Recently while shopping at a big box retailer, I discovered a new product that was presented through an interactive video kiosk that illustrated its features.
After watching the video, I became interested in buying the product, but the price was more than I wanted to spend. Fortunately, a coupon was offered at the end of the video that reduced the price of the product enough to convince me to buy it. All I had to do was provide my email to have it sent to me.
So I did. And then I refreshed my inbox to check for the coupon. Then I refreshed it again. And again. And again. No coupon. It wasn’t an email problem on my end, as I was receiving email from other sources. Finally, I decided to get on with my shopping instead of hanging around at the kiosk.
Eventually, I did get the coupon—after I had left the store and arrived at home.
Now, unfortunately for the business that manufactured this product, it lost a sale that day because it didn’t engage with me—a potential customer—immediately at the moment an opportunity was created. When it finally did so, the opportunity was lost, perhaps never to return again.
Of course, I don’t know the details of the manufacturer’s IT architecture that was behind the scenes of my experience, but I’m willing to bet that it was built with old, legacy approaches that are slow, hard to change, and execute batch-type processes.
Today’s business environment, however, demands a new approach—a modern architecture built with leading technologies and patterns. A modern architecture works in real time, scales to meet any demand, and can be adapted quickly to meet changing business conditions. A modern architecture doesn’t just support a broader enterprise, but empowers it to transform in new and exciting ways. For example, with a modern architecture, your organization can:
- Execute your business processes with far greater speed, more intelligence, and increased agility to meet ever-evolving business conditions
- Create experiences that completely delight your customers and increases loyalty to your brand
- Uncover and capitalize on opportunities that can lead to new sales, products, and competitive differentiators
- Identify and mitigate situations where your enterprise, customers, and partners are exposed to risk
Four fundamental elements of a modern architecture
At TIBCO, we believe a modern architecture contains four fundamental elements.
First, it is cloud-native in nature in that it takes maximum advantage of the capabilities that cloud platforms offer. A cloud-native approach breaks down large, monolithic applications, and deploys them to the cloud as small, cohesive services, such as microservices or functions, that are more easily evolved, deployed, and scaled. These services are connected together and spun up quickly by the cloud platform when needed, and terminated when processing is complete, so that the right amount of compute resources are made available immediately to meet any level of demand (such as a large number of customers requesting a coupon for your product) with no human intervention required. A cloud-native approach thus makes your enterprise more scalable and agile.
Next, a modern architecture is event-driven. It recognizes that all sorts of ‘things’ take place across your ecosystem at every second—events that could represent potential opportunities or threats to your enterprise. This might include spikes in environmental data from embedded sensors within shipping containers, or details on how a customer is engaging a retail kiosk. It could be anything that happens anywhere, and at any time, that your business will want to know about. A modern architecture is able to sense and react in real time to these events because often the ability to act lasts only a few minutes or just a few seconds. At the same time, it reacts intelligently by applying business rules or artificial intelligence, so that the most optimal action is taken given the context of an event.
Modern architectures also implement an API-led approach as the foundation of interoperability across complex hybrid environments that span on-premises systems, cloud platforms, SaaS solutions, smart devices, and beyond. With APIs, connections can be made and remade quickly across your entire digital ecosystem so that your enterprise operates faster, adapts digital services rapidly to meet evolving business conditions, and breaks down silos everywhere to create seamless experiences for your customers.
Finally, a modern architecture is built on an open platform. Leading organizations recognize that the most innovative approaches to architecture don’t just originate inside the walls of an enterprise, but are inspired by a global community of developers. Thus, key elements that form the modern architecture have emerged from the open-source community, including Kubernetes for microservices orchestration, Apache Kafka for event stream processing, and Project Flogo for the visual development of event-driven applications.
TIBCO has partnered with organizations across all industries worldwide to help them achieve superior business results enabled by modern architectures. For example:
- CargoSmart reduced fuel consumption for its carrier customers by 3.5%
- T-Mobile scaled to meet a 10x increase in demand for its promotional activities
- Air France-KLM increased its Net Promoter Score by 20% and Sydney Water by 127 points
- Telkomsel achieved an astounding 3x market growth
- University of Chicago Medicine reduced the number of cardiac arrests in the hospital by an estimated 15 to 20%
A modern architecture would not have missed a sale opportunity like the one I created—it would have created them, and far more. Start your journey to a modern architecture to transform your business for today and tomorrow. Contact us.
For more from the author on the topic, check out the TIBCO Tech Talks podcast, where Larsen, along with colleague Derek Birdsong, discuss why everybody is going cloud native—and you should, too.