A Guide to Cloud Development: The Present and The Future

Cloud development is dynamically transforming business structures, operations, and functionalities. As technologies evolve, businesses are forced to keep pace with the latest innovations or find themselves lagging in the tech-dominant digital world.

Some might say that traditional application development methodologies are slowly making their way to the more advanced cloud app software development. While this might be a debatable question, there is, however, a consensus from tech pundits that cloud development is becoming the most popular choice of businesses. According to market reports, the cloud application market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.8% from $171 billion in 2020 to $356 billion in 2025.

Businesses have to make critical decisions regarding cloud development, and we make it easier to make these significant decisions. Let’s start with first defining cloud development.

What is Cloud Development?

Cloud development is the method of developing computing solutions or applications that are fully operated on web-based platforms. Cloud development allows businesses to quickly build, develop and deploy applications that are scalable, reliable, and flexible.

Cloud development improves business agility and performance by providing businesses with greater access and control over their business data.

How Is Cloud Development Different From Traditional App Development?

Comparing cloud development with traditional application development is not about finding out which one is better than the other. It is about finding out which one suits your business and project needs better. 

Cloud computing is a development service that can be used to develop applications using the internet. Traditional computing uses physical data storage to develop software in a closed environment. 

Web-based applications and cloud-based applications have some major fundamental differences. All cloud-based apps are web-based, however, not all web-based are cloud-based. Some differences are:

  Cloud-based applicationsWeb-based applications
Work from several data centersUse single location
Provides a similar version for all usesTreats each user as a separate entity and provides a unique version for each
Cloud-based applications are not dependent on the internet for functioning.A web-based application can be developed into a cloud-based one with structural and functional changes
When internet access is hampered or inadequate, cloud-based applications seem to support collaborative business.Collaborative work can also be undertaken with web-based applications provided there is consistent internet connectivity.  
Cloud-based applications are generally more suited to perform complicated operations.Web-based applications are typically used to perform specific activities for small businesses.  

What is Cloud Native Development?

Cloud-native applications are developed and deployed entirely on the cloud. It describes the approach towards developing applications specific to the cloud environment. Their architecture is designed to work on public cloud computing platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Service.

Cloud Native applications can be developed without the need for a physical computing infrastructure. Yet, these applications leverage the capabilities of cloud resources to the hilt.

Cloud-native applications are built and hosted on the cloud, and they take complete advantage of the inherent cloud capabilities, such as security, flexibility, scalability, and faster. These applications are developed for a specific platform or a device, and they are adaptable to the cloud environment. Cloud Native applications are faster to build and deploy, portable, scalable, and further the growth goals of businesses.

Read more on types of cloud computing models and find out which one suits your business needs.

Cloud development vs. Cloud native vs Traditional app development

When companies are first gearing up to enter the cloud space, the sheer number of choices can be a tad bit overwhelming. Moreover, the first decision for businesses would be to decide whether they need to go in for cloud applications or can settle with traditional applications. Companies seeking to enter the cloud space should first decide whether they need to replace or simply upgrade their existing legacy systems.

To make the right decision, companies have to compare the main differences and analyze the advantages of each choice – cloud, cloud-native or traditional applications. Comparing the three options on the following major parameters is the right way to go ahead.

Cost

Cloud Development: Certainly, cloud application development is cheaper than traditional app development. However, when compared with cloud-native, cloud applications are pricier as they require the entire stack and additional hardware. But, migrating to the cloud is a cost-effective choice for companies as they don’t have to maintain the servers, and can, instead, choose the pay-as-you-use models. 

Cloud Native Development: Cloud-native, on the other hand, is a cost-effective option since you only need to pay for storage and licensing and are not responsible for the hardware or testing. 

Traditional App Development: Traditional application development is a costly affair as the costs quickly add up. The entire development process is tedious, and support and updates take a long time. Moreover, you should also invest in data storage setup and infrastructure.

Architecture

Cloud Development: Cloud architecture has defined the presentation, application, and database layers. The cloud architecture can allocate data based on the need. A few drawbacks of cloud-based applications are the higher cost of development, downtime, and interruptions due to upgrades. Since the applications are tightly integrated, any upgrade requires the entire stack to reboot and cause downtime.

Cloud-Native Development: Since cloud native works on a microservice architecture, it is easier to compartmentalize the services in such a way that specific parts of the application can be tested, upgraded, developed, and deployed without causing potential downtime.

Traditional App Development: A traditional app development architecture has three specific layers – the presentation, app logic, and a database. These tiers are tied up to the server, and as such can’t scale as needed. Since the app is dependent on the infrastructure, if the infrastructure fails, the applications crash.

Implementation:

Cloud Development: Implementing cloud-based legacy systems is a complex, multi-step time-taking process. Several parameters such as software setup, hardware provisioning, migration, and upgrades have to be considered before implementation.

Cloud Native Development: Cloud-native applications, on the other hand, are not dependent on physical hardware and are not tied down to any specific software as well. Since they are developed and deployed for the cloud, all you need to do is start them.

Traditional App Development: When compared with cloud-based application development, traditional app development is a slower and more time-consuming process. Additionally, the system also lacks innovation and flexibility. Once the coding is done, it is complicated (possible but challenging) to update or reinvent the wheel to improve functionality.

The Benefits Of Cloud Development

Cloud application development is fundamentally faster, flexible, and cost-effective and provides value to businesses. Let’s look at some more benefits of cloud development.

Scalable: Owning to the cloud application’s serverless nature, the cloud application development is scalable while remaining cost-effective.

Secure: cloud applications are inherently built stronger and more secure. Since several networks host the cloud components, it becomes increasingly difficult to attack the app.

Agile: One of the major advantages of cloud app development is it offers an easy ability to deploy and update the apps. When an issue is detected, businesses can respond to it without actually taking the entire server offline.

Cloud-agnostic: Cloud-agnostic architecture can work seamlessly on any cloud environment without being tied down to a single platform’s toolchains. 

Challenges Involved In Adopting A Cloud Development Approach

Cloud adoption is not without its fair share of challenges and pain points. However, the advantages of cloud adoption far outweigh any challenges it might encounter along the way. Yet, let’s look at some commonly cited challenges to cloud development.

Read more on cloud enablement strategies and define full proof cloud strategies

Perceived Security Concerns: 

One of the major challenges to cloud adoption is perceived reduced security in the public cloud. But the fact remains that the public cloud platforms invest in their security measures much more than any private organization. 

Migrating to the cloud increases security rather than reducing it. One way to counter this perceived notion is by moving smaller workloads to the cloud, gaining confidence before venturing into a full-cloud model. 

Data Security: 

Another commonly cited challenge is data security and governmental regulations. While this is a valid point, the regulations vary from country to country. It is important to understand the particularities of the regulations and get legal advice rather than forgoing the benefits of cloud computing. 

Lack of Cloud App Development Technical Expertise: 

Since cloud computing is a fairly new technology, there is a dearth of highly skilled and experienced cloud computing experts. To counter this, organizations should start focussing on developing a center of excellence within their company and reskilling employees to further their cloud journey.

Are You Ready For Cloud Development?

There is little doubt that cloud development is the future – if not the present as well. A majority of businesses are migrating their legacy software to the cloud to explore the immense benefits it offers. Scalability, flexibility, and security are some of the benefits of cloud-native development. 

Organizations have to manage the skill requirements and transition towards a cloud culture with the help of architects, engineers, and cloud consultants. Cloud consultant, Kemsys, can future-proof your business and help bridge the gap between your business requirements and cloud development services



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