Designing Microservice Ecosystems that Can Keep Up with Consumers
Modern customers require more than cookie-cutter services and experiences. They want personalized, even magical experiences from companies, whatever the industry. And the bottom line is they want it fast. We are living in a world of microseconds.
Creating those kinds of lightning-speed personalized customer experiences requires an agile technological approach, but not all approaches are equal to the task. The traditional technological model of so-called monolithic applications — massive software suites built from the ground up out of tightly interwoven, opaque components — cannot compete in terms of agility and flexibility with loosely coupled ecosystems of microservices.
Microservices are independent applications that can be deployed quickly, communicating with each other via lightweight application program interfaces (APIs). An API can also be a bridge for information from outside applications to enter a particular ecosystem or vice versa.
Microservices offer speed and scalability and are not stuck in the lockstep development process required of monolithic applications, where even small changes can require the whole system to be redeployed.
This is the age of cloud-based personalized service, typified by giant consumer-facing brands like Amazon and Netflix. But a microservice-based development approach puts the ability to provide that kind of personalized service in the hands of smaller companies, too. The most successful companies that excel at optimizing the customer experience are those built on an ecosystem of microservices.
The overall customer or guest experience involves every touchpoint in their journey — anything from a commercial transaction to making reservations or ordering food for delivery. How the background systems work together to accomplish these goals will ultimately impact the end-user.
This requires a shift in viewpoint.
Traditionally, in tech development, there has been no overall initiative to focus on the individual customer or guest experience. Developers believe in technology. They believe in building software products and building apps. They believe in Big Data. But not all companies realize they are only concentrating on how the technology affects their bottom line instead of the “why” of the actual tech itself.
In this context, the “why” is serving the customer. Technology ultimately affects the customer experience. It is not necessarily how the customer interacts with a specific system but how the ecosystem works together overall.
So, a microsecond world is best served through a microservice architecture. Using this kind of model, companies can leverage technology to be able to create an environment that is centered on the customer experience, creating an infrastructure to handle all the background tasks that customers will never see but result in service that can keep up with their thoughts.
The best strategy is to design a tech ecosystem that can pull in the necessary information in microseconds and that is all-inclusive but is also evergreen. Microservices allow the creation of applications that are ever-changing, evolving, and have the extensibility to incorporate all the favorite services that a person can enjoy. The goal should be to create a decentralized system of services that can speak to each other, just as fast as an individual can think.
In the end, it is the companies with the foresight to invest in flexible and responsive technology architectures that can most quickly respond to the demand for personalized customer experiences. Developing a responsive ecosystem of microservices is the first step toward reaching that goal.