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What is serverless computing?

Serverless is a mode of computing in which developers write business logic functions and then a Cloud provider executes those functions. Servers are still involved, of course—just not your servers. For the developer and operator, how the functions are executed—that is, which infrastructure it uses—is all hidden and, in fact, irrelevant.

This development gives companies a powerful new way to reduce IT operational costs, deploy services faster and be more responsive to customer demand.

With serverless, the drop in infrastructure costs can be enormous—ranging from 50 percent to 90 percent, with 70 percent to 80 percent being about average.

What’s special about serverless is that you only use what you need, when you need it.

Here are some of the business advantages you can get from serverless computing:

  • Reduce costs. Because you’re only paying for what you use, the drop in infrastructure costs can be significant.
  • Auto-scale on demand. Need more infrastructure support? Need less? With serverless, you can get just the infrastructure support you need.
  • Decrease time to market. It generally takes far less time to develop serverless applications. You don’t have to worry about setting up servers, configuring environments, clustering or other facets of building a traditional system.
  • Create more transparent, business-event-driven execution. Code is executed only in response to a well-defined business event. That increases overall transparency and reliability of the application to handle very specific business events or anomalies.
  • Reduce security risks. Instead of focusing on perimeter security and access control, security shifts to the orchestration of application code, enabling a complete monitoring of activities, connections and user behaviors.

When is serverless the right choice?

Companies and government agencies are using serverless computing to support a wide variety of opportunities and needs. These include IoT, mobile applications and web-based applications.

Accenture’s own use of serverless architecture: Accenture Cloud Platform

Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP) plays an important role in helping our clients get the most from their Cloud presence. ACP provides the visibility and control enabled through its serverless architecture to discover resources in customers’ accounts. The goal is to make it easy to manage our clients’ cloud estate with governance tools, advanced cost analytics capabilities and dashboards.

Already decided to go serverless?

If you’re ready to start the serverless journey, here are six especially important things to consider:

  1. Don’t try to reuse existing application code in a serverless environment.
  2. Use existing platform components from providers for non-business-logic application functionality.
  3. Create a reference architecture to guide all application development.
  4. Support DevOps.
  5. Recognize that the skills required for success in serverless are different from those of the average developer.
  6. Be prepared for a massive cultural shift.

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