Achieving Business Outcomes with Kubernetes.

Author:Noguerol, Daniel

Recent Forrester research indicates a dramatic shift in the focus of enterprise process improvement efforts. Two years ago, cost reduction was the primary driver; today it's accelerating digital business transformation, with a focus on improving customer experience.

A 'platform-based' approach is becoming increasingly popular, as it enables enterprises to leverage a flexible, structured, and scalable foundation, while speeding development time, leveraging investments, and incorporating long-tail processes. A platform approach provides flexibility to embrace process changes and emerging capabilities along a business' transformation journey. And it makes enterprise development process more predictable and repeatable--enabling faster time-to-market with lower risks.

So how can organisations use a unified platform to deliver better business outcomes?

For purposes of simplicity, we'll define platform as all infrastructure and services that move an application from source code into the hands of end-users in a reliable and secure way. All companies that deploy software to the cloud are using a platform in some form. Those generally fall into one of two categories: snowflake (do-it-yourself) platforms or platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

Snowflake platforms, so-called because each one is different, are generally created using a combination of open-source and/or commercial tooling. The primary advantages of this approach are flexibility and minimal up-front license costs. The disadvantage is organisational commitment to an ongoing journey of uncertain scope, cost and outcome. Constant maintenance and evolution are required--and the journey will never be complete. This makes predicting costs extremely difficult and they will often far exceed licensing costs over time.

PaaS offerings provide a holistic solution with proven success in other organisations. According to cloud computing stats, almost two-thirds (61%) of companies are already using PaaS. The advantages are a secure, well-integrated, constantly evolving platform curated from the best of leading open source technologies. What typically resonates with customers is the ability to focus on developing business value while minimising the distractions of the underlying technical details. The disadvantages are up-front license cost and less flexibility than the snowflake approach.

Kubernetes is the popular open-source project introduced by Google and contributed to by several companies. As many...

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