Flexibility and agility have climbed to the top of the agenda for service organizations, and the spotlight is now on the power of containerization and Kubernetes to deliver just this. While enhancing service processes, neither majorly disrupts convenience for technicians or the end customer.
Having household appliances run by applications has become standard practice. From lighting and temperature control to simply turning on the oven, all of these can now be done from the comfort of your own bedroom or car just by clicking the right button on your mobile device.
Don’t Choose Software Worse Than Pen and Paper!
From growth by acquisitions to working alongside OEMs, distributors or aftermarket parts manufacturers, service firms are frequently threatened by a mismatch of cultures. As a result, the accumulation of unsuitable software can have a negative impact on a service provider’s plan.
Then, on top of this, service delivery itself doesn’t fit into a neat box and spans many different industries that provide home or mobile services to end customers. The goal for service-enablement software is to enhance the service process; helping complete the desired action, not to disrupt the outcome in any way. But this level of complexity means that many service providers struggle to get their teams coordinated so they can effectively use the technologies at their disposal.
For example, if an HVAC installation provider can only build technicians’ job schedules based on availability loadouts three weeks in advance and can’t update them on the day of delivery, they cannot efficiently manage valuable technicians’ time usage. Changes because of illness, a higher-priority outage that just came up or any other day-to-day issues can arise—but if the software cannot be adaptable, then it is worse than pen and paper. It’s a severe impediment and one that can result in loss of customers.
Containerization: A New Approach for Service Providers
To avoid falling behind, the service industry must carefully rethink containerized applications—and the time to do so is now. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 70% of global organizations will be running more than two containerized applications—up from just 20% in 2019. The concept of containerization, in its simplest terms, means that software is packaged with all ancillary processes which enables it to be deployed at the discretion of the end user.
With containerization, service organizations can start to introduce higher levels of flexibility further down the value chain; whether that means reverse or last-mile logistics or virtual or augmented reality—the options are vast.
Cloud Computing and Containers are Inseparable Tools
A cloud-first software product allows service organizations to pass on the IT burden of managing upkeep, upgrades, licenses and operations. But a containerized product, one that lives in the cloud natively, can be just as easily packaged and deployed on a home server with the same internal structure, the same APIs and with the same effect. Depending on the user, even the deployment of service software requires flexibility.
Some service companies simply require—perhaps for regulatory reasons—their solutions to be managed on-premises. Others have a managed cloud space of their own that they want to employ. Others are in a position to move to the cloud. None of these—or any other adoption permutation—are wrong. They just need software that supports that flexibility.
Kubernetes: Flexible Resource Utilization
Once the appropriate containerized software is chosen, organizations can begin to switch their strategies with higher levels of flexibility and a smoother process along the value chain. This could be introducing a new business model (such as the aforementioned reverse logistics) or new technician technologies such as augmented and virtual reality for expert-to-expert or expert-to-customer collaboration.
Kubernetes is the open source technology that helps facilitate containerization. It’s a must-have for cloud computing as it makes it easier to configure systems, increases reliability, allows for quicker software deployment and improves the efficient use of compute resources. According to a VMware study, 95% of participants realized benefits from Kubernetes, including 56% who said they saw improved resource utilization.
Kubernetes-enabled software can quicken the pace for service companies to 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 the regulatory environment, and even turn that agility into a competitive advantage which, from a service perspective, benefits the end user in a multitude of ways.
A Fresh Approach to Providing Better Service
The time for businesses to take advantage of everything containerization has to offer is now. The benefits with regard to improving and enhancing service delivery speak for themselves. Containers and Kubernetes can help scale up services in real-time depending on business needs and provide clear visibility for customers as well as employees. Better efficiency, quick adaptation and flexibility are only a few of many benefits containers and Kubernetes can provide.