How CIOs are using microservices

Interest in microservices is increasing among CIOs, as evidence of its benefits over more rigid monolithic IT architecture grows. According to Market Research Future, the market for microservices is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent, which would give it a global value of $33 billion by 2023.

Here's how some of the UK's top IT business leaders are using the lightweight architecture.

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Experian CIO Barry Libenson

Experian CIO Barry Libenson

Experian Global CIO Barry Libenson has embraced microservices to make the credit reporting agency's software development more efficient, by allowing services developed by individual teams to be shared and reused across the organisation

This approach helped Experian extend the "pinning" technique the company uses to connect data to individuals.

“We don't want multiple pinning algorithms, we want one, so we created a microservice that the data fabric team uses for doing all data ingestion and pinning,” says Libenson.

“If you're somebody in the company building an app and you need to pin data, you go use that microservice and you don't write anything. The code already exists. There's a published specification on how you use it and you hook that into your app and use that microservice as you build your product."

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DAZN SVP of IT Services Georgina Owens

DAZN SVP of IT Services Georgina Owens

Georgina Owens, SVP of IT Services at DAZN, uses microservices to release new features at speed without sacrificing the stability of the streaming service.

"If it is what I would call a low-risk microservice and therefore you can change it easily without impacting that end-to-end service, then continuous deployment cycles are not going to be something that's going to need to go through a change control board," she says.

"If it's a service that if you break it would have an impact on other services and potentially the uptime of the application, we're not going to allow that engineering team to make changes without going through a change advisory board. That means you have to have a really good understanding of your ecosystem. You've got to understand what impact you have on that ecosystem and also have a high degree of trust in your team."

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Hotels.com CTO Thierry Bedos

Hotels.com CTO Thierry Bedos

Hotels.com CTO Thierry Bedos uses microservices to consistently improve the customer experience by creating a continuous delivery pipeline that brings together the teams that build the infrastructure and those that code the software.

"In the past, once developers had built their software, they would just send it to somebody else and work on the next feature. Now, they really have the accountability end-to-end of how the software is behaving on the infrastructure," he says.

"I think that's really necessary for us to do. Years ago, you had a number of the more monolithic types of applications. These days, with microservices, you are likely to have hundreds of services that are necessary to serve a web page, and therefore, people in the teams that build a service are also the teams that are monitoring the service and troubleshooting the service.

"For us, it's been a shift of mentality, from a big separation between the different teams to having now these really cross-functional teams where the engineers understand everything from the architecture all the way to how to troubleshoot and monitor software online."

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Picsolve CTO Dan Maunder

Picsolve CTO Dan Maunder

Picsolve CTO Dan Maunder has launched a  microservices-powered platform that automatically identifies images produced at leisure attractions and sends them straight to visitors in a personalised digital album.

"With our business strategy of wanting to diversify in different sectors like water parks and stadiums, we needed to look at our technology in a different way," he says. "And rather than sinking lots of time into research and development for transient products that don't last that long, we decided to create our core offering around our infrastructure and our service.

"I like to think of our AWS microservices platform as quite API-centric and also built in a fashion that we can plug in third-party products and diversify our suite much quicker than any of our competitors could do."

Read next: Picsolve CTO Dan Maunder redefines theme park photography

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