Five reasons why your organization should move to cloud-native applications
By Dayna Sargen | 5 minute read | September 19, 2019
According to a recent IBM survey of more than 150 top enterprise executives, companies plan to move 75 percent of their non-cloud applications to the cloud in the next three years. Before investing in any significant change to the technology your company uses, it’s critical to investigate the return it may deliver. And, that’s actually one of the strongest reasons to consider investing in adopting the cloud-native model.
The cloud-native model
Cloud-native applications are designed to capitalize on the scalability and flexibility of the cloud. In contrast to traditional monolithic applications, cloud-native applications are built using multiple, independent microservices that are deployed in cloud environments.
Cloud-native development takes an agile approach to creating new applications. Using a DevOps-based continuous delivery model, software development teams can quickly, iteratively and automatically add new features to an application.
Cloud-native app development uses a microservices architecture. In this model, software developers build and maintain a distinct set of loosely coupled microservices that together create the application. Developers can iterate each microservice independently; they no longer have to wait for all components to be updated before delivering new code into production.
Typically, microservices are deployed in containers and utilize a container orchestration tool like Kubernetes to ensure service availability and automatically scale the application services.
Leveraging the benefits of the cloud-native model
There are many reasons to build new instead of reworking traditional applications. Yet, the desired outcome remains the same. A company wants to deliver an innovative solution to new and existing users quickly and efficiently. These users want better experiences and new ways to address their list of demands. The right orchestration, structures, and specialized technologies can help you meet that demand.
If you’ve been considering adopting this cloud computing model to strengthen your app offering, here are five compelling arguments in favor:
1. Cloud-native development helps you bring apps to market quickly.
The cloud-native model helps you bring new features online so customers can use them right away. According to the IBM survey, 73 percent of development executives, IT executives, and developers said this model resulted in quicker development and roll-out.
Because the cloud-native approach encourages efficiency and flexibility, it directly stimulates business growth. You can scale resources to handle user demand and reach even more people more quickly.
By using this cloud platform, your company can be more responsive and relevant with its app updates. This kind of continuous integration and self-service is popular with customers, who become more likely to buy and use the app, as well as potentially tell others about it.
2. The cloud-native model lets you improve app performance on the fly.
One of the biggest challenges a company faces is keeping up with changing customer expectations. Many users believe devops teams should immediately respond to their shifting changes or demands. Many in your customer base expect you to know what they want before they say something about it.
The cloud build model makes delivering performance enhancements on demand in agile fashion possible. In fact, 75 percent of those surveyed believed they had greater flexibility to make these real-time changes with the cloud-native model.
The result is you’re more likely to please a greater number of expectations on the first try. Continuous delivery of even slight alterations will get you noticed and appreciated. Fast or even real-time response may even keep high expectations in check as you address each one through this type of cloud infrastructure.
3. It helps you stay caught up with the competition and your customer base.
78 percent of companies planning to develop apps in the next year are designing at least one of those apps to be cloud-native. That means it’s time to make the switch or find yourself chasing the competition.
Adopting cloud-native technologies helps you deliver a consistently positive customer experience while staying competitive. In some cases, the greater capabilities offered by cloud-native application development, including the ability to add artificial intelligence or blockchain services, may even put you ahead of competitors.
4. The cloud-native model helps you avoid changing an entire application.
At one time, making small changes to software platforms took months of work. Apps needed considerable downtime while workers tweaked them. The cloud-native model does away with cumbersome improvements, saving resources and minimizing downtime.
Your company also has a larger range of efficient modernization options. For example, you can simplify the move over managing a large-scale development effort by containerizing it on a public cloud. The process delivers fast and simple deployment in an environment open to current and future modernization.
5. It lets you work more effectively with other companies.
As you develop more solutions and platforms through this cloud-native approach, your company will be able to integrate or work with other companies, cloud providers, and related applications.
You’re probably already aware of the trend toward integrating more tools, apps, and platforms. It’s a proven way to optimize the performance of the underlying infrastructure of your company. The open source movement has proved to be one direction companies have taken to offer more all-in-one solutions for users. For example, Kubernetes, an open source platform originally developed by Google engineers, currently has an active and growing ecosystem of contributors.
The cloud-native model helps you meet critical business needs by making development of microservices architecture easier. This architecture lets smaller devops teams in your own company, or in partnership with other companies, focus on different components. As a result, the partnership produces new integrative features and functionality. Both companies get benefits while satisfying each other’s audience.
Now, adoption is widespread. According to the survey, over half (55 percent) of new applications developed in the next year will be cloud-native. Among current adopters of the model, 53 percent of applications are cloud-native. The industries in which this is widespread include government, blockchain consortiums, financial services, and even health research. By adopting this model there will be more companies to partner with on projects.
Speed up app development or modernization
From building a new cloud-native app to modernizing your existing software platforms, it’s time to make a move to a process that can simplify and amplify your efforts. To get started, I recommend reviewing your existing application estate to develop a strategy and roadmap that starts with your business objectives and prioritizes which applications to build cloud-native based on projected business outcomes. Managed services on the cloud means that you won’t have to worry about the inner workings of your enterprise cloud, and you can focus on building apps.