Introduction to cloud-native
Cloud-native is a phrase you might be hearing more and more in the world of cloud today. In fact, Gartner states that by 2025, cloud-native platforms will serve as the basis for over 95% of new digital projects. But you might have some questions about what it is, and what the benefits of going cloud-native are.
Cloud-native refers to applications that are developed specifically for the cloud and have been deployed using cloud-based technologies. These applications use PaaS tools and an agile methodology that transforms the application development process along with any microservices architecture which functions as building blocks of the cloud-native architecture.
Your organisation might be considering a lift-and-shift cloud migration where you simply rehost your existing applications and any other data that goes with them onto the cloud whilst making minimal changes. This may seem like a much simpler, faster, and more cost-effective method of conducting a cloud adoption at first, but you'll likely eventually encounter issues once your apps are on the cloud.
Applications may not perform as well on the cloud as they did in their previous environment, and any changes and upkeep of these applications will require investment in time and manpower, and even if you're willing to accept these investments, your applications still may not fully scale or give you the performance or other benefits that you can achieve with applications built specifically for the cloud.
Benefits of a cloud-native model
In any organisation, we seek speed in every aspect, including speed of completion of projects, speed of page load times, and speed of conversion from prospect to sale. So, in this sense, building your business model around the idea of speed would arguably have the most impact.
When it comes to software development, building cloud-native applications plays a significant part in this, as you can develop an application portfolio that keeps up with the demands of the market and your customers.
But let's talk about some of the top benefits of cloud-native architecture in more detail.
Reduced Time to Market
Likely one of the top reasons when it comes to developing your business case for developing applications to be cloud-native is a quicker time to market.
Instead of using local or server-based development, cloud-native developers, by using DevOps processes and automation, can achieve accelerated delivery of your software.
By getting your software released quicker, you can gain a competitive edge and it also allows you to keep up with current market trends.
Ease of Management
Cloud-native application development allows for easy infrastructure management. By using serverless platforms, you bypass the need for on-premises or cloud VM configuration, networking, storage, and other provisioning.
Infrastructure as code allows for even more ease of management in this case, as by using IaC, you can automatically configure and provision your resources to standardised templates.
This allows your IT team to concentrate on developing new software rather than maintaining infrastructure.
As discussed above, cloud-native computing drastically reduces the amount of on-premises infrastructure that your organisation requires, as well as the manpower to manage it all.
The compatibility with cloud-native infrastructure reduces costs on development, maintenance, and backup. If using an open-source system or tools, e.g., serverless systems that use a pay-per-use model, costs can be massively reduced.
Reduced Risk of Vendor Lock-In
In earlier days of cloud computing, organisations would find themselves locked in with a particular cloud provider because of the time and effort invested in that particular cloud.
However, using containers and porting microservices between cloud platform providers' infrastructures means your cloud-native apps aren't tied to specific cloud vendors and could also be deployed to hybrid environments. This means you can benefit from the services of multiple cloud providers at once and also take advantage of the most optimised offers and incentives for your organisation.
However, cloud portability does need to be traded off against the benefits of using serverless technologies that do involve vendor lock-in.
Scalability and Flexibility
The scalability and flexibility of applications specifically developed for the cloud are arguably one of the significantficant benefits of cloud-native application development.
It allows you to meet the needs of your business by introducing improvements to your software in real-time and optimise the performance of your applications as well as quickly meeting any feedback and fixes required by your customers quickly and efficiently. This can give your organisation a competitive edge by being able to keep up with the demands of the market and your customer base in a faster way than organisations that are not running scalable applications.
Improved Customer Experience
Traditionally developed applications meant that software updates happened over long periods of time, and individual teams were required for particular tasks, but this is no longer necessary.
Cloud-native applications are built and run for scalability as mentioned above, which can allow for continuous delivery. This means that developers can offer software and app updates in much shorter and more continuous cycles than before.
As data is consistently shared through different services on the cloud between the providing organisation and the end-user, whether that be on public, private or hybrid cloud, there are several gateways that can be open to potential security breaches in cloud-native infrastructures.
However, cloud-native applications can be built with security in mind. Cloud-native security is inherently more advanced than applications that have been lifted and shifted because the applications can be developed to utilise the latest security technologies.
Security breaches such as cyber-attacks can be dealt with more efficiently within a specific container or component whilst the other parts of the application remain unaffected.
Cloud-native computing has already taken the world of cloud computing by storm, and it's certainly something your organisation needs to be aware of when considering your cloud transformation or cloud modernisation strategy.
By developing your applications in this way, your organisation will see real benefits in cost savings, taking the lead against competition, and many other benefits that we've discussed in this blog.
Still unsure about your cloud adoption or cloud modernisation project? Our experts at AppScore can help you. You can find out how by visiting our cloud migration platform product page, or by contacting one of our cloud migration and adoption experts.