Digital consumerism has placed the power of choice across the business landscape squarely in the hands of the customer. In many cases, a cloud computing solution is the most efficient way to improve the all-important end-user experience. Now that the basic infrastructure of the as a Service computing type has been introduced, all future iterations of the technology will need to address and improve upon the user experience.
The proliferation of serverless computing architecture, otherwise known as Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS), seems to be the next step in the evolution of cloud technology. By outsourcing server administration, FaaS helps companies improve organizational agility and more fully leverage the potential of the cloud.
The Serverless Approach
Contrary to the name, going “serverless” does not mean that a company uses no servers in its architecture. Going serverless means that the company can run code without having to manage or maintain its own servers. This type of architecture has grown by 667% in 4Q 2017, finds Cloudability in its State of the Cloud 2018 report.
The primary advantage of FaaS is that serverless computing requires no management of a server infrastructure. This is a huge advantage for developers who have been looking to scale in the cloud on demand using agile, cloud indigenous architecture.
New Serverless Business Applications
The serverless architecture has the ability to help in the creation of business applications as well as empowering dev teams to scale current operations. When developers no longer have to concern themselves with infrastructure maintenance, that time can be reallocated towards solving business problems. With the supply side stuff taken care of, the customer experience can take center stage.
FaaS is currently being used for improvements like faster app deployment and greater compatibility between native and third-party apps. It also gives companies the ability to invoke a pay per use model rather than paying for resources that were purchased beforehand. Sporadic events that fluctuate by nature are better served with a serverless architecture, for instance, a company that has to stream small amounts of data from large amounts of devices. Add on other advantages like simplified deployment and reduced time to market, and you have a much improved customer experience throughout the entire sales funnel.
Is Serverless a Trend or the Next Evolution?
The “trend” of serverless architecture was cemented in the wider narrative through large investments from industry leaders. IBM Function, Amazon Web Services, Google Functions, and Microsoft Azure Functions are all competing for space in this growing market segment.
More recently, Google has created the open source Knative serverless architecture for companies that want FaaS with an in-house data center. Knative allows serverless functions into the current infrastructure written in virtually any coding language. Ideally, private cloud owners will have the ability to manage Kubernetes clusters.
The Future is Now
The Cloud Foundry Foundation and the Linux Foundation report that 22% of surveyed companies are already using serverless technology. Half of the companies that have not implemented it are seriously considering investing in it over the next 12 months.
Australian companies are migrating to cloud-native architecture in large numbers alongside many organizations across the American continents. These companies are looking for the leverage that comes from the streamlined, cost and time effective approach to infrastructure. AI, IoT, web, mobile and data stream processing through serverless architecture may not be obvious yet, but there seem to be very few downsides to its application. As serverless architecture evolves to solve even more problems, it will shift how programming developers relate to infrastructure and to the end user.