Digital business is bringing industries together, challenging enterprises in new ways, creating different business and IT models, and increasing collaboration opportunities. With that said, managing the transition to digital business is not simple, impacting business processes, people, management culture, leadership, organizational intelligence and—especially—an organization’s application portfolio.
A microservices architecture can help companies navigate this shift. Large-scale digital projects are typically complex, requiring a high degree of maturity not only in terms of architecture and design, but also infrastructure and continuous development environments (DevOps). The microservices architecture model enables companies to break down an application into independent and fully autonomous components.
There are many business and technical benefits to using this style of architecture, especially when it comes to digital projects:
- The constant change in today’s business environment and frequent updates to technology versions and platforms requires a high level of agility when developing and architecting systems. Microservices architecture enables companies to scale efficiently with little system overhead and relatively few lines of code.
- The always-on/on-demand nature of digital technologies and solutions means that an architecture must handle system failures and downtime effectively. Given that each microservice is an independent component, you won’t impact the whole application if a failure occurs. The failure impacts only the individual microservice, and chances are good that the application as a whole will run smoothly.
- Development teams can more quickly take advantage of new technology releases of mobile, social, or other applications for each independent component in the application. This allows for quicker adoption, testing, and validation of new technologies and versions of technologies.
Microservices architecture should not be confused with SOA (service-oriented architecture)-type architectures, which expose services to other applications but may not break down the application into small, independent components.
And of course, the microservices architecture does not align with every scenario. For example, simple applications with a very structured database may not necessarily need to be converted into a microservices-based application. More complex, enterprise-grade applications with extensive functionality and complex data structures are better candidates.
Finally, as I have noted in previous blogs, technology change cannot be effective—and should not be done—without understanding and aligning business requirements, goals, and objectives with the solution that needs to be developed.
If all of this is in place when it comes to microservices architecture, companies can expect to see a big impact on the bottom line, including:
- Shorter time to market for solutions
- Better, more accessible systems on demand
- Ability to quickly access real-time, integrated information
- Very little downtime and lower total cost of ownership of complex solutions
Combining a microservices architecture and development paradigm with a data virtualization solution can pack an even more powerful punch. More on this in a future post!