Digital’s Demand for Innovation Calls for a Microservices Architecture
Being a digital business has changed everything – from how products and services are offered and to whom all the way through delivery. Responding to dynamic customer expectations calls for a new two-pronged approach that consolidates teams under a shared mindset and an organizational culture shift. Against this backdrop of change, the cloud, a key linchpin of digital success, demands that applications be re-architected in record time.
Pre-digital, IT’s development initiatives spanned quarters and, in some cases, years. Today’s compressed digital timeframes do not tolerate extended development times. Applications need to be built and rolled out in days and, sometimes, hours. By breaking massive functionality into single units called a microservice, IT can now combine and recombine capabilities in record time, delivering quality applications that can be updated on the fly – while preserving system stability and optimal performance. Up-leveling Agile, IT organizations across all markets are employing this microservices-based approach to create a wholesale containerization of functionality. With microservice integration, IT organizations can push the business forward quickly and efficiently by delivering as many as 50 rollouts a day.
This containerization allows IT to combine and recombine functionality at will in an iterative “test drive” environment optimized to accommodate the pace of digital. Small teams work in parallel and use automated tests, continuous integration and deployment and feature flags, as they re-route small percentages of traffic to make the most of the cloud’s expansive capacity.
A microservices architecture pays dividends beyond IT’s productivity as well. Its flexible approach to compressed build/develop/deploy cycles incorporates the latest techniques and tools for software development. As a result, leading IT organizations can become “employers of choice.” Being a destination for digital talent, which is now in short supply and is expected to be scarce for years to come, helps IT leaders attract and retain the digital skills they need to help the business win.
In addition to productivity gains and becoming a staffing magnet, a microservices landscape allows IT organizations to scale vertically and horizontally. Associating smaller microservices under a heavy shared processing load often eliminates the need to add hardware by allowing the cloud to spin capacity up and down as needed.
This introduction explains how progressive IT organizations use microservices to enable the rapid change digital demands as they struggle against constrained availability of digitally skilled IT professionals. Tapping into the power of the cloud and the latest technical tools and strategies helps these organizations attract and retain a full range of digital talent even as staffing needs change and evolve.
Because even the largest companies will not be able to find all the digital talent they need, IT organizations are narrowing their community of staff partners. Working with only a hand-selected few allows an IT organization to source “employee-like” digital talent that understands and appreciates the company’s mission, vision and culture. These valuable assets possess the
digital skills IT needs along with commanding “soft skills” to facilitate communication and problem solving.