September 13, 2021
This two-part article looks at the following question from a business standpoint: Can a microservices-based approach to application development increase business agility?
Part 1 looks at the primary motivations for adopting a microservices approach and the different types of value it can generate. Next, part 2 considers the organizational challenges of adopting microservices, their money-saving potential, and the promise of increased agility.
A decentralized development process allows you to test out ideas swiftly and introduce innovative solutions to customers ahead of the competition. What’s more, you can raise their accountability, effectiveness, and engagement by promoting teams whose features are published and work well in use.
Monolithic architecture has some clear advantages and is well-suited for getting a business up and running with limited in-house technical knowledge. 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 much better choice in this situation, but they may also make sense for small organizations that are unsure about their future technology needs.
From an organizational standpoint, bringing microservices architecture to the company can also positively affect management, drive teams toward an agile way of working, and assist the company in rapidly adapting to changing market conditions. As a result, the pace and dynamism of the company are likely to reflect the technological approach it uses.
Of course, if your business’s monolith is not complex, switching to microservices will not bring any benefits. So let’s look at this reversed. Will your business thrive while it puts up with the following disadvantages?
Those are just a small selection of the drawbacks of monolithic development!
We are approaching a tipping point for most software-reliant organizations, where the question is no longer whether to migrate, but when to migrate. Understanding opportunity-cost and return on investments are significant parts of evaluating whether the time is right to adopt microservices.
Below, we briefly consider how a substantially shorter time to market will affect your microservices return on investment. We also look at a few of the possible ways the transition can produce financial upsides for business.
Because microservices function with loosely coupled services, you don't have to rebuild your entire software to add or alter a feature. You only make modifications to one service. You can bring your apps and services to market faster if you create them in smaller increments that are independently tested and deployable.
Adding value is crucial, but if current value is not preserved, it is a net loss.
Microservices components are built individually in a phased migration, progressively replacing monolithic functionality until all old system components are declared "extinct." In theory, this implies that your company might see a return on investment in months rather than years. And it means the chances of existing value being retained are much higher.
Remember that each project must be evaluated separately, however the following characteristics are useful for estimating the value of microservices adoption:
Seen through the lens of the assessments above, you may notice that a microservices approach is likely to bring increased agility and more into your business.
Do you want to dig deeper into this question? In the second half of this article, we look at the organizational issues of using microservices as well as their potential to save your company money. Can a microservices-based approach to application development increase business agility? - Section 2.
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