In the digitally transformative world, cloud-native technology is essential to deliver the scalability and agility modern enterprises need. Increasingly, we are seeing the adoption of cloud-native tools, such as containers, microservices architecture and platforms like Kubernetes being used for application development. These tools provide engineers with an infrastructure where they can elastically scale workloads and quickly deploy new features in response to market change. Here, we examine the rise of cloud-native applications and the challenges of developing them.
How cloud-native app development is being used
According to the latest research, more than two-thirds of businesses predict that the majority of their apps will be developed in the cloud by the end of next year with most of these being created on low-code platforms that require little use of programming languages and, instead, rely on visual interfaces with simple drag-and-drop capabilities.
The research highlights some interesting trends in the ways enterprises make use of cloud-native app development. The most popular type of applications currently being developed or planned for development are customer-facing apps. The consumer demand for digital experiences and the need to deliver services 24/7 without the cost to human resources, something accelerated by the pandemic, has led to a digital transformation in which customer-facing applications are increasingly necessary for businesses and expected by end-users. The growth of remote working and the increasing number of mobile workers (e.g., drivers, broadband installers and breakdown service mechanics) who now need to be connected to the company system has also led more businesses to develop employee-based applications. Many manufacturing firms, meanwhile, are wanting to create production apps.
The challenges of cloud-native app development
While cloud-native app development has distinct advantages, one of the biggest challenges to its use is that less than half of the enterprises wanting to utilise it have the in-house skills to do so. An ongoing challenge has been the difficulty in recruiting the talent needed to create the environments and carry out the development of cloud-native apps. Over three-quarters of companies would need to recruit cloud architects before they were able to effectively start the cloud-native app development process, while more than two-thirds of businesses would need to employ DevOps engineers and mobile, backend and full-stack developers.
While there is no magic wand to resolve the global shortage in expertise, the recent economic downturn has led to many companies laying off IT teams – over 40,000 employees in the US alone over recent months. This, at least temporarily, has increased the pool of talent available for those companies still in a position to recruit. In-house training and low-code tools are other solutions that many companies are making use of to make it easier for them to begin cloud-native app development.
Even for companies with in-house expertise, cloud-native app development is still, for many, a concept with which they are unfamiliar. This makes it highly challenging for IT teams when it comes to choosing the best platforms and tools to develop their apps (there is an increasing variety available) and how to manage them. For example, enterprises need to consider factors such as orchestration, storage, service proxies and configuration.
Another challenge is managing the complex architecture required for cloud-native app development. Not only does this require the use of cloud infrastructure; it also involves cloud-native elements, like containers, which can make it more challenging to ensure fault tolerance and high availability in the development environment. This can be even more difficult for organisations which have a multi-cloud setup. On top of this, of course, is the need to maintain cloud-native operations: infrastructure and tools need to be set up, kept secure and updated.
Cloud-native application development has now become mainstream. According to Gartner, by 2025, 95 per cent of enterprises will develop their apps this way, with improved elasticity, scalability and reliability being chief factors. For this to happen, however, those companies wanting to deploy it will need to increase their understanding of it and acquire the infrastructure, tools and in-house skills to go forward. One way enterprises can ease the challenge is by partnering with managed cloud solutions providers, like Hyperslice, that can bring cloud expertise to the table and offer bespoke managed services tailored to an individual client’s needs, reducing the burden on in-house teams and freeing them up to work on cloud-native app development.
Hyperslice is the UK’s leading independent managed cloud hosting group. We provide enterprise-class, consultancy-led, strategic partnerships with clients, providing bespoke, flexible, managed IT solutions across infrastructure, connectivity, security, recovery, business continuity and support. Our IT Strategy and Consultancy team brings together expert technical knowledge and proven commercial success, helping enterprises utilise IT to improve productivity and revenue.
For more information visit Hyperslice.com.