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SERVERLESS COMPUTING

The overall benefits from Serverless can be summarised as speed of delivery for change delivery, adoption & innovation, combined with additional commercial cost reduction from the highly granular event-driven scaling and pay-as-you-use aspect of Serverless.

The key objective of Serverless is to allow those people responsible for line-of-business functionality technology to be unburdened with the delivery & management of the underpinning infrastructure technology.

“Serverless” doesn’t mean there are no servers & storage involved; rather it means that developers no longer need to worry about them. Computing resources get used as services without having to manage around physical capacities or limits.

Challenges

The initial transition to a serverless approach can be complex and disruptive – requiring a materially different set of people skills & experience to those historically used to working with COTS application packages from traditional vendors. Currently the commercial software ISV adoption of serverless for their applications is lagging considerably behind the in-house development practices.

Concerns of vendor lock-in were initially considerable but have reduced considerably through both the maturity of the providers and the existence of common frameworks and approaches.

Due to the very nature of serverless design it can be tricky to appreciate both the ‘big picture’ and the ‘key details’ within the complexity of a serverless architecture; and the tooling to assist with this is still developing in terms of capabilities. Similarly tooling for operational support, diagnostics, service & performance management are all in a relatively immature state, especially when compare to traditional approaches, however this is changing rapidly.

Use Cases

Serverless approaches can apply to many solutions, however initial use cases have often included:

  • Data transformation and manipulation – think image & video manipulation, bulk scanning of documents, transcoding, data extract/transform/load tasks etc
  • Equally very suited for the delivery of static web-pages for reference material or transient marketing events
  • Very suited to event driven solutions – think IoT platforms, chat bots etc

Future Impacts

It is clear that the current shortfalls within Serverless will be addressed as the area matures further. Many businesses are finding this approach highly beneficial in the areas they have chosen to adopt it. Serverless is one of the major transformations within the technology landscape, and businesses cannot afford to ignore it within their solution strategy either in direct development or within their provider’s solution architectures.

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COEUS’ APPROACH

The use of Serverless technology can be highly beneficial to an organisation, however it is key that the initial forays into this area are successful, and hence both appropriately selected as well as suitably scoped.

We use a vision that’s based on pragmatic real-world evolution approaches and taking consideration of human and organisational capabilities & factors, not needing to change everything within an organisation at once.

To achieve success with Serverless technology, key dependencies include:

  • Leadership commitment to new ways of working
  • Selecting only the appropriate initial use-cases
  • Ensuring that all facets of the organisation are included with the changes – both technology and commercial
  • The adaptation to relevant governance & financial approaches
  • The full inclusion & adaptation of security & risk approaches
  • The handling of the organisational and people adaption, and mitigation of key skill availability

We combine our independent advice with real-world expertise in key related areas of strategy, operating model, enterprise architecture, sourcing and transformation to work with clients for their journey into Serverless, including:

  • Review of current business & technology strategies and roadmaps
  • Assessment of line of business technology landscape
  • Use-case opportunity assessment and definition
  • Development of Serverless investment benefits cases
  • Development of the Serverless technology strategy, operating model, integration architecture and implementation roadmap
  • Definition of the Serverless sourcing & commercial strategy
  • Technology standards, provider and platform assessments
  • Definition of governance approaches & processes applicable to Serverless
  • Definition of architectural playbooks applicable to Serverless

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