The industry-disrupting power of event-driven architecture (EDA)

How event-driven architecture (EDA) delivers real-time data your enterprise can rely on

In today’s world, the speed of business is lightning fast. Consumers expect to know the moment a package is delivered, their ride to work has arrived outside, or their coffee order is ready. On the flipside, businesses need to know when a bestselling item goes out of stock, a storm derails a shipment, a stock’s price plummets, and so on.

With sky-high consumer and business expectations, your organization can’t rely on data that’s updated once a night or even every fifteen minutes—it depends on real-time data that your colleagues, partners, and customers can all count on.  

Without it, your business can only progress so far. As a result, relying solely on traditional models of communication and information sharing is becoming a liability for enterprises when customers expect event-driven updates.

Request/response vs. event-driven architecture

Picture this: your inventory manager does a nightly inventory and restocking to make sure that the shelves and racks are full each morning. They then review sales from the week before and the year before, using this to predict what needs to be ordered from their suppliers to address upcoming demand.

They sit in an office placing orders based on that historical data; meanwhile, an early spring stormfront has moved in, and umbrellas are flying off the shelves to protect against the rain. Shelves are now empty of goods your customers want, and no more are coming due to a lack of up to the minute monitoring.

While you could have employees constantly walking the aisles to look for more up-to-date indications of low inventory, there are thousands of items to check and that’s just not an efficient way to work. In an IT context, it’s not the most efficient way for applications to gather information either. But it’s the way a request/response model works, with applications and services constantly polling each other for data and not responding to relevant events. Just like the above example, it’s time-consuming, hard to scale, and affects the customer experience.

Let’s try again. Your inventory manager is provided with up to the minute details of sales and can respond accordingly to ensure shelves and racks are stocked. Orders are placed automatically when the inventory drops below a certain threshold, ensuring quicker turnaround from the suppliers. And customers browsing for umbrellas on the store’s app are notified that there are only a few left at this location, so they can place their order for curbside pickup. That’s the way it should be: as soon as something of note happens, your employees, partners, and customers are empowered to take immediate action.

That’s the beauty of EDA. All your relevant stakeholders receive information proactively, without having to ask for it. And instead of constant polling that strains bandwidth and resources, you’re able to set up a real-time stream of events that all applications can access. That allows all asynchronous applications and functions to remain up to speed on all relevant information, 24/7/365.

It’s not just the benefits motivating companies to embrace EDA either—the cost of inaction is high and will only increase. Companies that continue to depend solely on a request/response model will have trouble scaling, move at a slower pace than their business can afford long-term and lose their competitive edge over time.

Event-enable your enterprise—no rip and replace needed

While evolving from a request/response architecture to EDA has dramatic benefits, it doesn’t have to be a dramatic (or painful!) change. It doesn’t even have to be expensive.

You can leverage infrastructure investments to turn synchronous APIs into events that can be managed just like APIs—taking an evolutionary approach that supports legacy and modern consumers and producers. With event-driven APIs, your enterprise can:

  • Deliver data faster, enabling rapid decision-making
  • Meet increasing customer and end-user expectations
  • Free up valuable resources and bandwidth by eliminating polling
  • Unlock the value of real-time integrations

To find out more about event-enabling your business through event-driven APIs, read A new way to EDA: Catalog, secure, and manage events like APIs.

Feeling the squeeze of API complexity? Check out our self-guided experience to see how you can break free and tame IT once and for all. 

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