Why Streaming Architecture is a Game Changer: 4 Major Benefits
Streaming Architecture is sometimes referred to as the holy grail, a true game changer. A completely new approach to integrating things in a more efficient way. But why exactly? Let’s get some things straight!
Information Technology in a Business Minded Way
Let’s start by saying Streaming Architecture, hereinafter referred to as SA, is a kind of a design principle. A way of translating things that happen in a business environment into business events. Obviously not all types of events, but those related to business processes and flows. Take, for example, a company department that deals with Customer Relationship Management. They regularly have to add new customers to their database, check when credit limitations are exceeded or change delivery addresses if required. All these kinds of actions occur in normal business language, everyone understands this. Such operations should therefore be translated into events and used in the SA framework. If not, applications or reporting tools need to be developed to process this data, which is enormously time-consuming and not quite efficient. In case the customer department wants to know for example the amount of clients that have exceeded their credit limitations, and there is no use of SA, history changes need to be checked and expenditure must be added up. When SA is applied, an event is published immediately when the limit is exceeded. For short, things can be monitored at all times and in all places.
Proactive and Real-Time Analysis and Management of Business Behaviour
Another huge advantage of Streaming Architecture consists in the fact behaviour is not analysed afterwards but at the moment it occurs. Real-time data processing is way too often related to situations in which tons of data is processed. But this need not necessarily be the case. The idea of processing things in batches and reacting to it retroactively, is getting increasingly difficult because of time constraints. On top the damage has already been done in most cases.
Let’s take another example, in this scenario a mail order company. In the event that the pickup zone is overloaded, and the workforce is insufficient to process all the deliveries, people will get notified. In Streaming Architecture language, a business event is created which expresses the exceeding of the human capacity. One can react to it immediately, and see if employees from other units can be deployed to solve this problem.
So, Streaming Architecture enables real-time behaviour analysis. Instead of using a traditional approach of thinking in stages, ‘plan – do – check – adjust’, the response is now very quick. You don’t have to wait until the ‘do’ phase is done. You can plan, execute and check at the same time.
More Company Resiliency Against Failures and Errors
Assuming we’re in a very complex IT landscape, in which lots of systems are dependent on each other, resilient design is an absolute necessity. This implies, designing in such a way that we know that certain services can be temporarily unavailable. Nowadays, people change their financial institution when their mobile home banking app is not working properly. So the digital service must be very robust and adequate.
An ever important factor for ‘design for failure’ is the asynchronous communication between systems, no direct connection between system A and system B. Take, for example, a streaming service for movies and series. When navigating to the homepage visitors get some suggestions based on their viewing history. These kinds of data are cached, which means that when this service is unavailable, a copy of your watching history is shown instead of the current, most recent one. Thus, as a user, in your experience, you are never going to see that the system has failed.
In addition, Streaming Architecture creates an evolving environment. Isolated pieces of an application can easily be transferred. That’s why SA is frequently used to transform old systems in new ones. Everything happens step by step, with a tremendously lowered risk.
Quick and Efficient ROI, A Long-Term Decision
But… This benefit requires some context and nuance. In case things can be connected to existing platforms and the appropriate tools are used, baby steps can be taken easily and business value will be realized with little effort. But again….step by step. If, on the other hand, there is no in-house knowledge on Streaming Architecture and the technology needs to be built up from scratch, that’s a whole other ball of wax. Fortunately, there exist a lot of good tools and user manuals to guide you through this.
Integration is often perceived as a necessary evil. It’s a cost, but the lower, the better. A completely wrong way of thinking. After all, it is almost impossible to cover all your business processes with one single application. There will always be a need to work with different systems, integration is therefore required. And that’s why Streaming Architecture is so appealing: it is an uplift of integration. No necessary evil, but the key of your business processes, the single source of truth. Single systems or applications are temporary, and change over time, the way you integrate them does not. By using SA, the choice of applications becomes less risky. If you want to switch within three years, you can do so quite easily. In short, a future-oriented approach!
Convinced of Streaming Architecture? Wondering how this technology can make a difference for your business processes? Don’t hesitate to get in touch and let’s talk over coffee!