6 Advantages of Building Cloud Native Applications
Blog|by Alanna|2 March 2023
The ability to deliver better apps faster is a driving factor in staying ahead of the competition. And there is tough competition in a market where businesses are looking to cloud technologies and low-code apps to help them modernise and become more efficient.
By 2025, Gartner estimates that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud native platforms, up from 30% in 2021. So, if you’re not currently using a cloud native architecture for your applications, now is the time to make a start.
In this article we’ll look more closely at six advantages of building cloud native applications and why developer velocity is important.
Cloud Native and Developer Velocity
Over the last few years, you’ll have heard the term ‘developer velocity’ increasingly referenced. A relatively new term in our industry, it was coined in 2020 when McKinsey and Company published a report with Microsoft entitled “Developer Velocity: How software excellence fuels business performance”. The gist of their findings was that businesses with higher ‘developer velocity’ had 4-5x faster revenue growth.
What does ‘developer velocity’ mean? It’s a development metric that software companies use to plan capacity and measure productivity of development teams, estimating how many units of work can be completed in a specific time frame.
Building cloud native applications and better developer velocity go hand in hand.
Six benefits of cloud native architecture
We’ve discussed the fact that adopting cloud technologies are the way many companies are planning to get ahead of their competitors and delight their customers. If you’re still to be convinced of the merits of using a cloud-native architecture with your next app, we’ve listed six key benefits.
1. Increase developer velocity
Using cloud native design patterns helps you achieve agility, efficiency and speed of innovation – you can deliver better apps faster.
Taking advantage of containers, serverless technology, microservice-based architectures, API-based solutions and managed databases you can build and iterate solutions faster. Delivered using a highly automated DevOps-based approach, cloud native applications enable you to continuously deploy new updates and capabilities to your customers.
2. Increase cost efficiency
Functioning on the cloud, you’ll save on infrastructure and backup costs and use services that typically adopt a pay-per-use model. This means you only pay for the resources you use rather than paying out a fixed cost like you would with monolithic architectures.
3. Increase adaptability
Scalable and flexible, cloud native architecture allows you to grow your application alongside the needs of the business and your customers. By employing a DevOps-based approach you can make improvements in real time, leveraging the capabilities of cloud tooling to adapt as and when you need to.
Taking a modular approach like microservices can also break complex systems into smaller pieces to improve problem-solving.
4. Better customer experience
A cloud native architecture will allow you to scale to meet any demand with instant elastic scaling, mitigating downtime caused by high traffic volumes. It also allows you to put your data where your users are to give real-time access and guarantee a low-latency experience for global users. The agile nature of cloud development also means that customer feedback can be quickly implemented and deployed.
5. Improved security and reliability
Going cloud native, you’ll be leveraging microservices like Kubernetes which helps increase app resiliency and isolate incidents to specific containers. If an area of infrastructure goes down, or a particular data centre has issues, you can easily shift components to alternative environments.
Security measures are implemented during build, so naturally cloud-native applications are more secure and reliable.
6. Reduced risk of vendor lock-in
With cloud native architecture you’re not locked into working with one vendor, you can shift your infrastructure to leverage the cloud-native services and solutions or any vendor that suits you. Whichever vendor you choose, you can also still use your existing investments in tools, clouds and code written.
Common cloud native scenarios
So, you now know why cloud native is important for your business and how it can increase your developer velocity, but what are the common scenarios for cloud native apps?
Modernise business-critical applications
Many businesses choose to modernise business-critical applications such as e-commerce systems using cloud-native technology, which does well to handle scaling requirements and availability worldwide.
SWZD’s 2023 State of IT Report highlights that 51% of organisations said they need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure in 2023 as they look to weather changes in the current world economy.
Another popular approach is building on the API economy by exposing applications as a set of APIs to create a SaaS business model.
When there’s a high volume of data to ingest and process in near real-time, managed data services enable fast and high scale storage, while container based microservices can adapt to changing load requirements.
For businesses that want to put their data where their users are, to give real-time access and uninterrupted services anywhere in the world. Geo-replicating data services paired with a DevOps deployment approach make this possible.
Many businesses accelerate their development of AI-enabled apps to increase customer engagement through bots, translation, and enhanced security with biometric authentication. They’re also automating some of their business logic and deploying AI models using containers.
Xero’s report on “Trends in small business technology adoption and use” found that the top 25% of app-enabled small businesses reported annual sales growth of up to 8.7% and job uplifts of up to 4.5% when compared to non-app users.
Microsoft Azure and Cloud Native
Microsoft offers a fully managed platform for building, deploying and scaling your cloud-native apps via the Azure App Service.
You get built-in infrastructure maintenance, security patching, and scaling, along with rigorous security and compliance for deployments across public cloud, Azure Government and on-premises environments. CI/CD integration provides zero-downtime deployments and with virtual network integration, giving you the ability to run in an isolated and dedicated App Service environment.
The best part is you can bring your code or container using the framework language of your choice.
If you want to find out more about Microsoft Azure – get in touch with our experts.
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