Digital Transformation has become a trending topic for organizations across the globe to enhance their operational processes, customer experience, and business models using technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and cognitive computing. Digital Maturity is key to outperforming competitors in this technological era.
Industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Transportation, and Energy Utilities leverage IoT platforms to develop infrastructure efficiency programs and attain business excellence. The hyper-connected IoT world of today has made application development on such platforms highly complex. Often, constantly-evolving variations of the core use case arise with little time for deployment. Thus, platform scalability, and flexible and agile development paradigm support are critical considerations.
The technology and software architecture on which the IoT platforms and solutions are built, are sure to be one of the driving factors determining the long-term sustainability and success of any organization. For example, in the Industrial market segment, IoT use cases such as Inventory and connected worker safety have become the current requirement of the customer. To meet this demand, the IoT platform must enable such enterprises to quickly build and deliver applications.
Microservices is currently emerging as the preferred way to create enterprise application on IoT platforms. It helps to serve IoT use case needs on a long-term basis bringing a positive ROI to customers investing in digital platforms. It is a software architectural paradigm in which a large application is built as a suite of independently-deployable, small, modular services. Each service runs a unique process and communicates with the other over standard protocols with well-defined interfaces to serve a business goal.
Microservices is the building block which solve challenges on the lines of interoperability, agility, extensibility, flexibility, and scalability. Well-designed microservices allows container-based deployment which further optimizes components use of computing resources. It allows massive and elastic scaling of service based on IoT device adoption and data growth, as well as streamlines the service orchestration process. Such a structure allows for technology heterogeneity in device access, in which the variety of radio access can be used to architect the platform for optimum performance.
The application becomes more resilient, as the failure of one microservice does not lead to the unavailability of the application service. Small and independent deployment minimizes risk to the overall platform. The independence of microservices makes scaling of application easier, as only the services facing heavy load can be replicated onto additional servers.
Loose coupling is an essential characteristic of microservices. Each microservice can deployed on its own with zero coordination with other microservices. This loose coupling enables frequent and rapid deployments, making the platform more agile, therefore getting much-needed features and capabilities to the consumers. A combination of these factors allows continual improvement and upgrades of IoT solutions without requiring complete redo of entire platform.
Microservices architecture also poses challenges such as network congestion and latency due to enhanced number of inter-service calls, additional marshalling and un-marshalling, increased resource usage, problems in correlated logging across services and so on. However, a well-designed microservices architecture help in solving these challenges.
Thus, an effective strategy is required to make application development and deployment on IoT Digital Platforms independent with minimum risk. Microservices is already a proven implementation approach for Digital Platforms for IoT Solution. Several innovations in Design to implementation cycles for MicroServices are seeing Industry uptake. What organizations need now, is a unique one-stop shop for performing end-to-end service, spanning the design to deployment of IoT industry vertical-focused applications on their IoT platforms, differentiated by AI/ML-powered insights and high-velocity DevOps services, for extracting optimal ROI on Digital Transformation services.