complex-event processing (CEP) is the second. Event-driven CEP is a way of distilling the information value from many incoming, simpler ‘base’ business events into a few more-useful, summary-level ‘complex’ events. In this way it helps companies achieve situation awareness to be able to make better and faster decisions.

“Event-driven CEP is a kind of near real-time business intelligence (BI), a way of ‘connecting the dots’ to detect threats and opportunities,” explained Mr. Schulte. “By contrast, conventional BI is time-driven or request-driven. Complex events may be reactive, summarizing past events or predictive, identifying things that are likely to happen based on what has happened recently compared with historical patterns.”

CEP is used in a number of ways including: to supply the information to business dashboards; send alerts to people through e-mail, SMS or other channels; trigger business processes, application systems or services; and control actuators that turn off machines, lock doors or perform other mechanical responses.

The main reason for the recent upsurge of interest in event processing is that continuous intelligence has become practical to use in a wider variety of business situations. “The cost of sensors and computing power has dropped, network capacity has increased, and software technology to process events more efficiently has been developed, enabling companies to do more with events than they could in the past,” Mr. Chandy said. “Moreover, customers are now demanding sense and respond business systems that are fast, globally connected, and that manage complex situations. Business people are using continuous intelligence systems to cut through the ‘fog’ of commerce, just as military commanders use CEP to help cut through the ‘fog’ of war.”

Copies of “book “Event Processing: Designing IT systems for Agile Companies”are available at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. The book can also be purchased online at Additional information about the book is available at

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Additional comments from Mr. Schulte are also available on the Gartner YouTube channel at A digital file of the book cover is available at: Additional videos are available at

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