Cloud adoption continues at pace as we move to an everything-as-a-service economy. To be successful, today’s organisations must focus on engaging and delivering continued value to their customers. This means businesses have to change the way they operate with a focus on delivering what the customer wants as quickly and efficiently as possible. Engaging with customers to achieve an outcome and building ongoing relationships that deliver value.

What the best companies realise is that success requires a fundamental change in the way they operate across processes, people and systems. Digital transformation and the need for greater agility favours a cloud infrastructure. However, for large established businesses, moving to the cloud all at once is a daunting prospect fraught with risk. This is where microservices come into their own. While not new, only now are organisations embracing microservices as a way to break apart their legacy monoliths. However, breaking down the monolith is about much more than the technical architecture. Monolith applies just as much to the organisations and its processes and procedures. Without undergoing a cultural change that supports digital transformation, you will continue to operate at near monolith-speed and agility levels. 2018 will prove to be the year that the microservice economy comes of age, replacing the old approach with better, more constructive ones. We’ll see the unbundling of SaaS and marketplaces.

Microservices: More than just mini-services and multiple apps

Where the monoliths of the past were (and still are) one big program with many functions, today’s systems call for the agility and functionality of microservices. Microservices are important in bringing down the monolithic architecture of both the technical side of the system itself and that of the organisation’s processes and procedures by streamlining everything into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Today’s consumers are impatient. They demand that everything be delivered in a matter of milliseconds and prefer to receive information seemingly before it occurs. That’s why 2018 will be the year of the microservice economy–it has to be. These mini-services and multiple apps will allow organisations to pick up speed and increase agility, unlike the slow and rigid structure that accompanied the monoliths. To compete, organisations really won’t have a choice not to take advantage of microservices and their benefits.

The role of the cloud platform in building and delivering microservices

Moving away from the rigid monolith systems means embracing the benefits of microservices. The Cloud platform is the perfect approach for the microservice economy because it allows for fluid and dynamic development independent of the gross physical architecture previously required by the monoliths. Microservices bring organisations to life because they:

  • Provide small yet targeted scope and functionality
  • Communicate according to industry-wide standards
  • Create opportunities to develop and deploy services independently without disruption to the entire system
  • Are easily deployable without massive cost
  • Are easily disposable, meaning new releases don’t interfere as much with business continuity
  • Allow for individual testing and increased speed of service
  • Have a better fault tolerance

The Cloud creates the best environment for cultivating all these benefits across organisations, no matter how large or small. Mobility becomes a given, leaving behind the hindrance of prior physical parameters and space. It also allows the freedom to experiment and implement enterprise tech at lightning speeds so customer service can remain the top priority.

Why microservices develop and deliver customer value quickly

Microservice architecture allows concise, dedicated teams to develop resilient, web-scaled systems faster and more efficiently than legacy systems. Legacy systems require large teams of people communicating through sometimes unidentifiable components to make changes that will only affect the aspects they want changed. But because legacy monoliths are one big program, change requires a huge amount of careful planning and coordination and takes much more time and effort than many companies have to spare; certainly more time than customers desire to wait. When the change is finally ready it usually requires a full service interruption to deploy which can be very costly to the company.

But with microservices, isolating components is quick and easy because each one is a dedicated service. Each microservice still communicates with the other apps for functionality, but updating one has minimal impact on the other components, unlike legacy systems. This means that overall customer service isn’t interrupted and updates are completed quickly, delivering continued customer value.

Continued dawning of the microservice economy as fuel for marketplaces Unbundling SaaS and ushering in the microservice economy means the demise of the big monolithic applications. This economy will also create flourishing marketplaces with many microservices that seamlessly work together to provide business outcome-empowering solutions for the new era of enterprise systems.

Having these microservices will not only fuel the need for marketplaces but also create them. 2018 will see more enterprise app stores, similar to Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play, but for organisations. Customers will integrate this in their own marketplaces, where users can select from a wide variety of applications to customise their own business strategies, empowering individual departments and the organisation as a whole. This constant iterative approach will help organisations better support their people and service delivery.