Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have. As disruptive technologies alter customer expectations almost in real-time, businesses are finding they must innovate and digitize rapidly at scale or risk losing mindshare and market share.
However, the race to create seamless customer experiences can be expensive to implement and disrupt daily operations. Microservices are a cutting-edge technology practice that provides a solution here.
What are microservices, and why are they important?
Microservices are a software architecture pattern where a large application is broken down into smaller, independent services that communicate with each other through APIs. This enables businesses to speedily innovate and automate components of their processes, and scale them at speed once the effort is successful.
Microservice architecture has several key characteristics that give it an edge over traditional deployment:
These benefits have encouraged companies to use microservices for a more efficient and cost-effective transformation to a digital-first business model for seamless experiences and eventual market leadership.
Amazon, Netflix and Uber are well-known digital innovators who have used microservices to disrupt the norms of customer experience and lead their categories.
The role of the pandemic
One year into COVID-19, 87% of respondents in an innovation survey said microservice applications were the future.
During the pandemic, remote work made it necessary for systems to be more flexible and accessible from different locations. Companies across sectors had to quickly scale their digital offerings to meet increased end-user demand. Economic uncertainty made it more important for these initiatives to be cost-effective.
IT departments turned to microservices to leverage the benefit of ‘failing fast’ to build decentralized architecture. This enabled teams to transition to remote work quickly. With smaller, more independent processes, it became more cost-effective to develop or customize digital offerings, and companies could scale and take these to market faster. These factors contributed to increased adoption.
Late in 2022, the microservices architecture market was projected to hit USD 21.67 Billion by 2030, at an 18.6% CAGR.
The future of microservices for edtech and publishing
Microservices architecture is becoming increasingly popular in the publishing and edtech industries.
These industries have complex workflows involving numerous steps and rules to follow. Multiple stakeholders with varied skill levels are involved in these processes. All of these factors affect the digitization of publishing workflows. To simplify this process, publishers are digitizing one module at a time by leveraging intelligent automation powered by a robust microservices architecture. By enabling seamless system communication, this approach improves process efficiency and accuracy, resulting in faster time-to-market and significant cost savings compared to traditional methods.
An illustration of a such complex system is online teaching which relies on multiple components such as course creation and delivery, assessments, a course library, online live and broadcast sessions, virtual teachers, virtual labs, chat/community and many more to seamlessly work together for the end user to have a hassle-free online learning session. To manage this level of complexity, individual applications need to be scalable and easy to integrate. A microservices architecture is an ideal approach for designing applications in this scenario.
Content Management Systems: Deliver content in a wide range of formats across diverse devices.
Learning Management Systems: Seamlessly handle multiple modules such as course creation, student registration, and assignment management.
e-Commerce: Decouple processes such as subscriptions, payments, and digital downloads.
Microservices helps publishers becoming future-ready by helping them leverage analytics and deliver personalization and cutting-edge innovations across platforms.
Given the speed of digitization needed today, microservices are emerging as a go-to approach for companies of all sizes, ranging from start-ups to established players. The flexibility, scalability and resilience they bring as you build highly personalized customer experiences on top of efficient back-ends will help your company stay ahead.
Enterprise Architect – Technology Services