I think it’s safe to say event-driven architecture is “having a moment!”
I’ve watched the application development & architecture market closely over the last 5 years and I would say interest is higher than ever before. One of my gauges for market interest is what Gartner is saying to their clients, particularly during their flagship CIO Conference: IT Symposium.
At this year’s events held over October and November around the world, EDA and event-thinking were front and center in the application architecture realm. In particular, a session titled “Strategic Trends in Application Platforms and Architecture”, presented by Yefim Natis brought forward a new emphasis on EDA: Event-Native Mindset.
In this session, Gartner noted a myriad of forces are driving change – change that affects applications, platforms, and organizations. They made it clear that old ways will no longer suffice and new approaches to applications and platforms must emerge.
The first of four new disciplines was centered around a “business-IT continuum mindset”.
Gartner noted that “67% of CEOs want more technology work done directly within business functions, and less in IT”1 and that “40% of boards of directors have moved digital-business-related budgets to business functions.” 1 This has led to the creation of business/IT fusion teams.
The key takeaway as that “Neither business nor IT can support the accelerating pace of business change along. Lead with the business-IT continuum mindset.” 1
The second discipline was about building for composability. This is something Gartner been talking about for a few years now. As business starts to take charge of its’ digital future, they are building applications as composable digital platforms with modular packaged business capabilities that are assembled & re-assembled to meet the needs of the business. This leads Gartner to its second key takeaway to “Lead with a composable modularity mindset.” 1
The third discipline is about how cloud is transforming business. This is nothing new, but Gartner notes that cloud is often both a platform (IaaS) and a solution (SaaS), and much innovation is taking place at a rapid pace. It is of no surprise then that Gartner’s third key takeaway is to “lead by adopting a cloud-native technology mindset.” 1
This leads us to the fourth and final discipline of change noted as a strategic trend – thinking in an event-native way. Gartner aptly noted that being “ready to change” is not enough. You need to be ready to spot the challenge and catch the opportunity in real-time, understand the context of the change(s) and actually decide to act, or make a change.
It was best captured in this slide:
Gartner outlined that in order to change in real-time, you must re-wire IT from being a data custodian, to being a nervous system for the organization, by “leading with an event-native mindset.”
Having an event-native mindset enabled by event-driven architecture can be underpinned by an event streaming and management platform like PubSub+ Platform.
To summarize, the strategic trends in application platforms and architecture identified by Gartner are primarily about building composable applications with business and IT fusion teams that are cloud-native and event-driven.