Benefits of Serverless Architecture for Business

Benefits of Serverless Architecture for Business

Businesses are increasingly turning to cloud computing to optimize their IT infrastructure. Serverless architecture is one of the most popular types of cloud computing, and its popularity is growing rapidly. According to a report by Global Market Insights, the global serverless architecture market is expected to grow beyond $90 billion by 2032.
Very briefly as a way of introduction, serverless architecture is a cloud-based computing model that enables businesses to run and manage applications and services without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. The traditional approach of setting up, managing and maintaining a server infrastructure is both time-consuming and costly.
This is why serverless architecture is winning the hearts of companies, including giant corporations. For example Coca Cola, a long time user of AWS cloud services, is now enjoying the immense benefits of serverless AWS. The beverage giant uses the AWS serverless platform to offer its customers a touchless experience across its Freestyle beverage-dispensing service.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of serverless architecture for business and why it is a great choice for businesses that are ever keen to take advantage of modern technology.

The benefits of serverless architecture for business

So what are the top serverless architecture benefits that your business is likely to enjoy? Here are the core ones:

Cost savings

One of the primary benefits of serverless architecture is cost savings. With this model, businesses are only charged for the actual usage of their applications and services, rather than having to pay for an entire server infrastructure, regardless of whether it is being fully utilized or not. This can result in substantial cost savings, especially for businesses with seasonal or fluctuating workloads.

Also by eliminating the need for server infrastructure, companies can save money on the costs of hardware, software, and personnel required to maintain the servers. 

According to the State of Serverless Report by Datadog, over 50% of all organizations that use the top cloud services AWS, Google Cloud and Azure had already adopted the serverless architecture by 2020. In AWS, for example, over 70% of customers were already using AWS Lambda.

Many developers have come to hail the cost saving benefit of serverless technology.Writing in a blog for Freecodecamp, the donor supported charity that helps people learn to code at no cost, developer Avner Sorek says he was able to cut costs by up to 90% when he moved his side project from AWS Elastic Beanstalk to Lambda+APIG. There are many such stories and case studies that demonstrate the humongous amounts of costs you can cut by just moving your projects to serverless. 

Improved scalability

With serverless, businesses no longer have to worry about the time and cost associated with provisioning and deploying additional servers to handle increased traffic or demand. Instead, the cloud provider automatically manages this for them, providing a seamless and efficient experience for both the business and its customers.

For example, if an online retailer sees a surge in demand for their products, the serverless architecture allows them to quickly scale up their operations to meet the increased demand without having to invest in additional infrastructure.

Increased efficiency

Serverless architecture puts businesses at a privileged position where they are no longer required to manage the underlying infrastructure, freeing up valuable resources that can be focused on developing new applications and services. This can lead to improved development and delivery times, as well as increased innovation and competitiveness.

In addition, serverless architecture also enables businesses to take advantage of new and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, which can further enhance their efficiency and competitiveness.

Let’s use the example of a typical e-commerce website.

Traditionally, an e-commerce website may have been built on a traditional server infrastructure, where the website owner is responsible for managing the servers, ensuring they have sufficient capacity to handle spikes in traffic, and ensuring high availability through redundancy.

With serverless architecture, the website owner can focus on developing and improving the website, as the underlying infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider. For example, the website's shopping cart function could be built using serverless technology, such as AWS Lambda.

When a customer adds an item to their cart, a Lambda function is triggered, which performs the necessary calculations and updates the customer's cart in real-time. This eliminates the need for the website owner to provision and manage additional servers to handle spikes in traffic, as the cloud provider automatically manages this for them.

In addition, serverless technology also enables the website owner to take advantage of automatic elasticity, where the cloud provider automatically adjusts the capacity of the Lambda function to meet changing demands. This results in improved efficiency, as the website owner no longer has to spend time and resources on manual adjustments, and can instead focus on developing and improving the website.

In this example, the increased efficiency brought about by serverless technology enables the website owner to deliver a better customer experience, with faster and more reliable shopping cart updates, freeing up valuable resources that can be focused on developing new features and services.

Deployment is easy

Serverless architecture makes it much faster and easier to deploy new applications and features.

In a traditional server infrastructure, deploying a new application or feature requires significant time and resources, as the organization needs to provision and manage the necessary servers, configure the infrastructure, and handle any scaling or performance issues. This can be a time-consuming and complex process, requiring specialized technical expertise and resources.

However, with serverless architecture, the cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure, enabling organizations to focus on writing code and building applications. The cloud provider handles the deployment and scaling of the infrastructure, freeing up valuable resources that can be focused on developing new features and services.

Less carbon footprint

The environmental benefit of serverless architecture is a lesser-known but important advantage that can greatly benefit organizations and the environment. Serverless architecture enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud provider's investment in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, reducing the carbon footprint of their applications.

Cloud providers invest heavily in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to power their data centers and infrastructure. These investments enable cloud providers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, compared to traditional server infrastructures that rely on fossil fuels. By using serverless architecture, organizations can take advantage of these investments, reducing the carbon footprint of their applications and contributing to environmental conservation efforts.

Imagine a scenario where every company deploys and runs their own premises vs when one provider manages the infrastructure on behalf of several companies. The economics of scale means that everyone will end up using less energy overall. 

Also, serverless infrastructure only runs for the time an application is using it, which leads to a significant contribution in the reduction of carbon emissions. 

Improved latency

With serverless architecture, code is executed on the server closest to the end user, instead of having the code run on a central server. This reduces the amount of time it takes for the code to be executed and for the user to receive the output. 

The improved user experience is especially relevant for applications that require a lot of data processing, such as video streaming and gaming. With serverless architecture, the distance the data needs to travel is drastically minimized, reducing latency and improving the user experience. 

Agile innovation

As we’ve seen from the earlier benefits, the serverless computing model allows businesses to focus on delivering value to customers through new products and services, instead of managing infrastructure. 

This shift in focus enables teams to experiment and iterate faster, without being bogged down by infrastructure concerns. The ability to easily scale resources in real-time, and only pay for what is actually used, also makes it cost-effective for businesses to experiment with new ideas and test their viability in the market. This leads to a more agile approach to innovation. 

Final remarks

The concept of serverless architecture was first popularized by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2014 with the launch of AWS Lambda. AWS Lambda allowed developers to write and run code in the cloud without having to manage the underlying infrastructure, allowing them to focus on writing code instead of managing servers.

Since then, the popularity of serverless architecture has continued to grow, with many other cloud providers such as Google Cloud Functions and Microsoft Azure Functions now offering similar services. Additionally, the rise of cloud native technologies such as Kubernetes and Docker have made it easier for organizations to adopt serverless architectures. This has led to a growing number of companies and organizations, from startups to large enterprises, adopting serverless architectures for a variety of use cases, including web and mobile applications, IoT devices, and data processing.

It is expected that serverless architectures will eventually become dominant, with many organizations choosing to adopt serverless technologies as the primary way to develop and run applications. This growth will be driven by the increased demand for scalable and cost-effective cloud services, as well as the continued evolution of cloud native technologies.

So, whether you are a small business looking to reduce costs and improve efficiency, or a large enterprise looking to scale and innovate, these benefits of a serverless architecture are definitely significant and hopefully they give you enough reason to find it worth considering.

James Phipps 8 February, 2023
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