4 Advantages of Serverless Computing

4 Advantages of Serverless Computing

What Is Serverless Computing?

Serverless computing is a method of providing backend services on as needed basis that is enabled by microservices. This contrasts with the early days of computing when developers who wanted to build an application had to have the physical hardware needed to run a server. As a result, a business that switches to serverless computing is gaining more scalability and flexibility at a reduced cost.

Serverless Computing Is A Technological Advancement

The world of technology moves fast. Technological advancements are evolving at lighting speed forcing businesses to adapt or risk obsolescence. One of the more recent technological advancement is serverless computing.

According to research, in 2020, 20% of global businesses will have implemented serverless computing. This adoption constitutes a mindset shift in the delivery and impact of technology services.

The 4 Advantages Of Serverless Computing:

Low Cost

For a business, IT services are a capital expense that needs managing. Therefore, it is lucrative to go serverless and cut costs. Instead of managing physical servers, the business outsources the responsibility of managing servers and databases. Besides a cost reduction, a business experiences savings in computing power and human resources. Serverless computing also saves on the operational expenses of servers crashing. If a business drops a new product to 10,000 users and then 10,000 users go to the website, the possibilities of servers being overloaded, and crashing is high. Consequently, customer experience and revenues suffer. Serverless computing is the solution for this problem.

Use Of Microservices

Another innovative way that serverless computing differs from its predecessor is its reliance on microservices. As opposed to monolithic services, microservices supports serverless computing in making precise application-specific developments and deploying individual applications. In fact, research shows using serverless microservices can reduce the standard release cycle by 75%.

A microservice is a self-contained piece of business functionality that can work independently or together as a whole. Overall, the presence of microservices in serverless computing makes the business more flexible at managing workload. It enables the business to estimate the amount of computing power it needs and not provision the servers upfront.

More Efficient

The advantage of serverless computing is that a business only pays for what it needed. When using traditional servers, a business would have to operate them 24/7. With serverless computing, a business is charged only when the server is used. This makes the business more efficient at managing its resources and eliminates the worry about scaling. The outsourcing of serverless computing also eliminates the concerns about:

-infrastructure

– setup

-capacity planning

More “Green” Computing

Increasingly, technology companies have become concerned about the environment and reducing waste. Serverless computing is sustainable. Servers only run when needed thereby reducing the use of electricity. The lack of physical servers and data centers cuts down on radiation and promotes health.

The research has supported sustainability efforts finding that 30% of servers globally remain unused at a given time. Even further, the physical servers that are in use run at 5%- 15% of total capacity. Serverless computing is not only sustainable but scalable.

Conclusion

All of the advantages of serverless computing indicate that it is a practice that is highly scalable and beneficial for businesses. It is an exciting breakthrough in the world of traditional computing that is gaining momentum. As a result, old ways of doing business are left in the past encouraging businesses to innovate and scale to new heights. Serverless computing is highly efficient, sustainable, and filled with opportunities that take a business into the future.

What Is IT Alignment?

What Is IT Alignment?

IT alignment is an organizational coordination in which IT department objectives are consistent with the goals of the organization and each department within the organization. As a result of the alignment, an IT strategy is formed that includes internal and external customers and enables technological innovation such as the use of microservices and agile methodology.

These days every business is a technology business. As technologies become more sophisticated, the adoption and execution of IT becomes more complex. The complexity of IT requirements furthers the divide between IT and business operations. These departments remain siloed with the business side clueless about IT processes and vice versa.

That is why the goal of IT alignment is gaining traction enterprise-wide. Research shows that by 2022 half of global organizations will achieve more collaboration between IT and business operations.

Alignment Expectations:

– Better tools

– Enhanced resources

– Smarter solutions

These advantages can position IT from being a capital expense in the organization to a business driver.

IT Alignment Benefits

When organizations align results to position IT as a business driver, it has numerous benefits:

– Cost reduction (a cut in the 10% of IT expenditure that doesn’t benefit the bottom line)

– Better collaboration

– Transparency in the organization

– Healthier ROI

– Quicker time to market

– Implementation of agile methodology

– Improved employee knowledge

– Better training opportunities in IT

– Strategic results in IT and across the enterprise

– Enables more efficient decision making in every area of the enterprise

– Increased productivity

– Better responsiveness

IT Alignment Steps

Once an organization realizes the potential of IT alignment, there are certain steps it can take to make it a reality.

1. Establish Processes

The first step of IT alignment is to change thinking processes around the way teams’ function. Most organizations are siloed lacking strategy and collaboration between teams. For increased efficiency and reduced risk, teams must understand cross-functional responsibilities and cross pollinate.

2. IT Transformation

The second step is to utilize IT as a tool for business transformation. Once a conversation has started between silos, IT should be positioned as a value add to other business units. By integrating teams, an organization can find new revenue streams involving IT.

3. Customer Experience

The third step is to focus on customer experience. In a siloed organization, it is difficult to get business units to “speak the same language”. By prioritizing customer experience, an organization finds a common goal to break down traditional silos.

4. Create An Alignment Plan

The fourth step is to create an alignment plan. Organizations should look into change management, how people process change, and management frameworks to encourage IT alignment. By having an actionable plan in place, it is easier to get the buy in across the enterprise to encourage transformational change.

Research has found that almost 90% of leading-edge organizations are integrating IT strategies into the company’s overall strategy. The transformation in process, talent engagement, and business models has been on the rise since the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic.

The COVID 19 pandemic has revolutionized work and made IT alignment a more critical part of a successful organization. As remote work became more prevalent, organizations had to become more agile and lean to accommodate remote working conditions.

It became important for IT and business operations to “speak the same language” and function holistically to achieve goals in a more competitive market. Remote work also fostered collaboration between IT teams and business teams as employees had to learn how to adjust to virtual team environments. It increased the dependency on technology as a solution rather than an expense.

What Is IT Agility?

What Is IT Agility?

IT agility is an organizational capability that requires IT leaders to change the framework of strategic and business operations. It is how a business adapts IT capabilities to market changes.

The way business is done in 2021 is radically different than even a few years ago. As businesses incorporate technological advances such as microservices and serverless computing into operations, they are faced with increased external demands to change internal processes.

The businesses that thrive past the competition are the ones that adapt and anticipate market demands. The marketplace has shown that most flexible businesses have the best chances of survival.

These businesses have mastered IT agility. What is IT agility? It is a business requirement, a part of digital transformation, and the speed at which businesses respond to opportunities. It measures the time between a business being introduced to an opportunity and acting on it.

IT Agility Benefits

Regardless of the size of the business, an agile business is leaner and has more efficient infrastructure. It also has a responsive system for up-to-date business. Other benefits include the business being able to iterate and move fast as the market changes as opposed to the traditional sequential process. Agile practices increase the time to value for a business and can be broken down into two different kinds: range-agility or time-agility.

Range-agility v. Time-agility

The benefits of range-agility are having the systems in place to adjust business services (more or less) based on demand and market conditions. It allows a business to get rid of lesser-used software, hardware, and products and streamline or add more in-demand solutions.

The benefits of time-agility are for a business to be able to act in smaller time increments. It is about being in the right position at the right time to adapt IT systems to opportunity. It is having the systems and personnel in place to go from inception to production in a short period of time.

While range-agility and time-agility are implemented in similar ways, they lead to different outcomes. Therefore, a business should choose which one is more appropriate for its goals.

How Customer Experience Impacts Agility

For businesses IT agility is a part of a larger initiative of digital transformation. Much more than new strategic plans and development practices, true agility requires a rethinking of the IT organization to succeed.

When a business takes steps to become more agile, it should do so with customer-centric delivery principles. That entails designing solutions around customer experiences, a focus on user feedback that dictates steps and improvements to the development.

In 2020, businesses faced a tremendous paradigm shift as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed remote work conditions. This forced agile practices to shift from software development to an enterprise-wide initiative that is adapted to change.

During COVID- 19, teams were focused on being internally efficient which made agile processes more relevant to the modern workplace. The adoption of agile processes that eliminate barriers and enhance improvements is freeing up businesses to work on the next steps of digital transformation.

For IT business being agile is not as much of an option as it is being part of the next wave of the future.

What Is A Microservice

What Is A Microservice

The general definition of microservices is a style of architecting applications as independent services, each of which serves a particular function for the business.

The pursuit of a digitized, data-centric enterprise has transformed IT teams globally. A part of the paradigm change is advancement in technology that shifted the requirements of IT departments.

Modern IT department Requirements:

– Encourage innovative thinking within their department

– Generate business applications that are always available

– Accommodate business users who want new ways to process data

These rigorous demands are almost impossible to meet, therefore a new class of business automation tools has been developed.

How IT Is Preparing For Microservices

Technological advancements place a demand on the enterprise in cost, execution, and adoption. Today’s enterprise is riddled with diverse and complicated problems that require innovation and disruption to resolve. Recently, the trend towards enterprise innovation has shifted towards business automation. A new practice that requires the agility and alignment of an IT department to succeed.

IT Agility 

For an IT department to become agile, it depends on the response of the enterprise to new business needs and desires of customers. However, the response of the enterprise is more than just recognizing a new requirement or desire, it is about being responsive in real time with new applications.

IT Alignment 

New business automation is better for the alignment of the IT department. This is because IT leaders are replacing C suite executives in leading efforts to create new applications that deliver a better UX experience.

IT leader concerns:

– reliability

– availability

– security

Business automation tools enable business users to design applications in secure and efficient ways.

The proliferation of this trend is seeing IT departments invest in ways to shift from monolithic applications to developing apps that are interchangeable with the rest of the organization’s infrastructure.

This practice began the rise of microservices in the enterprise.

Microservice Features

– Microservice is a singular process independent of one another

– Together microservices build a process

– The right microservice is a complete program that could run on its own

– Together microservices create an entire user experience

– For microservices, IT departments write components that do something and solve a problem

– Microservice processes are complementary yet independent

Microservice Vs. Client Service Microservice

The transition from monolithic services to microservices is based on trying to solve problems for a customer. Microservices have varying working definitions. One is a microservices architecture and the other is a client service microservice. While both microservices have general commonalities and are used as a solution to customer problems they differ in some ways. The former typically exists on the cloud and the latter is typically installed on a client interface.

Microservice Architecture

Components Of Microservice

Services

A microservice can be broken down into numerous component services. This is due to each service being independent; it should be able to be deployed, improved, and redeployed independently without compromising the integrity of the application. This gives the developers the flexibility to change one or more services without having to change the entire application.

Decentralized

By definition, microservices include a variety of technologies and platforms making traditional methods of centralized governance obsolete. The lack of reliance on centralized governance also makes microservices favor decentralized data management. While monolithic architecture uses a single database across different applications, in a microservice application, each service pulls from its unique database.

Scalable 

The essence of microservice architecture is taking one process and orchestrating it into a loose framework. A good example is a LEGO construction kit, which is a collection of blocks that can work together or stand-alone. Each component is doing its part for business goals. These parts contribute to a whole and together form a service. The services are joined in an API (application program interface) that regulates the interaction between system components. The independence of each service ensures its simplicity in development and maintenance as a standalone component. As a result, IT departments that use microservices for a system ensure its agility and scalability.

Client Service Microservice Architecture

Another microservice is client service microservice that typically exists on a client user interface. It is an orchestration of putting together “puzzle pieces” to solve an unknown problem for a client.

For example, the Content Analytics Platform (CAP) from Scion Analytics uses textual information as input to solve problems for a client. For enterprises, increasing client needs led to the refinement of the customer engagement process.

Components Of Client Service Microservice 

For Scion Analytics, it generated an innovation cycle with phases of:

Discovery And Planning 

The client and Scion Analytics team choose the best value use case from past experience and select and inform critical team members. They hold meetings to define input, output, and goals. Together, they identify measurable goals for the project.

Design 

The team does a gap analysis of the current process v new process and fleshes out the use case from the Discovery phase (input, output, test plan). The team prepares for the Development phase.

Develop

Critical team members work on the use case application. They create appropriate training material and documentation using the new application.

Test

 Team members develop test cases for the new application. Testing of courseware and documentation is done.

Implement

 After testing, the team deploys, supports, and maintains the platform and documentation for users. At the same time, they take note of issues and problems.

Measure

In the final phase, the team measures effectiveness and satisfaction. They make sure to deliver results in scheduled intervals (quarterly, semi-annual, or annual).

By taking a client through the innovation cycle, Scion Analytics determines the highest value and best use case for client needs with the CAP.

The Benefits Of Client Service Microservice

Time Savings

Client service microservice replaces human interaction with complete automation. It highly improves productivity because it runs without human involvement. The time savings for an enterprise are truly exponential. For example, Scion Analytics use cases have found that each time a client uses 1 microservice for every use it saves the client 8 hours. When 8 hours is saved in tangent with 30 employees at the same time, 240 hours is saved per use. The time savings grow exponentially when calculated annually and across the enterprise.

Automation

A user can analyze large amounts of documents quickly by setting up a client service microservice. By dropping the document into a folder, the user triggers the client service microservice to pick it up and process it. Once the client service microservice is done processing the document, it emails an output to the user. Conversely, without automation, a user would have to manually select the document and run the process.

Security

Another benefit that is particular to a client service microservice is security. By having a client service microservice installed on a client system, an enterprise ensures that sensitive and classified documents are protected.

How Microservice Enables Serverless Computing

To complement technological advances, another benefit of microservices is that it supports serverless computing. For example, if an enterprise has a system, it can have microservices running in the cloud. If this system is rolled out to a 10,000 client set at the same time it encourages 10,000 people to use the platform at the same time. This strains the servers and puts them in danger of crashing.

However, serverless computing in the cloud will give the enterprise the resource and computing power it needs. Serverless computing can only be set up if the system is written using microservices. Therefore, by adopting microservices, the enterprise also becomes more flexible with managing workload. If an enterprise is unsure about the amount of the workload on the servers or is using lots of servers but not provisioning them upfront, serverless computing will be the solution.

Conclusion

The Future of Work

By adopting microservices into the business process, an enterprise redefines the way work is done in the present and future.

By going through the customer engagement process, an enterprise ensures uniformity and consistency of processes and minimizes error. These are the features that are necessary for an enterprise to free up its workforce for more high-value tasks. This drives up employee satisfaction and as a result, it increases innovation in the enterprise. As the enterprise maximizes human intelligence and ingenuity, it opens itself up more to opportunity and scale. Thus, an enterprise that incorporates microservices is an enterprise transformed for the future.