Blog

Course correction & platform rescue

James Dadd

November 13th 2018


The annals of tech history are littered with project missteps, overruns, and failures. Remember the problems surrounding the launch of the US health insurance marketplace (aka Obamacare)? Website crashes, slow response times, data loss, frustrated users, and ultimately delays in signing citizens up for vital health insurance policies. Projects, platforms, or infrastructure needing rescue come in many shapes and sizes and hopefully you never have to fix something as publicly broken as Healthcare.gov!

However, aging or newer monolithic applications may no longer meet your business needs, bad decisions may have been made over infrastructure or application architecture, or you may be plagued by scalability and reliability issues. Further damage is inevitably done by trying to prop up systems and implement short-term code fixes that turn into counterproductive band-aid solutions. You get the picture.

Your technology decisions dictate how fast your business can innovate and grow: “The serious and underappreciated topic of technical debt is a board-level risk for many reasons. Technical debt is an ‘off-balance-sheet liability’ that potentially dwarfs Enron and WorldCom in size. Boards have no clue how bad it is.” (Wayne Sadin, COO/CTO at Affinitas Life and a well-known expert on CIO issues).

Those organizations that are more agile and organized around a DevOps model, having made appropriate technology choices, and maintained a broad employee skill base, will innovate faster and in a more cost-efficient manner. They will beat you to market every time if you’re still dealing with legacy infrastructure, legacy apps, and a legacy workforce.

As seasoned technologists, we’ve seen this time and again. Through the lessons that we have learned working with customers across many industry sectors, fourTheorem has acquired and developed a unique set of skills, tools, and processes to help with even the most complex challenges. We have assisted many clients by rescuing their failing platforms, and developed strategies to address immediate issues, whilst building longer-term roadmaps that increase business agility and outcomes. We focus on using the right technologies for the situation - not what is preferred or comfortable - so an organization gains immediate benefits from an agile, robust, and future-proofed application environment.

The time to fix old systems and bad decisions is now. The next wave of technology is already here and businesses need to start planning for the adoption of AI/ML and Serverless/Function-as-a-Service services. As these technologies are being enhanced and adopted, organizations need to take action and review their existing architectures. Gojko Adzic’s wrote an excellent article on the financial incentives for Serverless architectures which I’d encourage you to read. Not only do developers now have a technical reason to write modular loosely coupled code, but there is also a double-whammy in that doing so is significantly cheaper and more cost effective over even containerized architectures.

Platforms, architectures, and culture must all be modernized to accept new ways of delivering value through software. fourTheorem is pioneering the use of AI/ML and the world of Serverless solutions, enabling businesses of all sizes to embed powerful AI technologies into their software systems through the use of cloud-native AI services - the “Serverless AI” approach. As a result, fourTheorem is the partner of choice for expertise when it comes to addressing the architecture of distressed platforms, right through to our powerful methodology and framework that is democratizing access to the Serverless AI world.


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