If you’ve ever had an online experience in which certain one-off transactions have longer response times than others (and I know you have), good chance it’s because the underlying online platform doesn’t process transactions efficiently. If it did, it would be Transaction Agnostic. Transaction Agnosticism is the capability of a platform to process all transactions with the same performance criteria, regardless of their complexity.
What Does Transaction Agnosticism Address?
Rooting out transaction complexity is not as straightforward as it sounds. Platforms today, whether in the cloud or on bare metal, are dimensioned based on the number of transitions and their complexity. Doing away with complexity does away with something that has been a keystone of computing from day one. The benefits of doing so go beyond just leaner data centers and easier calculations for the data center design folks. In fact, when all transactions can be treated as if they are the same, predictability becomes an important benefit. The certainty of knowing that regardless of the layers of a transaction’s complexity, it will be processed to meet a given performance criteria with no convolution is a game changer!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways Transaction Agnosticism applies to the challenges of the digital world.
Problem: The links between platform performance and the bottom line are known. Multiple studies exist as evidence and it has been shown that, in the world of online shopping, a one second delay in page load time (for a website that generates $100K of revenue a day) can cost a business $2.5 million a year! For obvious reasons, this isn’t something just Amazon and eBay should be aware of, but any company that has a digital presence.
Solution: Often, transaction complexity a source of performance degradation is addressed by throwing more computing power at the problem and/or building applications that don’t rely on complex transactions. But, as the number of these transactions grow, tapping into your supplies of computing power begins to look like a less desirable solution. A platform that delivers Transaction Agnosticism from the outset fixes the performance issue and de-risks revenues without the need for any expensive and over-elaborate workarounds.
Problem: Consider the experience of waiting in line. We’ve all encountered the feeling of “line envy” when another line moves faster than the one we are in (usually owing to an overzealous cashier, but I digress). Now, consider a similar scenario in the digital world. Can you imagine operating an app or a website and having the same request processed in a different amount of time each time you used it? Perhaps your request has not even been processed at all, or there is a delay in handling it during peak hours, it makes the experience frustrating and unpredictable.
Solution: Ideally, all lines and transactions, digital and non-digital, would move at the same rate and be processed quickly. There isn’t much we can do about in-person transactions, but when all requests processed by a platform are treated no differently from each other, the experience rendered is predictable, reliable and fast, positively impacting any type of digital user experience.
A Single Source
Problem: A longstanding principle of enterprise architecture is to have a number of systems served by a single source of truth. The evolution of digital business models, and the network convergence enabled by the next generation 5G network, places an even greater set of demands on this single source (think the queue example scaled by a factor of a few thousand).
Solution: A key principle of the 5G network is dynamism, essentially guaranteeing that as the network transforms from serving a bank to serving a school, the concept of predictability goes out the window. Furthermore, platforms must handle various sets of transaction types from a diverse set of network elements with low latency and high throughput performance capabilities. A high performing platform, unperturbed by transactional complexity via Transaction Agnosticism, would meet the challenge.
If you’re still reading, I hope you would agree that Transaction Agnosticism isn’t just some clever technology in need of a set of problems to fix. The instances outlined here represent only a subset of significant uses for Transaction Agnostic platforms — a set of uses that I have no doubt will grow substantially as digital becomes even more pervasive.