Processes / applications never really had to deal with nano second responses, except for dedicated manufacturing and distribution domains. Now all processes and applications will be asked to respond with actions in a nano-second fashion. Responding to events and patterns from the IoT, complex event processors and social feeds will require more than a subtle increase in acceleration. This will require more intelligence than the simple rule based approach as used in straight through processing and exception management. It will require cognitive responses that may include self driving processes that leverage swarming behavior.
In the past, because of performance issues, decisions were determined in a separate environment and in a slow analytical way. Today with big data in memory and in context, there is an opportunity to make faster and better decisions. Now decisions can be made in real time and in-line with emerging processes. Also the variety of data types is expanding to audio and video thus kicking off semiotic(shapes) and in context meaning.
Faster Case / Process Instance Closure:
Today processes can only go as fast as the slowest resource involved with processes or case actions. We sped up processes in the past by replacing straight forward human judgement with explicit business rules and I expect this to continue. Now with cognitive computing we can replace wide search and parts of human judgement and replace humans for more investigative and complex judgement tasks. As we add more COGs to processes / applications, speed will increase.
Speed is increasing all around us, but the leap to the digital world really puts the "pedal to the metal" Digital is going to have as big of an effect on speed as well as adaptability and change frequency. As the digital age emerges we will fully understand the real impact, but I'm betting that it will be bigger than we all think collectively.
Additional Reading on Digital: