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The Current State of Containerization and Microservices for CCM Blog Feature
John Zimmerer

By: John Zimmerer on March 16th, 2020

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The Current State of Containerization and Microservices for CCM

Technology | INTOUCH | Digital Transformation | Cloud

Digital Age as we make the transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The legacy model of spending years developing software can no longer keep pace with the rabid appetite generated by the app-of-the-day mindset. We need lean, lightweight, portable components.  

Containers and microservices are at the forefront of this digital transformation. The numbers keep growing:

  • DZone reports 42% of developers are using container technology
  • Portworx found in its 2018 container adoption survey that:

“Four out of five enterprises are now running container technologies, and an incredible 83% are running them in production—a huge leap from just 67% last year.”

  • By 2019, the number increases to 87% and will continue to rise

About two-thirds of IT professionals who took the survey stated that their companies used at least two container tools, such as running Kubernetes to orchestrate Docker containers. This information also indicates a link between multi-cloud/hybrid cloud adoption with Kubernetes.

Though some are skeptical, the rising use of containerization offers many benefits to users and their organizations:

  • Portability – works on all major cloud platforms and even most server and desktop operating systems
  • Scalability – can be easily removed or added as workloads flex
  • Security – allows users to segregate data and applications

Ship moving containers and microservices

Agility and portability are the new norms for digital evolution.

Containers and Microservices

Microservices and containers go hand in hand:

  • Microservices provide structure where a larger application can be parceled and packaged into singular services
  • Containers are the tools and manner for assembling and releasing microservices

This allows for faster updates and greatly improved development speeds. Plus, you gain the added benefit where if one module fails, the larger application is not affected. 

Containers are like the packaging of the software, which includes all it needs to run: settings, system libraries, system tools, runtime and code. Containers isolate particular software from other software in the same environment. The great benefit of this is that different teams can work on various microservices at the same time.

Skeptics originally believed that containers would only complicate matters through too much complexity, but much of this myth is built upon inexperience since containers and microservices are still relatively new. Application workloads are being built and deployed on containers, enabling the building of more resilient software, allowing for agile and flexible enterprise applications.

Microservices are tested, deployed, and monitored on the Kubernetes platform. Utilizing Kubernetes helps to improve issues common with containers, including performance, reliability and scalability. In fact, our INTOUCH solution employs Kubernetes to manage containers, which allows businesses to easily integrate legacy systems and innovate for the future.

Updates and Productivity

With locally installed software, downloading an update meant that the whole application or operating system had to be updated at once. Now, using microservices and containers, companies are able to upgrade components securely and without interruption to their business day. You don't have to take down an entire application in order to update it. You can do updates with relatively small code changes nearly invisibly. It makes development very efficient and elegant.

It’s simpler to deploy and manage software using containerized microservices. Of course, companies want software and systems that are validated and trustworthy, as customer demands increase, must find a balance speed and reliability. Some industries, such as healthcare and insurance, are still slow to adopt technology that will affect their ability “to serve enterprise needs.”

For example, healthcare providers often prefer to stick with legacy systems and as a result, their technology remains stagnant. The advent of 5G gives healthcare professionals the ability to reach patients in remote areas, the benefits that the portability and agility of containerization and microservices provide for code enhancements. According to a recent report from Ericsson, in 2026, $76 billion in revenue is estimated for those addressing healthcare transformation with 5G.

Benefits Business Now

The most powerful benefit is that users are always operating on the latest version of their software, such as SaaS applications, without any interruptions. Users don’t have to take time from their workday for upgrades and can continue to use and enjoy enhanced functionality.

In the customer communications management (CCM) realm, a business may need to be able to generate multiple communications in a defined—and usually short— production window. CCM software built using microservices and containers can scale up horizontally and vertically, adding the resources necessary to produce the communications within that production window.

Using containers and microservices allows Topdown to add features and functionality to INTOUCH on an ongoing basis. It provides for a robust and reliable application that can scale based on each customer's needs. For more information on the INTOUCH technology architecture, check out our virtual white paper or get in touch with us for a demo.

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About John Zimmerer

John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.

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