What we're about“We believe digital innovation should be open and sustainable, so that everyone has the opportunity to build great things!”

Businesses need to digitally transform in order to survive in an increasingly competitive ‘Data Driven’ market.

The fact is, we are experiencing in the 21st Century, a mass extinction event in the corporate world. - Tom Seibel; Digital Transformaton: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction

Demand for the datafication of businesses, is driving talent toward roles and technologies that assist businesses transform into and maintain ‘Data Driven’ models.

The current complexity of Cloud infrastructure is far too high for most people and organisations to grasp and accumulate the skills to participate in this rapidly expanding demand for datafication.

Furnace offers the opportunity to radically reduce the cost and complexity of Cloud and lower the barriers to participation in our new ‘Data Driven’ world.

Why Team Furnace?

Back in early 2016, when Danny (Co-founder) started working on financial trading infrastructure with Serverless and John (Co-Founder) was building a Cyber Services business, only a tiny percentage of the developer community had heard of Serverless and even fewer understood what it was or its potential.

A year later we started building ‘Big Data’ applications to collect, analyse and store Cyber Security data. Over time, we understood the cost of running and managing the infrastructure was commercially unviable. So we decided to rebuild with Serverless.

While we knew that going Serverless could offer us fantastic financial and man-hour savings, we also knew how hard it was to build in Serverless without an Enterprise class dev-team that we couldn’t hope to hire or retain.

So, to help us solve that problem we created our own developer framework, to allow us to more quickly and easily build our own Serverless data pipelines and applications.

As the framework matured and our understanding of Serverless grew, we realised our framework could be applied across many other ‘Data Driven’ industries, to help dev-teams and organisations rapidly develop cost-efficient applications.

Since then, the availability of Serverless products and services has spread across public Cloud. AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, IBM, Oracle and more, offer a growing number of Serverless products and services. The word ‘Serverless’ is becoming more of a household name within the developer community, even if it is not yet widely understood.

Current economic conditions are forcing Cloud users to educate themselves and find ways of creating the kind of efficiencies that Serverless offers. Even though the need is growing, developers and businesses continue to be constrained by;

  • 1. A lack of developer tools that provide the accessibility to build with Serverless and adopt FinDev practices
  • 2. Sufficient supply of talent to meet the demand of Enterprise and SME’s wanting to build and deploy Serverless operations

Furnace gives developers access to all of the Serverless resources available across AWS, Azure and GCP, in a simplified manner. Developer best practices, security protocols and compliance guard-rails are built in. Dev-teams can accelerate ‘time to market’ of new products and services, without the encumbrance of a costly dev-management layer.

We also provide the visibility and control of application ‘cost per transaction’, which is required to support the emerging architectural practice of FinDev.

If you would like to know more about our journey, please read this blog written by Danny, Co-founder and CTO. Our Journey

What is Serverless?

Serverless is an abstraction level over a company’s IT infrastructure, which offers significant advantages to business;

  • It offers ‘on demand’ compute and storage where there are no servers to manage, applications automatically scale ‘up and down’ on demand and there is no charge if its not being used
  • It allows business to think less about infrastructure capacity, scaling, and server management and more on software’s business value, revenue, cost, and the relationships between them
  • A ‘pay-per-use’ or ‘consumption based’ business model that can bill consumers precisely by their usage on a transaction by transaction basis.

To achieve the transparency required for FinDev and billing per transaction, a view into every component within each application is needed, from a platform such as Furnace.

What is FinDev?

FinDev (As described by Yan Cui in this video) is an emerging architectural practice, first defined by one of the leading thinkers in Serverless, Simon Wardley. It is the premise of ‘worth based development’, where the software practitioner can create a ‘variable cost’ business model and redirect investment to maximise returns.

The ROI (return on investment) in the codebase can be assessed at a very granular level and clear choices can made, such as, fund, optimise or discard.

Simply, a project manager or software developer can ask themselves, “If I build this application, in this way, with these running costs, will it give me, or the organisation I’m building it for, the desired return?”.

This convergence of Finance and Software Operations offers many advantages;

  • Capex to Opex – Serverless converts software operations from Capex (fixed costs) to Opex (variable costs). This means enterprises can focus on marginal costs and value, making better decisions as a consequence.
  • Profitability and Value – Insight into a transaction’s revenue and cost relationship, helps businesses understand how profitable and valuable that feature is to customers.
  • Identify Success – Combining the understood value and how often a feature is used relative to operating costs and revenue, a business can decide which transaction to invest in or eliminate.
  • Forecast Revenue and Cost - With cost, revenue, and profitability numbers for each feature and transaction, the business can forecast their future values and growth rate.
  • Focus on Growth – With growth rates anticipated, the business can focus on those transactions that will see increase in value and usage.
  • Minimise Business Risk – Moving to Serverless decreases DOL (Degree of Operating Leverage). Profit generation has a lower dependency upon fixed costs as features and services move over to variable cost infrastructure.
  • Lower Break-Even – As fixed costs are switched for variable costs, the break-even point of the business becomes lower.
  • Optimise - Combining customer churn rate with how often a feature is used and its profitability, it is possible to understand which features are failing to serve customers and why.

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