One size does not fit all. We are looking for fit for purpose. Renault does that with the EEZ Flex experiment with a small fleet of electric last mile delivery vehicles. You can do that in your IT environment with microservices. Interested? Continue reading this blog.
The Yenlo headquarters is situated in Schiphol-Rijk, The Netherlands. From my office, I can literally see the planes land and depart. Our neighbors, as far as companies go, are in a number of cases logistic companies because of the fact that sample is actually just around the corner (literally!). But also, cable company Liberty Global, security company McAfee and Renault Netherlands are our direct neighbours. Actually, I didn’t know until one of my colleagues told me that Renault have their offices over there. Renault, of course one of the famous French car manufacturers, is adapting to the changing times like all of us. The company that has been around for 120 years has in the last couple of years undergone a radical change. In the coming years I will see more of that change.
From combustion to electrical
For years and years car manufacturers like Renault have perfected the way cars work. Petrol consumption goes down, miles per gallon goes up and the car becomes more like a driving computer than a mechanical device. Self-driving cars? A mere question of time. But I won’t hold my breath because although we have seen some great improvements in tool for all kinds of driver supporting aides, like lane departure and self-parking, we are still a very long way away from that. But it will happen in my lifetime, I’m sure of that (that’s a reasonably safe bet I’m not that old).
The road ahead
But the road ahead is not only paved with autonomous vehicles. In January of this year, Renault announced that they were supplying 200 electric Zoe vehicles to the city of Amsterdam for a car sharing project. Instead of the one person one car idea or that has been around for many years we certainly move into an era where sharing a car becomes feasible. Feasibility of course made possible by technology. So, the car is morphing. Recently Renault introduced a two-year experiment where 12 delivery vehicles for what they call last mile delivery will be lent out to companies and cities across Europe. With this small wheelbase, optimized loading capacity and optimization for purpose (i.e. being a car for couriers) the goal goes far beyond the delivery of packages is actually will help to study last mile deliveries in urban areas. Data about mileage stops routes taken packages delivered, will all help to manage the increasing flow of deliveries in cities. The car is able to drive about 100 km on one charge, which for a general-purpose car would be considered way too low but in this very specific case it is actually spot on. Renault is doing a whole lot of other very interesting things but that’s a little bit out of scope for this blog.
Purpose in IT
The Renault EZ-FLEX is very much fit for purpose. Do we see the same in IT? Or do we see the same sort of shift from a general purpose to a fit for purpose approach? I believe we do. By that I mean that we still have a big system like the Enterprise Integrator that will do the heavy lifting that’s needed to run parts of our business. But increasingly were also seeing that micro services, micro gateways and micro integrators are coming onto the market. This will actually allow us, together with containerization with for instance Docker to create an architecture of micro services that are small, focused, fit for purpose and very scalable.
We are just at the beginning of this paradigm shift. But it’s good to know that for instance the WSO2 Enterprise Integrator’s next version will very much be tailored to the concept of fit for purpose. Interested? Read our selection guide on the Enterprise Service bus if you want to know more and of course are many blogs on Micro services and Micro services architecture too.