Replacing Legacy Systems with Identity-Enabled Microservices

According to a recent Forrester report, The Future Of Identity And Access Management, identity-enabled microservices are fast-replacing complex and monolithic legacy solutions. Why? Microservices and API-based solutions show faster time-to-value, provide flexibility for changing requirements, and support mobile and IoT technologies. 

To create competitive advantage, organizations need to provide superior and engaging customer experiences which adapt to the ever-changing landscape of customer requirements, whether it be online, in store, or across the entire omni-channel customer journey. In short, adaptability is the single most important attribute for long-term success.  

Create Competitive Advantage with Identity-Enabled Microservices

As leading marketplaces like Amazon, Rakuten, and Alibaba have proven, developing commerce infrastructures offer flexibility and agility unmatched by the traditional platform providers. Although once thought to be the preserve of only the largest businesses, organizations with DevOps capabilities can create competitive advantage with the agility to innovate by building their own platforms.

While DevOps is an engineering practice which aims to unify software development and  operations, the building blocks used in today’s technology-savvy businesses are identity-enabled microservices. A variant of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services, microservices also parallels development by enabling small autonomous teams to develop, deploy and scale their respective services independently, which makes building commerce applications faster and easier, capable of operating at extremely high scale with the ability to change or evolve services in a much more agile way. In this way, retailers create a foundation from which to respond to customer needs more quickly and therefore innovate faster. DevOps provides the processes while microservices provide the building blocks. But the glue in any successful microservices build for customer facing applications is identity.

Today’s commerce applications are required to perform actions on behalf of customers across a variety of interactions in the customer journey --- be that on the website, the mobile app, through a call centre, in store through beacons or IoT enabled technologies, or even through other services provided by third parties all in the same environment and often in the same shopper journey.  For a consumer to experience frictionless interaction across these different channels, there must be one notion of identity passed through and authenticated across all of the associated microservices. Essentially at the back-end architecture, each microservice needs to know who the consumer is and what they are allowed to do.

Building a single back-end with microservices for all of the front-end applications to consume provides a clear advantage of reducing software complexity. Any reduction in software complexity in a retailer must equate to faster innovation and therefore the ability to respond to their consumers’ needs more quickly which simply translates into greater competitive advantage.


ForgeRock is designed to easily modernize your legacy identity. So, what do you need to consider when transforming monolithic environments with microservices? Learn more by reading our whitepaper, Implementing Microservices within a Monolithic Architecture.