3 Ways Your Frontend Monolith Is Hurting Your Business

Micro frontends are an important innovation for enterprise software development. Ignoring them may end up hurting your business. Here’s how.

Entando - Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Tags: Micro Frontends

For any number of situations, a monolithic architecture may be the best development choice for an application. However, as your organization grows in size and complexity, it may become difficult to manage your teams and your code in an efficient and effective manner. There may come a point where your monolith may be holding your business back.

Microservices have become an important option for organizations looking to split backend functionality between multiple teams. And micro frontends offer similar benefits for your UI layer.

These modern approaches to development have enabled faster innovation while managing a greater amount of complexity. Large organizations that ignore micro frontends as an option may be missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Here are 3 ways continuing to use a monolithic architecture for your frontend can end up hurting your business.

1. You can’t push updates quickly enough.

A key to staying competitive is continuous experimentation, particularly when it comes to user experience. According to Userzoom, visit-to-lead conversions can be 400% higher on sites with a “superior user experience.”

But with a large, monolithic architecture, even small updates can become a major production. And when you lack the ability to be nimble in releasing iterative updates, you miss out on opportunities to captivate your users.

You may be making strides toward a very intuitive and modern user experience, but every day (or week) longer it takes to implement those new features and improvements, the more potential customers you’re losing. While you’re working to make an improvement to your user experience, people are still coming to use your site and leaving dissatisfied with the current UX. And you only get one chance at a first impression. So you need to be able to release updates as fast as possible.

By using a frontend monolith, many organizations unnecessarily slow themselves down.

Micro frontends might not be necessary for a smaller organization with more streamlined needs, and a micro frontend architecture introduces questions to be answered, both from a technological and organizational standpoint. But if you are a larger organization that’s feeling the strain of bottlenecking at the frontend, you may want to consider moving away from your monolith so that your teams can update more iteratively and deploy independently.

2. Development bottlenecks demotivate your teams.

When all of your backend teams are working with one frontend team that’s managing the entire frontend monolith, they become a bottleneck.

A single team can only focus on so many things at once, and they can be managing the expectations of any number of backend teams, perhaps from different lines of business within your organization, each working toward their own deadlines and for their own individual stakeholders.

When your development teams are unable to manage their own update releases and are stymied by organizational barriers, it can be demotivating. Different backend teams must bring their update to the single frontend team to complete their proposed update, leaving teams from other features or lines of business to wait in line. This creates frustration between backend teams, as well as between those backend teams and the frontend team.

So what began as a technological limitation has now created interpersonal friction and tension. What’s more is that this kind of environment hinders innovation, and in more than one sense. It slows the time for any given update to be released. But it also doesn’t inspire your teams to work quickly toward new solutions and innovations. If they know that they will have to “hurry up and wait” or wait in line for even a minor update to get pushed through, they will lose momentum, decreasing the synergy that comes with having new ideas and putting them into action.

When your development process has a considerable bottleneck, the cost can be even greater than just the time cost of pushing any given update out to a later date.

3. A monolithic frontend doesn’t help you scale.

While microservices have eliminated a number of development bottlenecks by decoupling different backend functions and assigning them to various teams, you’ll find it much easier to scale your development process and teams if you give them true end-to-end control over their part of the application--and that means including the frontend.

When you develop in micro frontends, your teams are able to manage their updates and release cycles in a truly contained manner. They can experiment with their features and push updates without needing to wait on another team and without fear of negatively affecting other parts of the app or site.

This kind of autonomy for your cross-functional teams means that you can scale infinitely. As your needs grow and you need more capabilities, you can easily spin up new teams that will function on their own while still fitting into the pre-existing architecture.

Build better apps faster using micro frontends on Entando.

When release cycles take months instead of weeks, your business is left unable to deliver modern online experiences. Development bottlenecks slow your ability to make application updates, keeping you from iterating and innovating. And outdated or clunky UX keeps you from customers winning over and retaining them.

So that’s why we created a platform to help you get your ideas to market faster.

Entando is the leading micro frontend platform for building enterprise web apps on Kubernetes. We want to change the way enterprises think about building their apps, sites, and portals in order to innovate more quickly.

With Entando, you can leverage customized blueprints to quickly create micro frontends and assemble them onto a single page. Then reuse UI/UX components across multiple projects via the Entando Component Repository, saving money and increasing development speed. Scale quickly and effectively with Entando’s custom Kubernetes operator, automating the deployment of scalable, self-healing applications.

Entando is open source with available enterprise support. Begin developing on the platform today, and get a quote to see how our Professional Services team can help your enterprise build better apps, sites, and portals--faster.


Learn How To Create Better Apps, Portals, & Websites--Faster.

This white paper outlines how your organization can accelerate UX innovation by developing with micro frontends on Kubernetes, as well as how a micro frontend platform can help you execute this methodology more effectively.