Witnessing the rise of stream processing from the driving seat, we see Apache Flink® and associated technologies used for a wide variety of business applications, from routing data through systems, serving as a backbone for real-time analytics on live data using SQL, detecting credit card fraud, to implementing complete end-to-end social networks. Such applications enable modern data-driven businesses where decisions and actions happen in real-time, and transform traditional businesses to become more data-driven. Observing the variety of these applications implemented using Flink, it becomes apparent that the traditional dividing line between analytics and operational applications is becoming more and more blurry. Historically, operational applications were built using transactional databases, and analytics were done offline. In contrast, Flink’s, state, checkpoints, and time management are the core building blocks for both operational applications with strong data consistency needs, and for real-time analytics with correctness guarantees. With these shared building blocks, developers start building what is arguably a new class of data-driven applications: applications that are operational in that they serve live systems and at the same time analytical in that they perform complex data analysis. Following application architectures like CQRS and using new features like Flink’s queryable state, streaming analytics and online applications move even closer to each other. In this talk, guided by real-world use cases, we present how the unique core concepts behind Flink simplify the development, deployment, and management of data-driven applications, and we conclude with a vision for the future for Flink and stream processing.