This two-part article examines the following question from a business perspective: Can a microservices approach to application development bring greater agility to business?
Part 1 looked at the primary motivations for adopting a microservices approach and the value it may generate for a business. In part 2, we consider organizational challenges when transitioning to microservices and the potential for saving your business money.
A decentralized development process allows you to test out ideas swiftly and introduce innovative solutions to customers ahead of the competition. For example, the ability to perform updates independently of the rest of the application is just one of the many benefits. What’s more, you can raise your whole team’s accountability, effectiveness, and engagement by promoting the team members whose features are published and work well in use.
Monolithic architecture has several advantages and is well-suited to getting a business up and running with minimal technical expertise in-house. However, it is too slow and inflexible to turn a company into a leader, shake up the market, or outpace the competition. Microservices are a far better option in this situation, but they might also make sense for small organizations unsure about future demands on their technology.
Microservices architecture adoption can have a positive impact on management, encourage teams to operate in an agile way, and benefit the company in its efforts to respond quickly to changing market conditions from an organizational aspect. As a result, the company's speed and dynamism increasingly reflect those aspects of its adopted technology strategy.
What are the challenges of migrating?
If you're not prepared, attempting to construct a distributed architecture may not always offer the same large return as the effort necessary. Therefore, before diving into the technical end, you can prepare your application, teams, and organization by looking at some key business considerations. Evaluating your business readiness will help you understand what it takes to be successful.
Is my organization ready?
Switching to a new architectural structure would undoubtedly necessitate adjustments in your company's management and monitoring procedures. Assume your company is ready - or can be swiftly prepared - to reap the full benefits of the microservices transformation. You'll be more resilient and adaptable in general as a result of this. Is that what you're looking for? If that's the case, consider the following questions to better understand your company's level of preparedness.
Is your business model stable or prone to regular shifts and changes? A significant shift may mean the microservices transition plans must be redrawn.
When the time comes, will your business culture support or undermine this effort? Will your organization demonstrate it really wants to build services quicker and get to market faster?
Can you identify the clear functional areas to transform into individual microservices? Do you have the domain experts to own each functional area as they are divided into individual microservices?
Does your business have mature development and operations practices in place? Will your development team manage well dividing up into smaller autonomous workgroups?
How will it impact my organization?
Microservices can be a boon to businesses as they may help them be more agile.
People and businesses increasingly realize that microservices are more than simply an architectural style; they are also an organizational structure. Adopting one without the other means foregoing a significant amount of the possible benefits. So, how might your organization look after transitioning to microservices across both the development and management dimensions? Here are some of the changes you might observe.
Your product is responsive to changing customer and business needs. Micro-service can be built faster than the typical large-scale software development project involving a monolithic application. It's easier and faster to manage changes.
Your software teams plan and make predictions with greater confidence. Microservices are more fluid and move at their own pace. In contrast to a monolithic program, there are no waterfalls in the development process.
Increased resilience. If you have a microservices architecture, you can scale microservices to overcome a performance constraint. Or you can quickly build a new version of the faulty microservices without dealing with the operational waterfall that exists with a monolithic application. Lastly, your business will be spending less time fixing problems rooted in the architecture choices of the past, so you can focus more on new ways to deliver value to customers.
Organizational change. To be truly independent, each team must own the entire lifespan of a microservice. Each needs to be covered, from planning and design to technical decisions and execution to operations and monitoring. This necessitates organizational reforms, such as the transfer of competencies and control from managers to teams. A DevOps culture that emphasizes automation practices is strongly advised to successfully adapt a microservices approach.
Can microservices save my business money?
A frequently asked question is: will a microservices approach positively affect my business's bottom line? As with all IT approaches, ensuring best practices is essential. Unfortunately, many companies have jumped headfirst into a microservices environment that they do not fully understand and therefore find impossible to manage effectively. In this case, like any other environment, the transition can be expensive and wasteful. However, suppose you take the time to architect, maintain and optimize your new environment with care. Then, you'll likely see a positive impact on your budget as you lighten the load for your business and maximize the use of your resources.
The adoption of microservices handled well can serve as a doorway to greater business agility.
Making changes to legacy applications has a high risk attached, as changing one process could negatively affect another. In contrast, updates can be performed independently of the rest of the application with loosely coupled microservices. This then leads to quicker application development and version rollouts so that companies can fail fast and stick to agile product timelines.
Microservices architecture can also positively affect management, push teams toward an agile way of working, and enable the company to adjust swiftly to changing market needs from an organizational standpoint. As a result, the pace and dynamism of the company start to mirror the technology it uses.