Cloud

Why microservices matter to you

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To meet the changing demands of business, enterprise CxOs need to participate in the digital economy, and capitalize on new channels and sources of revenue. If they have not already done so, it may be necessary for them to revitalize their core systems, and put into place an omnichannel environment that leverages multi-speed IT.

Unfortunately, most CxOs are hampered by existing brittle application monoliths, skills gaps, and non-collaborative business and IT operating environments with cultural misalignments. Clearly, they have a lot of work to do.

Microservices address common application portfolio issues faced by many enterprises.

The use of microservices,exposed through APIs, enables digital leaders to:

  • Meet the increased business demands
  • Quickly add new functionality
  • Make changes to and maintain existing functions, and
  • Quickly bring products to market.

This style of development and architecture accelerates delivery by minimizing the communication and coordination between people while reducing the scope and risk of change. (For an overview of microservices vs. APIs view my previous blog post.)

So why do companies need microservices?

Most organizations understand and appreciate the value of speed, execution, flexibility, scalability and reliability, as well as a reduction of complexity. It’s a tall order to achieve them all, but this aspirational future is essential in the digital era that demands rapid change, delivery, and customer centricity to win and keep market share.

When a microservices architectural style is used to develop greenfield applications, or refactor existing application monoliths, companies position themselves to achieve their ambitious goals. They position themselves to take advantage of cloud technologies and services (on premises, off premises, hybrid), and they enable a leaner, efficient IT environment that helps them become a digital enterprise.

The advantages of microservices

The benefits of microservices extend beyond the user experience;  for the enterprise itself, there are many. In addition to being able to serve customers without outages, the increased traffic can lead to the generation of more business. This could mean more customers, and the ability to conduct more transactions, which generate increased revenue.

Building with a microservices architecture can also save time and money in development. One example is an initiative by a large financial services company. The company’s average time to develop and deploy new digital products was eight to 12 months. In today’s market, that’s just too long. Using this new architectural approach, that organization was able to accelerate production, and deliver new product in three months. Not only did they save money, they decreased their time to market…gaining a huge competitive advantage.

After all, speed to market is what differentiates the market leaders from the followers.

Microservices paired with APIs are not only essential to getting to market first, but also to getting to market with things that work — no matter what the demand. For those unable to transition using microservices, it will be incredibly hard to stay competitive.

You’re faced with increased demands from your customers and business. I urge you to reach out to your nearest IBM representative learn more about microservices and APIs, and consider how they might help you better differentiate yourself to gain a huge competitive advantage. Do it before your competition gets there first.

 

For more information, visit ibm.biz/cloudconsulting or email me at brownaw@us.ibm.com.

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