Some Obvious Predictions About Serverless Computing in 2017

In the third article about technology predictions in 2017, we are going to focus on the serverless computing space.

2016 was the year on which serverless computing evolved from an obscured architecture style of a mainstream technology trend. Last year brought releases of new serverless platform and major upgrades some of the established ones. More importantly, in 2016, serverless computing was acknowledged by many giants of the software giants as a technology trend to follow in the next few years. What does 2017 has in stock for the serverless computing space. Let’s start with some general predictions about the market.

3 Obvious Predictions About the Serverless Computing Market

1 — Local Serverless Computing Becomes a Trend: The release of AWS Greengrass marked the beginning of the adoption of serverless computing paradigms in local IOT runtimes. In 2017, some of AWS competitors are likely to release technologies similar to Greengrass pushing the adoption of local serverless computing.

2 — An Open Source, On-Premise, serverless Framework Becomes Popular Within the Developer Community: Serverless computing is a great fit for enterprise environments but the cloud-only nature of most popular serverless platforms remains an impediment for its mainstream adoption. This year we should see the emergence of an open source serverless computing stack that removes some of the roadblocks of enterprises in order to adopt this new computing trend.

3 — Enterprises Become Serious About Serverless Computing: Complementing the previous point, 2016 was an experimental year for serverless in the enterprise. 2017 should continue the evolution of serverless computing into mission critical enterprise scenarios.

Those were some general predictions about the serverless computing space. Now let’s look at some predictions related to the market leaders:


1 — Azure Functions Goes On-Premise: This year we are likely to see Azure Functions supported as part of the Azure Stack hybrid cloud platform.

2 — Office365 Embraces Serverless Extensions: The integration between Office365 and Azure Functions is an obvious asset for extending the features of Office365 applications.

3 — Cortana Serverless Skills Grow Drastically: After the release of the Cortana Skills Kit, we should expect a large number of serverless extensions developed for the digital assistant in 2017.


1 — Greengrass Becomes Relevant: AWS Greengrass is a unique flavor of serverless technologies that should receive strong adoption this year.

2 — Lambda Step Functions Evolves Into a Serverless Middleware: Many companies are likely to start adopting Lambda Step Functions to power middleware scenarios using a serverless architecture style.

3 — More Serverless Connectors: With Lex Serverless Connectors, AWS shows starting levering serverless technologies to enable the integration with back office and SaaS systems. This trend is likely to continue in 2017.


1 — OpenWhisks Powers a New IOT Middleware: This year we are likely to see the OpenWhisk serverless platform to power new IOT middleware capabilities for the Watson IOT platform.

2 — OpenWhisk Sees More On-Premise Adoption: From the lead serverless computing stacks in the market, OpenWhisk is the one with better support for on-premise infrastructures. IBM is likely to extend those capabilities in 2017.

3 — New Serverless Watson Extensions: This year we are likely to see Openwhisk used as a mechanism to extend the capabilities of the Watson Developer Cloud.


1 — Allo and Home Drive the Adoption of Google Cloud Functions: In 2017, the adoption of the Google Cloud Functions serverless platform should be fundamentally driven by powering extensions to popular platforms such as Google Home or the Allo digital assistant.

2 — G-suite Serverless Extensions: Similarly to Microsoft, we should expect Google to start leveraging Cloud Functions as the fundamental extensibility mechanism of G-Suite.

3 — New Languages are Added to Google Cloud Functions: This year, Google Cloud Functions should add support for new programming languages in order to bridge the gap with competitors.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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