If your company has been around for a while, you know what a headache technology can sometimes be. In the past, you could look forward to every new version of Windows bringing a new generation of software that required ever more resources. Within only a couple of years, every computer in your office would be obsolete and in need of replacement.
Today, though, workstation power isn't nearly as relevant as it once was, and with Microsoft's shifting business model, it seems likely that companies running Windows 10 won't need to think about upgrading their operating systems for quite some time.
Making your company's technology future-proof is actually easier today than it ever was in the past. New advancements such as cloud computing remove the burden of hardware and software upgrade cycles -- when you run a service in the cloud, the remote servers do all of the heavy lifting.
The local workstation is merely a terminal. As a business owner, it's likely that you have a long-term plan for the future of your company. Have you taken steps to ensure that your company's technological future is secure? With these tips, you can make technology one of your least concerns for many years to come.
Cloud Computing Is Here to Stay
For the uninitiated, migrating a business to the cloud may seem like a daunting task -- especially since you may not even be certain what the cloud can do for your company. Cloud computing comes in so many different flavors that it can be difficult to know what you need -- that's why it's so important to work with a top-notch cloud provider.
What can cloud computing do for your company? It can do anything that your company currently does with traditional workstations and servers -- only better.
Cloud Computing Types and Benefits
- Do your employees currently run enterprise applications on their own workstations? With Software as a Service, you can run those applications in the cloud. SaaS means that you're always using the latest version of an application. It also means that you need almost no computing power on your end. The remote servers perform the computations; your workstation merely provides the interface. With cloud-based applications, your employees don’t even need to work on their computers; they can work on their own smartphones or tablets.
- Does your company maintain a custom application that runs on your server or in a remote data center? With Platform as a Service, you can move your application to the cloud without needing to worry about the speed, stability or security of the underlying computing resources. You can concentrate on making your application as great as it can be; the cloud provider will worry about keeping the servers and network running. No matter how great user demand may eventually become, the cloud can scale to meet that demand.
- Does your company need access to data storage space that's always available, impervious to hard drive failure and can grow whenever necessary? Infrastructure as a Service is the ideal solution for storing your company's data. With IaaS, you can create an automatic backup solution that saves every file on every computer in your office automatically. There's no need for a RAID array or magnetic tapes -- and no chance of media failure when you need to restore files.
DevOps and Microservices Keep Software Development on the Fast Track
If your company develops and distributes an application, you're aware of the challenges of monolithic application development. When an entire application is one enormous block of code, adding or changing one feature could break an untold number of other features.
Your organization relies heavily on subject matter experts who understand the entire application. Monolithic application development is slow, and training new developers is difficult. If a subject matter expert leaves the company, application development could grind to a halt.
Embracing DevOps is the best way to future-proof your application development and ensure that your ability to continue developing the application doesn't hinge on the presence of one subject matter expert.
Switching to DevOps means abandoning the traditional cycle of releasing major software revisions with many new features after extensive development and testing. With DevOps, your application becomes a living entity that's constantly improving in small ways and remains in a constant cycle of development, testing, and deployment.
DevOps and Microservices are Perfect Partners
Converting to DevOps isn't easy with a monolithic application. The best way to make the switch is by changing your monolithic application to one based on a microservices architecture. With a microservices architecture, each of your application's features becomes a microservice that resides in the cloud.
Suppose, for example, that your application enables customers to buy your products from their mobile phones. Some of the application's microservices might include:
- The ability to create a new account
- The ability to log in
- The ability to manage a shopping cart
- The ability to input a payment method and buy an item
The Benefits of Microservices
Using a microservices architecture for your application benefits your company in several ways. The first benefit is that it makes your application future-proof. It becomes much easier, for example, to update your application to support future devices and operating systems. The application itself simply becomes a series of API calls to cloud-based microservices.
When end users change devices and operating systems, your application’s microservices will continue to work as they always have. You can simply update the API calls.
The second benefit is that microservices decrease your reliance on individual subject matter experts. A developer can fully understand an individual microservice without needing to understand the entire application. Adding or changing an existing microservice doesn’t break the other functions of the application.
The final benefit of microservices is that they give your application the scalability necessary to meet almost any level of demand. Each microservice exists as a separate cloud-based instance that launches and closes automatically as needed. Many instances of the same microservice can run concurrently.
A microservice-based application running in the cloud can serve a virtually infinite number of users.
Converting a monolithic application to a microservice-based application is the perfect opportunity to thoroughly document and comment your code. Any large application contains workarounds and unusual methods of solving problems.
Your coders should fully document how the application works – and why they solved problems in certain ways – so future developers can continue the work. Ideally, it should be possible for any developer with sufficient skills to begin working on your application right away after reading the documentation.
Bring The Right Vendor Onboard
Future-proofing your business can take many forms. But one theme you might be able to take away from this article is that the ability for businesses to leverage technology to help them compete is not going away.
If you're not interested in incurring the cost of an in-house IT team, choosing the right managed service provider can be an excellent way to future-proof your business at a fraction of the cost. From routine IT monitoring to the installation of complex cloud environments, Continuous Networks has been helping customers get the most out of their technology since 1997.
Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation and let us show you how you can future-proof your business and increase productivity across the board.