How containers can bring AI and blockchain to your apps

The case for containers is clear. The question is how


When you live, eat, breathe, and code using containers as my team and I do, you often forget that not everyone shares your passion for developing apps using containers. When you inherently understand the speed and added innovation possible through containers, you wonder why not everyone has bought in yet.

The answer, of course, is that cloud native computing is still a relatively new concept. For many organizations, it’s not feasible to go all-in on an architecture built on containers and microservices overnight. A more common and measured approach is to choose an existing workload (a traditional app, if you will) and migrate it to the cloud using a container service.

This slow but steady proof-of-concept approach has become commonplace among our clients. It is among the main initiatives we work with them to accomplish, and it’s why IBM recently announced our work with Docker as a member of the Modernize Traditional Apps (MTA) program.

When looking at the benefits organizations are seeing from adopting a container model, it’s easy to understand its meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years. A summer 2017 online survey of 206 developers, developer executives, and IT leaders identified their top three benefits because of using containers:

  • 59 percent: Improved app quality and reduced defects
  • 54 percent: Improved employee productivity
  • 52 percent: Faster response to changes in the market

For developers, greater levels of innovation were considered a top business benefit of adopting containers.

What organization wouldn’t want better quality apps, better productivity from its employees, and faster response time to market changes? Show me a developer who doesn’t want to boost innovation, and I’ll show you an unemployed developer.

The study shows—and countless client success stories confirm—the case for containers is clear. The question is how. How can established, large businesses use containers to modernize an existing, traditional application?

It’s easier than it sounds and is a matter of addressing challenges as they arise. Below are the most common top three issues in adopting containers:

  • 67 percent: Insufficient internal expertise in container development and management
  • 63 percent: Uncertainty regarding the time and costs involved in container projects
  • 56 percent: Skepticism among senior and influential business leaders

To organizations facing these (and other) challenges, I say imprint these words in your mind: modernize and extend.

The easiest way to address challenges around internal expertise is to bring in someone who knows container development. Start with containers on public cloud so you can focus on the app, not the work of running a container orchestration platform. And as always, start small. Start with a proof-of-concept workload that is well suited for containers.

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to extend that workload by adding services. You can extend and improve your app by pulling in AI capabilities as well as other data, blockchain, and IoT features.

Once you have your proof of concept and extended it by adding relevant services, it’s time to show your work. Show tangible results to win buyin from leadership and build from there.

The last thing I’ll mention to help you on this journey is the right partner. Find experts that are helping clients of all sizes and across many industries every day realize the benefits that containers offer, at every step of their journey.

I certainly wish you luck in yours.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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