February 12, 2024 By Matt Sunley 4 min read

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, enterprises are facing the complexities of information overload. This leaves them grappling to extract meaningful insights from the vast digital footprints they leave behind.

Recognizing the need to harness real-time data, businesses are increasingly turning to event-driven architecture (EDA) as a strategic approach to stay ahead of the curve. 

Companies and executives are realizing how they need to stay ahead by deriving actionable insights from the sheer amount of data generated every minute in their digital operations. As IDC stated: as of 2022, 36% of IT leaders identified the use of technologies to achieve real-time decision-making as critical for business success, and 45% of IT leaders reported a general shortage of skilled personnel for real-time use cases.*

This trend grows stronger as organizations realize the benefits that come from the power of real-time data streaming. However, they need to find the right technologies that adapt to their organizational needs. 

At the forefront of this event-driven revolution is Apache Kafka, the widely recognized and dominant open-source technology for event streaming. It offers businesses the capability to capture and process real-time information from diverse sources, such as databases, software applications and cloud services. 

While most enterprises have already recognized how Apache Kafka provides a strong foundation for EDA, they often fall behind in unlocking its true potential. This occurs through the lack of advanced event processing and event endpoint management capabilities.

Socialization and management in EDA

While Apache Kafka enables businesses to construct resilient and scalable applications, helping to ensure prompt delivery of business events, businesses need to effectively manage and socialize these events.

To be productive, teams within an organization require access to events. But how can you help ensure that the right teams have access to the right events? An event endpoint management capability becomes paramount in addressing this need. It allows for sharing events through searchable and self-service catalogs while simultaneously maintaining proper governance and controls with access based on applied policies.

The importance is clear: you can protect your business events with custom policy-based controls, while also allowing your teams to safely work with events through credentials created for role-based access. Do you remember playing in the sandbox as a kid? Now, your teams can learn to build sandcastles within the box by allowing them to safely share events with certain guardrails, so they don’t exceed specified boundaries. 

Therefore, your business maintains control of the events while also facilitating the sharing and reuse of events, allowing your teams to enhance their daily operations fueled by reliable access to the real-time data they need.
 
Also, granting teams reliable access to relevant event catalogs allows them to reuse events to gain more benefits from individual streams. This allows businesses and teams to avoid duplication and siloing of data that might be immensely valuable. Teams innovate faster when they easily find reusable streams without being hindered by the need to source new streams for every task. This helps ensure that they not only access data but also use it efficiently across multiple streams, maximizing its potential positive impact on the business. 

Level up: Build a transformative business strategy

A substantial technological investment demands tangible returns in the form of enhanced business operations, and enabling teams to access and use events is a critical aspect of this transformative journey.

However, Apache Kafka isn’t always enough. You might receive a flood of raw events, but you need Apache Flink to make them relevant to your business. When used together, Apache Kafka’s event streaming capabilities and Apache Flink’s event processing capabilities smoothly empower organizations to gain critical real-time insights from their data.

Many platforms that use Apache Flink often come with complexities and a steep learning curve, requiring deep technical skills and extensive knowledge of this powerful real-time processing platform. This restricts real-time event accessibility to a select few, increasing costs for companies as they support highly technical teams. Businesses should maximize their investments by enabling a broad range of users to work with real-time events instead of being overwhelmed by intricate Apache Flink settings.

This is where a low-code event processing capability needs to remove this steep learning curve by simplifying these processes and allowing users across diverse roles to work with real-time events. Instead of requiring skilled Flink structured query language (SQL) programmers, other business teams can immediately extract actionable insights from relevant events.

When you remove the Apache Flink complexities, business teams can focus on driving transformative strategies with their newfound access to real-time data. Immediate insights can now fuel their projects, allowing them to experiment and iterate quickly to accelerate time to value. Properly informing your teams and providing them with the tools to promptly respond to events as they unfold gives your business a strategic advantage. 

Finding the right strategic solution

As the need for building an EDA remains recognized as a strategic business imperative, the presence of EDA solutions increases. Platforms in the market have recognized the value of Apache Kafka, enabling them to build resilient, scalable solutions ready for the long term. 

IBM Event Automation, in particular, stands out as a comprehensive solution that seamlessly integrates with Apache Kafka, offering an intuitive platform for event processing and event endpoint management. By simplifying complex tech-heavy processes, IBM Event Automation maximizes the accessibility of Kafka settings. This helps ensure that businesses can harness the true power of Apache Kafka and drive transformative value across their organization. 

Taking an open, community-based approach backed by multiple vendors reduces concerns about the need for future migrations as individual vendors make different strategic choices, for example, Confluent adopting Apache Flink instead of KSQL. Composability also plays a significant role here. As we face a world saturated with various technological solutions, businesses need the flexibility to find and integrate those that enhance their existing investments seamlessly. 

As enterprises continue to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, the integration of Apache Kafka with IBM Event Automation emerges as a strategic imperative. This integration is crucial for those aiming to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. 

Get started with IBM Event Automation

To learn more about the innovation IBM Event Automation drives on Apache Kafka with event processing and event endpoint management capabilities, sign up for this webinar. Take an extra step for your business and request a custom demo to see IBM Event Automation in action. Building the right EDA is not just a strategic advantage; it’s an imperative in today’s dynamic landscape.

Sign up for our webinar today

Source: IDC: Implications of Economic Uncertainty on Real-Time Streaming Data and Analytics, Doc # US49928822, December, 2022

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