What is it?

  • A new breed of providers focuses on providing measurable business outcomes for their clients’ consumers with turnkey infrastructures that are transparent and measurable in terms of value delivery.
  • The mix of virtualization, software-defined networking and data centers, cloud, APIs, and software containers makes IT infrastructure a commodity that can be procured from a catalogue of services.
  • This can even evolve into “NoOps” and “serverless” computing, in which applications—or micro services—are instantly deployed on a cloud-based infrastructure that remains fully hidden from the developers.

How do we use it?

  • Startups that rely heavily on an event-based combination of IoT sensor reading, image processing, cognitive analytics, and social media functions, now by default favor a mix of third-party APIs, and “server-less” computing.
  • Often, cloud-based development—even in full DevOps mode—involves building software, checking it into a source code management system, and deploying it to a web- or application server, scaling up and down when needed. With serverless computing platforms such as Azure Functions or OpenWhisk, it’s only a matter of uploading the code and watching it run, all within seconds.

Potential Impact

  • Speed to digital value: no waiting for infrastructure procurement and installation, just on-demand usage
  • Elastic scalability, varying with business volumes
  • Full business focus on software-based solutions, rather than on the underlying infrastructure challenges
  • Easy-to-start new initiatives, based on Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), no limits to scaling out, and small costs for failures
  • Modest to no upfront IT infrastructure investments
  • Ability to monetize social profile data in and outside the company