3 tips on how to complement serverless architecture with content infrastructure

Best practices for a comprehensive, secure and unified content strategy

What’s not to like about serverless architecture? It’s an easily scalable approach that can reduce costs and headaches, and prevents the headaches associated with managing your own servers. It also gives you a great way to support content delivery.

But what about the content that you want to deliver? You not only need to create the content, but store and organize it. Many CMSes only help you create content and organize it for delivery to one channel (e.g. a website or app). Very few CMSes actually allow you to create, organize and manage content efficiently for an omnichannel strategy, which limits the benefits of switching to serverless architecture. So, if you’re thinking about making the switch to serverless architecture, it’s important to have a great content strategy and infrastructure to go along with your new delivery approach.

But first, what is serverless architecture?

Serverless computing is listed as a 2019 need-to-know emerging technology by Forrester. Deloitte describes this emerging technology as the next evolution in cloud computing service models, following Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). While the concept behind serverless is not new, the business model is — it saves money by outsourcing to event-driven remote server operations. This means that you only pay when your code is actively running.

Why is that important? This architecture lets businesses cost-effectively scale, without worrying about the maintenance, support and price of server infrastructure. Just imagine all of the resources that frees up and all the headaches that can be avoided. So, how can you create a great content strategy that complements serverless architecture?

3 content infrastructure tips and best practices

1) Start with why

As with most strategies, it works well to start with asking why. Bestselling author Simon Sinek elaborates:

Instead of asking, ‘WHAT should we do to compete?’ The questions must be asked, ‘WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?’

What is your organization or company looking to do in the first place? Once that is determined, why are you managing content? Is it to connect with your customers, educate potential customers, etc? Why are you using or looking to add serverless architecture to the mix? Is it to add more scalability and increase cost-savings? Or maybe to be more agile, avoid headaches, and for better resource allocation? For most, it’s a combination of all those reasons. With that in mind, the next question is around how you can manage your content to align with the same goals. Answering these questions clearly will help you choose the right content solution to support your business goals.

2) Build a strong foundation for your content strategy

With your why figured out, it’s time to turn your attention to the how: content strategy, creation and organization. Start by choosing a content layer that supports the same business goals as your serverless architecture: scalable, agile, reduces headaches, frees up resources, etc. Much like building a house, your content layer is the foundation that will determine what you can effectively build without a lot of reworking (or replatforming with a CMS). The best content solutions are unified, flexible and extensible, with features that support both editors and developers. It’s important to build a strong foundation, as this supports your current business goals and will scale with your evolving content strategy.

3) Look for a CMS that will complement serverless architecture

Many CMSes allow you to create content, but few go beyond that to help digital teams organize and deliver content as part of an omnichannel strategy. By building a customized content model, content can be organized into reusable components, creating a flexible infrastructure built for omnichannel content delivery. Contentful is the perfect complement to serverless architecture — making your content scalable, organized and ready to use across products and channels. What's more, Contentful unifies content into a central hub and empowers editors to create, preview and publish — without needing a developer. This streamlines content operations and frees up development resources — allowing developers to build presentation layers (e.g. webpage, apps, etc.) in their preferred languages and pull the content in via APIs.