‘Cloud native’ is by no means a new term for those who have been well versed in the cloud for several years. However, for businesses just getting to grips with the cloud it adds to list of new terms to understand.
Quite simply, cloud native applications are pieces of software designed to function "in a world of cloud computing”, according to Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.
So, what are the benefits of cloud native app development?
Arguably the biggest advantage to businesses developing apps in the cloud is time. In 2013, the Evans Data Cloud Development Survey found that cloud platforms cut overall development time by more than 11%.
Ten per cent of those surveyed reported a fall in development time of 30%. In the time since the study, there have been greater advancements in cloud technology, software and hardware that allow the process to improve.
The speed at which workers are able to get software online is buttressed by the collaboration power of cloud-based development. The environment creates a far more seamless and user-friendly working experience for all involved, by allowing multiple team members to work simultaneously on one project.
In the modern business world in which reliable Wi-Fi connections are commonplace, participants can operate efficiently from almost any geographic location, cutting out traditional time-wasting hazards that stem from saving and sending projects between colleagues.
App development and testing
Self-provisioning, whereby end users can implement and start up applications or services, becomes optimised in the cloud environment, whether that’s in private, public or hybrid setups.
Testing and further development are also accelerated, as applications can be improved free of the traditional restrictions caused by hardware and software interacting in the data centre.
In an age when success can be defined by the customer experience, agile, cloud-based methodologies are essential for transparent progress that is informed by customer feedback through every iteration.
Modern business calls for apps that operate smoothly across multiple devices, and no infrastructure supports mobile device requirements better than those based in the cloud.
BYOD (Bring your own device) culture has accelerated this dynamic, enfranchising the cloud to drive increasingly efficient development processes for applications that are custom-built for mobile.
The cloud environment delivers valuable peace of mind and real security. App development takes advantage of cloud infrastructures’ increased redundancy through multiple locations and duplicate copies of various data.
As traditional infrastructural hardware components – such as servers, as well as IT administrators are taken out of the equation, there are fewer touchpoints between developers and where data is stored, further reducing potential for communications or system breakdown.
Nick Thompson, managing director at DCSL Software, said: "Public cloud has revolutionised the way we as software developers can deliver software products in an efficient way. No longer are we battling with operating systems, installing components, antivirus and patching. We can now create software to reside within cloud-based containers that are fully managed by the public cloud provider, DCSL Software’s preferred being Microsoft Azure.
"Software is now more than just a single app developed for a computer. It is now a combination of web, mobile and desktop experiences, communicating through the Internet and public networks. It’s now essential we build our software “for the cloud” from the outset."
The future of secure development
As digital transformation progresses, the cloud has evolved as a natural ecosystem in which cutting edge business can thrive.
Whether corporate concerns dwell upon operational processes, financial stability and growth or scalability, app development through software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) grants immediate and significant benefits that effect positive change through every level of business.
By Stephen White, Amplified Business Content