Nilesh Ratnaparkhi CTO & Co-Founder, iauro Systems Pvt. Ltd.

In the world of IT, we often find that managing backend tech infrastructure is somewhat of a challenge. As we move rapidly ahead in a digitally advancing world, software teams need to devote more time and energy towards the development process rather than mundane daily tasks. But is it possible for them to achieve the best of both worlds in terms of time and resource efficiency, along with foolproof management?

 

The answer is a resounding yes. Or rather, the answer is Serverless Architecture. A few years ago, this would have been considered a novel term in the information technology space. That’s not the case anymore. Serverless architecture, in a nutshell, is a developer’s dream come true. It gives them a way to build and run applications without the hassle of managing its backend infrastructure. Provisioning, scaling, maintenance – everything is taken care of through automated processes! 

 

What is Serverless Architecture?

Essentially, when enterprises consider going serverless, they are considering a model that deploys real time maintenance of pre-existing systems without any human intervention. A lot of what we know about this tech today is thanks to AWS, since they have been pioneering serverless deployments over the last few years. A recent O’Reilly survey states that today, almost 40% of tech organisations across the globe have adopted this approach. 

According to industry reports, serverless computing is predicted to cross the US$30 billion threshold by 2027, thanks to evolving IoT solutions and cloud deployments for greater agility. From all across the world, the Asia Pacific region is poised to see approximately 25% of this growth. With India being a top player in IT, our teams are going to play a big part in this overall development. 

Benefits of going Serverless

There are a vast number of reports, webinars, books and publications that talk about the umpteen benefits of adopting serverless, but if we were to sum it up concisely, the answer lies in the same itself: server-less. 

  • No space or cost constraints: Imagine running a large workforce enabled IT enterprise without having floors and floors lined up with clunky physical servers. Sounds good, right? This tech not only eradicates the physical manifestations of a server, but also aids major cost efficiency, since organisations only pay for the cloud services they actually use. Talk about personalization! Gone are the days of fixed price models, custom plans are here to stay. 
  • Reduced deployment complexities: Time is more valuable than money. With sophisticated, high end automation coupled with cloud and IoT, serverless computing allows developers to focus on important tasks at hand rather than spend time on maintenance. A fully serverless system, in fact, does not require any further administration.
  • Advanced agility: The more automated the process, the lesser the time taken for operational overheads. The result? Greater agility, modern DevOps enabled environments and faster deployments! Serverless allows software teams to automatically allocate resources and customise delivery timelines to the quickest, most efficient turnaround possible, thus aiding the overall agility of the project, while also keeping customisation in mind. Cloud enabled infrastructure can also be overseen with the click of a few buttons, which reduces engineering lead time and makes for easier testing. 
  • Better innovation and flexibility: Speed is a great contributing factor to project releases. And the higher the speed, the better chance development teams have at accelerated innovation and driving disruption within industries – be it their own, or their client’s. Agile, scalable infrastructure allows them the flexibility to pivot at the right moment, and navigate through complex release cycles easily. This also aids more efficient UX and design, which ultimately makes for memorable end customer experiences. 

Serverless Trends that are driving growth opportunities 

There’s a lot to be said in the favour of serverless computing. It is because of its benefits that it has become an industry norm in a short time since its inception, and there are a few trends that largely govern its growth story. Here are a few trends that IT leaders and software teams need to track to enable seamless deployments: 

Upskilling beyond traditional ‘tech’ capabilities: India has approximately 6 lakh certified cloud developers, out of which less than a lakh have more than one certification. With the Covid-19 pandemic, remote working and increasing demand for online solutions, the need to upskill in line with serverless capabilities is at an all time high. 

Hybrid cloud computing and DevOps: A mix of services in  hybrid cloud (AWS Lambda + Microsoft Azure + Google Cloud) coupled with end-to-end DevOps processes can be very helpful while setting up serverless, especially for first timers. Automated DevOps environments can drive value creation in not only day to day release cycles and deliveries, but also to the overall scalability of projects, no matter the size of the team. Virtual environments that are maintained in real time are also becoming an industry norm these days. Having a Kubernetes base as part of this package also standardizes vendor support. 

Secure big data solutions and disaster recovery: The biggest glitch that sets things off track is downtime. Serverless computing aims to minimize recovery time to the maximum through modern, customer first processes. Along with this, cloud processes also lay greater focus on ensuring robust cybersecurity measures to preserve the sanctity of sensitive data that may be in use at all times. The organization of public key access coupled with encryption as a safe UDP port opens up to help foster an application-level connection as needed. 

FaaS >>> SaaS: While software as a service is still utilized by companies worldwide, there’s much more to it than there was five years ago. Function as a Service is an important mix of serverless, which focuses on gateways, storage, APIs and infrastructure maintenance. Compounded codes developed with FaaS can be up to 7 times faster than traditional coding methods. Pretty awesome!

We are in a time where global supply chains are heavily dependent on digital first services. In the fourth industrial revolution, IT leaders and CTOs now need to guide teams towards a growth journey fuelled by these disruptions. There are massive benefits that serverless computing offers in this direction, and when done right, it can aid business scalability, cost efficiency and an overall smooth functioning enterprise!

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