The cloud has given businesses unlimited access to new resources, storage and sharing capabilities, collaboration tools, and the ability to create and manage software directly within it. The modern business should, in all honesty, be utilizing the cloud to encourage greater security, scalability, and collaboration despite the size of the business.
With so many cloud options available today, there’s no shortage of services to choose from; whether you simply need cloud storage and sharing capabilities or custom cloud-native software for your business’s specific needs.
Cloud-native computing is the way to launch your company to technological success, but how? How can something like cloud computing make such a big difference in the success of your business? Let’s look closer at what cloud-native computing is, how to get there, and how it can launch your business into the future.
What Are Cloud-Native Applications?
Organizations that are cloud-based differentiate themselves as being cloud-native. The aspects of being considered cloud-native include:
- Infrastructure services
- Automation and orchestration
- Virtualization and containerization
- Microservices architecture
This means an organization’s application is building using modern cloud technologies and hosted and managed through the cloud end to end, including writing code, testing, and deploying it, and operating those applications in the cloud. Since your software or application is born in the cloud itself, scalability, security, and customization are far easier to manage.
The scalability of your software or application should always be a prime concern, and with cloud computing, you can be certain your software will scale with your growing business. This is also much more cost-effective, as you won’t need to pay for entirely new software every time your business grows. Who has the funds for that, anyway?
Alongside scalability sits customization. Since your software is custom-tailored to meet your business’s needs, it will need to be customizable to industry-specific customizations. Changes are always easier to make with cloud-native software and system-wide updates take far less time to complete.
Benefits of Cloud-Native Applications
Cloud-native applications have numerous benefits that help you prioritize and stay on the course, including. Aside from the scalability of the service, it can also help with:
- Faster release pace – the quicker a company can visualize, build, and ship value to its customers, the more likely the company is to succeed and avoid any disruptions. Modern cloud-native applications support DevOps processes, which enables automation and collaboration further. In a world of extensive competition, your business needs a fast, accurate process that can help differentiate you from the rabble; cloud-native computing is definitely it.
- Ease of management – cloud-native offers many options to ease infrastructure management. Through the use of a PaaS platform, such as Heroku or App Engine, serverless computing platforms let you upload code in the form of functions that the platform runs, so you do not have to worry about delivering cloud instances, allocating sufficient storage, or configuring networks.
- Reduce costs – reduce costs by consolidating around cloud applications for the management of containers and standards for managing the resource in the cloud, cloud-native applications benefit significantly from containerization. Meaning that the open-source model helps reduce costs. Cloud-native capabilities like Serverless let you run workloads and pay-per-use time in milliseconds, which is flexible in pricing enabled by cloud-native. Not to mention, the scalability and customization of cloud-native applications means they grow with the business or your customers’ needs.
- Build more reliable systems – modern cloud-native approaches, such as microservices architecture or Kubernetes in the cloud, companies can more efficiently build applications to before resilient and secure. Due to this design, even if a failure happens, the impact of the incident can easily be isolated, so it does not harm the rest of the application. Cloud-native microservices help in achieving high uptime and improve user experiences.
- Avoid vendor lock-in – the increase of open source and cloud technologies, hybrid, and multi-cloud is becoming normalized. Companies are using a combination of on-premise data and at least one platform for the cloud. The conversation amongst the cloud has grown to enable portability across cloud platforms, so your business is never locked into one single vendor.
- Building a great customer experience – a good customer experience can make or break your entire relationship with a client. Wouldn’t then, the focus be on creating the ultimate experience for your customers? Faster delivery times, greater reliability, scalability, and security, as well as full customization, allow you to create the best customer experience and keep those clients coming back.
The New Normal: The Cloud Era
We’ve come a long way from the pre-cloud era when the information was stored and shared via physical drives or across email addresses. The cloud era allowed us our first taste of what the cloud had to offer, including more storage, greater elasticity and resilience, and easier collaboration. Now, we’re firmly implanted in the cloud-native age, and it’s becoming the new normal.
Unfortunately, adapting to this new normalcy isn’t something that happens overnight with the flip of a switch. With cloud-native computing, there’s a serious focus on how you develop your applications more so than where they’re implemented. Nowadays, speed, efficiency, and reliability are the standard of software applications, and you can reach the maximum of all three with cloud-native solutions.
These fundamental changes will take time, patience, and money to implement, but you’ll notice a more efficient infrastructure and faster delivery times with cloud-native computing. Don’t get left behind; your competitors are certain to be taking advantage of cloud-native solutions, even if you’re not.
Cloud-Native Measurement Challenges
Measurement practices must evolve, too, in order to meet the needs of these modern and complex systems. Monitoring within a cloud-native environment is simple, and helps to address three key issues in monitoring:
- Difficulty Scaling: When you experience success within a silo, it’s difficult to adopt the new scalable practices across a system-wide update and best practices for the team. Cloud-native allows changes and adaptations to integrate into the system (as well as the team itself) quickly and more simply since the software or application was born in the cloud to begin with.
- Poor Insights: MMTR increases alongside environment complexity, making it difficult to gauge accurate insights at a glance. Finding where things went wrong tends to be an extensive process for non-cloud native solutions.
- Visibility Across Complex Systems (Or Lack Thereof): New technologies and services can often make it more difficult to identify anomalies within their complex systems. Manually sifting through mountains of data simply isn’t practical or efficient.
Migrating to the Cloud vs. Building Cloud-Native
We already know that thousands of businesses across the country are migrating all of their software and services to the cloud, but this sort of “lift and shift” method isn’t quite the same as being “cloud-native” from the get-go; nor is the transition simple. Businesses that start with cloud-native applications and processes have a distinct advantage over those that simply migrate to the cloud at some point.
Moving old apps and functionality to a cloud platform can be costly and time-consuming. Not to mention, there can sometimes be a lack of compatibility between programs when moving to the cloud. Starting out as a cloud-native operation allows you to start from the cloud, taking advantage of the scalability of cloud-native systems as your business grows.
Joining IT And Business
IT is no longer a separate entity of a business. With cloud-native, the two are one and the same, operating together in perfect synchronicity. Your IT can now contribute directly to business value, and with microservices, the processes are faster, more efficient, and add to the business’s overall capabilities.
Automation can take your business to the next level, allowing for a more hands-off approach to your software and app management. Automation is quickly finding its way into the standards of business practice, as more and more businesses look to automate mundane tasks and increase their overall efficiency with AI and machine learning.
Your cloud-native solutions will allow for a certain level of automation to the management of your software, and integration tools mean that AI and the cloud are one and will continue to work together as two necessary halves of a whole.
Cloud-Native Is The Future
As technology and software advance, businesses must adapt to it in order to thrive. The successful implementation of cloud-native solutions across businesses in several different industries has shown us that cloud-native apps are the way of the future, and offer far greater efficiency and scalability. The old monolithic legacy applications will likely die off as cloud-native solutions advance, and the “lift and shift” method will likely follow. The only way to truly benefit from the cloud is to start in the cloud; building your systems from the ground up in a more sustainable and secure environment from the get-go.
Let’s not forget that there was a time before the cloud was even an option, so to not take advantage of such amazing technology is truly doing your business and your customers a disservice. You’ll be able to foster greater loyalty and trust with customers with your faster value delivery times, and your applications and software can be autonomously managed without the need for a constant hands-on approach.
Companies Are Already Using Cloud-Native To Great Success
Some of the biggest names in business are already using cloud-native applications and processes and driving business operations to the next level. By adopting cloud services for its provisioning platform, Capital One was able to increase productivity and reduce costs, all while decreasing the time it takes to get apps operational. Other businesses include Pinterest, Box, Dish Network, and Huawei, which have all implemented cloud-native solutions into their business practices and found great success in doing so.
Pinterest has used cloud-native apps and services to manage thousands of microservices. With millions of users, Pinterest needed a way to make the back-end of business operations more efficient and cost-effective. Cloud-native services have helped Pinterest thrive and grow in recent years, and the company continues to provide valuable entertainment in a social media platform.
Realizing the full potential of the cloud in your business means adapting cloud-native solutions as the norm within your operations. The lift and shift method of moving old legacy applications to the cloud is simply inefficient, and you can never properly integrate old applications like you want to. Starting from scratch is the best option and one that will pay dividends far into your company’s future.
Remember that scalability is just as important as cost-effectiveness and efficiency. If your applications can’t scale with the company, you’re going to be spending a lot more money in the future to match them with company growth.
Cloud-native is truly the way of the future. No longer do we depend on physical drives and cloud storage by itself. Now, the cloud is an integral part of the modern business and any tech startups that want to make a name for themselves in the industry.
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