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These days, it’s common to use an app or software on your phone for most everyday tasks like adjusting the temperature in your home or even turning on the lights. But this convenience can actually be a hindrance – and in the context of serving the end customer – a slightly different advantage.
Service delivery is complex and fluid
Inflexible software can jeopardize even the best-laid plans of service providers. Service firms are often complex, and they are often threatened by cultural mismatches, whether through procurement or organizations working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, aftermarket parts manufacturers, or contingent workers. Moreover, service delivery itself does not fit into a neat box; instead, it covers many industries that provide home or mobile services to end customers.
The purpose of the service program is to improve the service process, to help complete the transaction – not disrupt it in any way. But this level of complexity means that many service providers struggle to coordinate their teams to use the technologies at their disposal.
For example, if an HVAC installation provider can only establish maintenance schedules based on availability loads three weeks in advance and update them on the same day, they are not using their time efficiently. Changes may arise due to illness, a sudden high-priority interruption, or any other day-to-day problems. If software can’t be adapted, it’s worse than pen and paper. This is an obstacle.
Practice containerization to eliminate complexity
This is why service providers need to look container applications. There is Gartner predicted By 2023, 70% of global organizations will run more than two containerized applications – up from just 20% in 2019. The concept of containerization, in its simplest terms, is that the software is packaged with all the supporting processes. can be placed at the discretion of the end user.
With containerization, service organizations can begin to implement greater levels of convenience downstream of the value chain, be it reverse or last-mile logistics, virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). The options are wide.
Up in the cloud or down on the ground: Deployment flexibility at the core of containerization
Cloud-based solutions and containerization essentially connected. A cloud-first software product enables service organizations to take over the entire IT burden of managing maintenance, upgrades, licenses and operations.
But a containerized product that lives in the cloud can easily be packaged and deployed on a home server with the same internal structure, the same APIs, and the same effect. If your infrastructure requires it, cloud solutions can meet those needs, not dictate the terms of your interaction with the product.
Depending on the user, even deployment of service software requires flexibility. Some service companies require their solutions to be managed on-premises, perhaps for regulatory reasons. Others have a managed cloud space they want to use.
Others are in the process of moving to the cloud. Neither of these (or any other acceptance permutation) is wrong, and software that supports this flexibility will be key.
Containerization opens the door to increased flexibility and new technology – enter Kubernetes
Once a service organization has a containerized software architecture deployed in a way that works for its business, it can begin to implement greater levels of flexibility further down the value chain. This can be introduced for a new business model such as reverse logistics or new technical technologies such as AR and VR and expert-to-expert or expert-to-customer collaboration.
Kubernetes is an open source technology that helps facilitate containerization. It’s a “must have” for cloud computing because it simplifies systems configuration, improves reliability, enables faster software deployment, and improves the efficient use of computing resources. According to a study by VMware, 95% of participants has realized its benefits From Kubernetes, including 56% said they saw an improvement in resource utilization.
Kubernetes-powered software can accelerate the speed at which service companies can bring new features and capabilities to market and into the hands of customers. In turn, businesses themselves can quickly adapt to changes in the market and regulatory environment and even turn this flexibility into a competitive advantage, which only benefits the end user tenfold from a service perspective.
Peak demand or a slowdown in business, your services will always be there
The benefits of containerization are clear — it’s a multi-functional, multi-use software approach that will only improve service delivery. Kubernetes and containers are built to be highly scalable and can even be set up to scale up and down services in real-time. Whether traffic to these servers increases or decreases, it offers the assurance that your services will always be available for employees and customers – not limited by increases in demand dependent on market forces.
Raymond Jones is vice president of cloud operations IFS.
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