The world is more reliant on digital technology than ever, so it is of paramount importance for businesses to implement a digital transformation strategy that enables real-time responsiveness and data management if they want to survive and grow. Customers have become accustomed to obtaining value and instant solutions whenever they want, so if forced to wait they will take their business elsewhere.
The following scenarios and products are no longer considered revolutionary or disruptive; they are now the norm:
Analysts believe that event-driven architecture (EDA) is a foundational element of digital business. By 2022, over 50% of companies will participate in an event-driven digital ecosystem. We are observing this trend as an increasing number of our customers adopt event-driven architecture as a digital transformation business strategy.
Deploying event-driven architecture as part of your business’ digital transformations strategy can be a complex undertaking, especially for large organizations. Sumeet Puri, Solace’s chief technology solutions officer, has developed a step-by-step guide to implementing EDA that offers a proven way to event-enable existing systems, modernize your platform to support streaming, and get buy-in from key stakeholders.
There are several event-driven considerations an organization should keep in mind for a successful digital transformation strategy, three of which I’ll focus on in this blog post: application development agility, event mesh, and health monitoring.
Application development agility is important because IT departments need to be able to architect, deploy, and manage software applications quickly and consistently. Defining your event taxonomy and standardizing your schemas play a significant role in your developers’ experience and, therefore, time to market. These are the elements that require focus in this area:
Event mesh is an architectural layer that liberates data trapped in legacy applications and streams information between applications across locations, lines of business, and operating environments including clouds and on-premises datacenters.
Such a transformational layer should not lock you in to a vendor, technology, or protocol, instead it should enable your teams to innovate by using best-of-breed technology. An event mesh is:
Observing and monitoring the health of your event-driven infrastructure and applications is crucial. Once event-driven architecture is implemented, events become the lifeblood of your business. Consequently, you need to have a strategy for keeping your finger on the pulse in the form of:
The three strategic aspects of your event-driven digital transformation discussed in the previous section will only get you so far, you need the technology and the tools to implement and act on this strategy. Addressing all of the requirements outlined above can be a massive undertaking, especially if you’re planning on making this a DIY project.
If you were to build a platform incorporating the key elements of application development agility, event mesh, and health monitoring using open-source or commercially-available components, you would need to:
Realistically, that means focusing a development and DevOps team on building and maintaining the platform perpetually. Chances are this would not be your business’s core competency and not where you would want your developers concentrating their efforts.
Of course, you have the option of using a cloud provider’s managed services, such as AWS SQS/SNS, Azure Event Hubs, or GCP’s Pub/Sub, but while these managed services can address basic messaging requirements to some extent, they are not comprehensive event streaming platforms. They do not offer a hybrid event mesh architectural layer that would allow you to connect your on-premises apps to the cloud and use the best services (for you) in each cloud.
Naturally, it is in the cloud providers’ best interest to lock you into their offerings and keep your data and applications exclusively on their infrastructure. A comprehensive digital transformation strategy for EDA should be portable, however, meaning it should be able to work across your datacenters, on-premises cloud (e.g., Kubernetes), or any public cloud provider to give you flexibility, leverage, and a competitive edge.
Like most things in IT, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But there are several common components you’ll need to make the most of your digital transformation and make working with EDA easier. These include:
Diving into each a little deeper…
An event broker should be:
An event broker should support:
The management component of your platform should allow you to deploy the event brokers anywhere (any cloud provider or on-premises) and perform lifecycle management (upgrade, patch management, scale-up and out) on your system. Ideally, it would be easy to use and would be a self-serve GUI with programmable APIs for integration with various SDLC and operational tools.
A distributed monitoring component would include capabilities such as:
Since the above components only address your infrastructural and observability elements, you now need to consider your application and data architecture, governance, and life cycle concerns. Simply put, you need a tool that plays the same role as API portals for the REST-based APIs ecosystem. An event portal is a tool for architects and developers that includes:
To recap, digital transformation – focused on the ability to respond to changing business conditions and customer demand – is necessary for maintaining growth and profitability. Event-driven architecture is a key driver of digital transformation, but assembling the processes and tools for a successful EDA implementation requires domain expertise and a comprehensive toolset.
To address this pressing market need, Solace has developed PubSub+ Platform, a complete event streaming and management platform for the real-time enterprise. It helps enterprises design, deploy, manage and monitor event-driven architectures across hybrid cloud, multi-cloud and IoT environments, so they can be more integrated and event-driven.
So if you want to accelerate EDA adoption within your organization to better drive digital transformation and ensure long-term success for your business, I encourage you to get in touch with us today to learn more about the PubSub+ Platform or request a demo.