This summer Solace contracted independent research firm Coleman Parkes to survey over 800 IT professionals around the world about their familiarity with event-driven architecture (EDA), their understanding of its advantages and costs, and how far along the road to EDA their organization is.
I found the results (which are summarized here) fascinating, particularly the responses to the question “Which of the following statements best reflects the implementation of EDA across your organization?” A couple of years ago I shared my perspective on that topic in light of a Gartner report called The 5 Steps Toward Pervasive Event-Driven Architecture.
The Gartner report, which was refreshed in 2020, aimed to help enterprises assess their readiness for a digital future that will be increasingly event driven. They proposed a “maturity model” to help businesses rate themselves along a spectrum that ranged from “Incidental” where they used EDA sparingly, if at all, to “Pervasive” where they apply the principles of EDA across their enterprise.
The recent survey results aren’t an exact match to the Gartner maturity model, of course, but the idea is similar. I was pleased to see that most respondents believe their organization is far along. As you can see below most folks said their organization at least has in place a central team that promotes EDA and supports some tools and use cases. Many more reporting that their organization has implemented a robust ecosystem of EDA tools, or even that EDA skills are prevalent and EDA is part of most use cases.
While only 13% have achieved the highest level of adoption which maps to “Pervasive” in Gartner’s model, I take away from this the fact that most companies achieved enough buy-in from enough stakeholders to establish an EDA beachhead.
Establishing such a beachhead means they have overcome the first big hurdle and are on their way to benefiting from EDA. From there organizations must put in place the platforms, processes, and best practices it takes to get events flowing across their organization, and then figure out how to govern and manage event streams and event-driven applications with the same level of rigor they apply to their non-event-driven cousins. But once the door is open and people start seeing EDA success in one area, the idea tends to pick up steam.
Over my 20+ years in this space, well before event streaming and event brokers were even terms, I’ve seen the principles of EDA drive the digitization of investment banking, help scale telco’s from 2G to 5G, and drive manufacturing to where it is today. These industries demanded a different way to think about applications, and now we’re seeing this play out in every other major industries around the world. We live in a hyper-connected, always-on society, and every user or application across supply chain, payments, government, CPG, etc. want to sense, act, and move faster. EDA is the capability that can make this happen
This survey quantifies what we’ve seen over the last five years or so, as we’ve been helping IT leaders and practitioners in an increasing variety of new verticals like CPG, aviation, and retail understand the technical fundamentals and business benefits of EDA. Because of the increasing ubiquity of cloud services, mobile devices, 5G, and the Internet of Things, every business needs to operate in real-time and decouple their digital assets for greater agility.
Nobody has more experience helping companies transform their business through EDA than our Chief Technology Solutions Officer Sumeet Puri, who has published a white paper called “The Architect’s Guide to Implementing EDA.” It’s proven to be one of our most popular assets because it lays out a proven six-step process that he’s seen many enterprises use to get started on the road to EDA. Here’s a summary of the steps:
At Solace we’re passionate about enabling EDA because we believe the adoption of EDA will result in better run businesses, better customer experiences, and faster innovation. It’s encouraging to see the adoption of EDA ramping up so quickly, and I’m proud that we have the experience and solutions to help companies reap the rewards of EDA.
Denis King is Solace’s president and chief executive officer. After kicking off his career with Celestica, which was acquired by IBM, and Newbridge Networks, which was acquired by Alcatel, Mr. King joined Solace when it was a startup to help build the ground-breaking technology that introduced event-driven architecture to the financial services and telecommunications industries. Since that time, Mr. King has been instrumental in leading the proliferation of EDA across industries and spurring Solace’s success, having held successive leadership positions as the company’s VP of systems engineering, SVP of global field operations, chief product officer and chief operating officer. Mr. King earned a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Brunswick.
Denis is a member of the Forbes Tech Council, where he shares his expertise on real-time computing, digital transformation and event-driven architecture.