EDA has been around in applications like foreign exchange or global equities – environments that call for a real-time movement of data.
The analyst predicts that by 2022, 50% of businesses will participate in event-driven business ecosystems. Gartner also predicts that by 2022, half of the organizations managing APIs will incorporate mediation of event notifications into their operations.
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Who is Solace?
Sumeet Puri: Solace is a market leader in event streaming, in data movement. We are a Canadian company. We've been around for 15 plus years. We were historically very well known in capital markets – moving equities trading data. The large majority of the global investment banks or stock exchanges use Solace in that capacity – very real-time data movement. With digital transformation becoming prevalent in all industries, Solace's capabilities have been used for moving all kinds of events all kinds of data from supply chain to payment platforms, to telco backbones across the cloud. So we are the data movement guys.
COVID-19 accelerated transformation. What does this look like among Solace customers?
Sumeet Puri: COVID-19 has made digital transformation happen in months instead of years. Digital transformation became a necessity. It is allowing businesses to continue to operate despite employees working from home, to have visibility over operations and make business decisions in real-time. There is a lot of data movement in real-time whether it is audit data, order production, warehousing, location information, etc.
What are businesses prioritizing when it comes to modernisation? What are they deferring to 2021?
Sumeet Puri: Based on my experience, the single biggest thing that is being prioritized is customer experience. What can you give the customer so that the experience is better, and so they keep coming back to you? Next to that is bringing efficiencies. You always want to drive costs down and productivity improvement and efficiencies are evergreen business priorities.
There is no upside (limit) to how much you can drive revenue up. There is a finite amount of cost that you can reduce because you can't go lower than zero.
As for projects that are being delayed, it depends on the industry. Some sectors like hospitality – everything is being delayed. Some businesses have gone into survival mode. Businesses who can afford the transition or who can fund themselves to the transition are taking this opportunity to double down.
How is the market awareness/acceptance of event-driven architecture (EDA) in Asia?
Sumeet Puri: Event-driven architectures have been around for a while. The challenge for software professionals is the training, our approach to thinking – to call functions or call services (for example). But when you talk about agility, dealing with the ups and downs of performance, the old approaches won’t get us there.
Awareness has started with analysts like Gartner and Forrester starting to talk about event-driven architectures.
If you look at everything in the universe, everything is an event. Whether it is starting a call, hiring someone, someone left your business, when you want to shut down all access – all these are events. How you want to react to an event has, also, started to become mainstream.
What are the top challenges for the adoption of EDA?
Sumeet Puri: The first challenge is awareness and the skills around EDA. Schools today are not training students to think event-driven architectures. People who learn programming languages are trained towards Request/Reply protocol. This mindset (culture) change to think event-driven is the single biggest challenge.
The other challenge is knowledge of the technology: event streaming, event movement, event processing.
The third is governance around events. Who is consuming what? Who is securing what? In a process, how does an event know what are the kinds of events that are floating around?
Agility, robustness, and the real-time nature of event-driven architecture are the biggest benefits.
Any persistent misconceptions around EDA?
Sumeet Puri: I would say misconceptions depend on who you talk to. It is more the lack of awareness historically and hence the lack of confidence. First, there was service-oriented architecture, then there were microservices, then APIs, now event-driven architecture.
These are all steps towards an evolution of becoming more agile, real-time, robust. These are not competing concepts. APIs are evolving to become event-driven APIs. Services are becoming more fine-grained to become microservices.
It (EDA) could be disruptive to your business in a positive way with its real-time impact. The technology itself has been around for about 20 years if you think global FX, global equities, these have been trading in real-time.
What is the market opportunity for EDA in Asia?
Sumeet Puri: The opportunity in Asia is immense. As a race, humanity is becoming more and more impatient. We want instant gratification. This requires technology that operates in real-time. If your core business is becoming real-time, this (EDA) is the proven strategy.
What is your advice to CIOs/CTOs looking to modernise their EDA strategy to more reflect the evolving market conditions in 2021?
Sumeet Puri: First, start small. Pick a reasonably high visibility system and test it there. Why high visibility? Because once it is successful, you want to use that as a driver to the broader organization.
For example, during COVID-19, we saw container tracking as a real-time candidate for one customer. A digital bank could be a real-time candidate with real-time payments. For an airport, it could be a baggage or trolley management system.
Second, identify a pain and it is being handled today, an opportunity to innovate, does it need real-time?
Introduce an event-driven approach to breaking that problem down into microservices and realizing it through pilot selection, adopt the patterns, take a journey partner of your choice people have done it before, people who have that knowledge. Then get a quick win.
Once you have that quick win, then you can spiral out to more projects.
Lastly, I would say have a way of cataloguing your events using some sort of an event portal. So that when you have a new project, you can use the portal to re-use some of the events that you may have already created from earlier projects.