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From Monolithic Workflow Engines to Event-Driven Orchestration Engines: 3 Motives for Making the Migration

We’re living in the 21st century, so why is it that some IT engineers and architects are still using monolithic architecture to build workflows? Monolithic architecture had its day in the spotlight when it provided easy development and deployment with great performance. But now, as new technologies and innovations come to market *cough* microservices *cough* event-driven orchestration *cough* it’s clear that the path to creating high-performing, cost-effective, and secure workflows no longer lies with monoliths. 

Monolithic workflow engines require tight coupling and produce slow release cycles that not only slow down the time to deployment, but can also lead to scalability and security issues. With these disadvantages, it’s no surprise that 85% of Statista survey respondents from large enterprises (5,000+ employees) report that they have switched from monolithic architecture and currently use microservices. Have you made the switch yet? 

In this article, we’re sharing the top three reasons people are shying away from monolithic workflow engines and shifting to event driven micro-orchestration engines in 2023. Take a look. 👀

The Problem with Monolithic Workflow Engines

In monolithic workflow engines, all components are located within the same application. This is because monoliths are single-tiered. While the simple design enables developers to work quickly, it also comes with some major downfalls. The problem is, these components are tightly coupled, meaning that when one component is compromised or altered, it affects the performance and functionality of the larger application and workflow as a whole. 

As more functionalities are added, the more opportunities there are for issues to arise. For example, if one component is updated, the other components in the application will be affected. Thus, each component, or rather, the entire application and workflow will need to be rewritten, re-compiled, and tested. Sounds pretty time-consuming and cumbersome, right? 🙄 Yeah, that’s why monolithic applications are the bane of development teams today, slowing them down and limiting their agility.

Fire on a computer.(Source: Giphy)

Luckily, there’s a solution. 👇

3 Reasons to Migrate to Event-Driven Orchestration Engines

Event-driven orchestration leverages microservices—small, independent software components owned by self-contained teams that communicate via clearly defined APIs. In fact, IBM recently reported that 87% of microservices users believe microservices adoption is worthwhile. Let’s look at an example of how event-driven orchestration uses microservices below.

Each event in an event-driven workflow route to different microservices. This process places each event on distributed hardware, enabling developers to build complex workflows without the fear or challenge of having each event live in one monolithic stack. Once an event is triggered—say, a customer adds an item to their shopping cart—APIs communicate to each necessary microservices block to trigger the workflow. Now, each microservices block works to trigger all following events in the workflow, such as prompting a checkout pop-up screen on the customer’s web browser and sending a confirmation email post-purchase. 

In event-driven orchestration, these workflows can connect hundreds of APIs and disparate systems to orchestrate workflows across multiple technologies, eradicating technical silos. Now that we know how it works, let’s take a look at the three reasons to shift to using an event-driven orchestration engine.

1. Gain the Ability to Scale Quickly

As customer demand grows, your SaaS platform or other technology needs to be able to accommodate this exponentially increasing number of users. With monolithic architecture, there is no elastic scalability. This means the hardware is limited and if the capacity exceeds that limit, the hardware will ultimately fail.

And research proves that 61% of users who have a bad first experience of an app—let’s say the app fails due to exceeding capacity—won’t give the app another chance. What’s more convincing is that 40% of users would churn to a competitor’s app instead.

Monkey on a computer(Source: Giphy)

With an event-driven orchestration engine, you can remove the need to manage capacity, availability or solution scaling. Instead, microservices ensure that resources for the execution of the workflow and the subsequent integrations and containers are always available on demand.

2. The Benefits of Real-Time Event-Driven Orchestration

Event-driven orchestration is beneficial, as it can react rapidly to environmental situations in real-time. It provides highly responsive reactions to applications and enables engineers to access data in real-time to fuel fast and effective decision-making. 

Contrary to monolithic workflow engines, event-driven orchestration enables highly divergent, loosely coupled microservices to detect events happening in other systems that require a response. Without the traditional overhead of integrated data access systems, this orchestration allows for more robust information to be available at a faster rate and to more endpoints. For example, if a node fails while processing a particular event, that failure becomes an event that is detected immediately. This event then triggers the re-discovery of that node to complete the required functions.

Pikachu Detective(Source: Giphy)

➡️ Discover the top three benefits of event-driven architecture to learn more.

3. The Low Cost and High Security of Microservices

Within a big SaaS platform, there are multiple points where things can fail, and multiple places where security becomes a concern. The problem is, with monolithic architecture, you can’t quickly fix a piece of code without affecting the rest of the application. Whereas with event-driven orchestration, based on microservices, you can.

You Shall Not Pass(Source: Giphy)

For example, if one microservice endures a security breach, the rest of the environment will still function as is, remaining untouched by any cybercriminal or hacker. This not only protects the entire application from threat actors, but it also enables IT engineers to address this isolated incident rather than having to rebuild the whole platform. This leads to immense cost savings, heightened security, and even time savings. It’s a win-win-win! 🏆

Final Thoughts

Taking monoliths and moving them into the cloud and to microservices is really the process of digital transformation. The truth is, failing to transform your IT infrastructure to accommodate microservices and event-driven orchestration in 2023 will set you far behind your competitors. If you’re looking to thrive in the new year with lower costs, quicker times to market, and more efficient processes, it’s time to adopt an event-driven orchestration engine like Direktiv. 

Direktiv is an event-driven orchestration engine that manages technical workflows to support effective and efficient operations. Get in touch with us to learn more and discuss how Direktiv can help accelerate your digital transformation throughout your IT infrastructure.

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