At a time when companies are trying to upsize their business by delivering maximum service to customers, the term microservices can still sound a little counterintuitive.
With powerhouses like Comcast, Netflix, Amazon, eBay, and Coca-Cola benefitting from microservices, however, the only surprise at this point is that everyone else hasn’t gotten in on the game. The benefits of microservices for improving the customer experience are immense.
What are microservices?
First let’s review our terms. If traditional CX is built on systems that are rigid, monolithic, and – effectively – fossilized, microservices deliver features on an individual basis.
In short, the idea of microservices is to create applications or processes composed of several self-contained, scalable, replaceable services. This means that features can be developed and maintained discretely.
Ultimately, microservices architecture breaks a given application down into relatively independent services that do things like:
- Serve up default content
- Provide information on inventory status
- Deliver personalized offers and recommendations
These back-end services can then be tuned, scaled, and managed to achieve the best customer experience. It’s this building-block approach that provides the agility, adaptability, and scalability so essential to meeting – and exceeding – customer expectations.
Real-life benefits of microservices: Companies leading the way
So what types of companies are seeing benefits from microservices? The names mentioned in the first paragraph demonstrate that it’s a diverse set – some are B2B, some are B2C, and they hail from a wide range of industries.
And companies of all sizes are finding ways to integrate microservices into their development approach. Let’s take a look at some of the more striking examples.
One company, Döhler, a producer of natural ingredients for foods and beverages, looked to microservices as a way of speeding new products to market. It’s a process that requires agility and flexibility, since the company partners closely with consumer products companies to develop the unique products the marketplace demands. Refining flavor and ingredient combinations is a highly iterative process that includes plenty of sampling, tasting, modifying, and adjusting.
What the company needed was an innovative approach on the IT side that would support its product innovation engine.
By tapping into microservices, Döhler was able to quickly connect the elements of an otherwise laborious process into one that can be rapidly adapted based on their clients’ demands.
Not only that, but it’s easy to teach in-house developers how to extend a given solution – they can learn all the basics in a half-day workshop.
When you consider that the food flavors market is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2027, it makes perfect sense that Döhler is prioritizing solutions that help it collaborate more effectively with its customers – providing them the freedom to engage on their terms.
Benefits of microservices for every industry
It’s also easy to envision scenarios in other industries where more seamless collaboration across the ecosystem could revolutionize how they do business.
Think of pharmaceuticals, where development of a new medication is keenly dependent on highly iterative collaboration among multiple players. Indeed, any industry that seeks to extend services in rapid fashion is likely to benefit from microservices.
For a major player in the e-commerce space, the use of microservices quickly expanded after its early efforts proved successful.
Before long they were utilizing over 1,000 services, with front-end services sending API calls while the back-end services execute tasks like shipping and administration.
In fact, each development team is assigned its own set of services. If a team seeks to create a new service, it’s as simple as accessing their customized internal cloud portal to develop, test and deploy the service.
These are just a couple of examples of places where microservices are having a real impact on how development teams operate – and how that impact improves the end experience for customers.
There’s little doubt that use of microservices will continue to expand as more and more companies realize the benefits – the big question is, are you ready?