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Adoption of cloud native to accelerate digital transformation

By: Gurprit Singh, Co-founder and Managing partner, Umbrella Infocare

The digital future is already here and it thrives on speed and agility.  Organisations across industries are realising the importance of building intelligence into their applications to remain competitive.  The constraints associated with legacy or traditional application development, such as huge costs, higher time consumption, lack of flexibility, among others, are more evident due to the fast-changing business environment and requires to be addressed immediately.  It is time to move on from the old and traditional approaches for developing software and delivering applications to succeed in the digitally transformed world. 

Cloud-native goes mainstream

Organisations that deployed ‘lift and shift’ strategy for cloud migration of legacy applications are now choosing to go ‘cloud-native’, by building applications directly on cloud, for gaining optimum performance and value.  So far, ‘lift and shift’ has been a good option for quick cloud adoption. However, enterprises would have growing needs of scalability, greater flexibility and faster time to market, in future. They would have to take full advantage of a Cloud Native approach to fulfil these needs.  Cloud native computing is the future of application development where the journey, from conceptualizing stage to production is fast and efficient, creating a significant increase in business value.  There is growing evidence of cloud native technologies going mainstream.  A recent, independent global survey of 700 CIOs by Dynatrace, reveals 89% of them say digital transformation has accelerated in the last 12 months.  It also said 86% of organisations are using cloud-native technologies, including microservices, containers and Kubernetes to accelerate innovation and achieve more successful business outcomes.  These cloud-native applications are built for the cloud, from the beginning and is pivotal to successful digital transformation.  Cloud-native solutions empower developers by building next-generation microservices-based applications that are run in containers.  They leverage DevOps and agile methodology and empower teams to innovate, be agile and provide continuous delivery across different infrastructures and driver better business outcomes.  Teams can be structured to leverage automation and scalability offered by cloud-native technologies.

App development, a key feature in digital transformation

It is said that the infrastructure activities in the traditional business application development eats away around 20% of the time, from design stage to app release stage.  Cloud-native platform accelerates application developments by removing barriers of the infrastructure, thereby saving time and cost.

Digital transformation is everything about enhancing customer experience.  Apps enable businesses to connect and engage gainfully with customers by identifying the relevant touch-points of the latter.  Apps are becoming an integral part of the any organisation’s digital transformation strategy. 

Apps that are developed traditionally are huge and complex and slow to get updated.  Its co-dependent architecture with other hardware and operating system leads to challenges in migrating to cloud and scaling up.  On the other hand, cloud-native apps are smaller and presented in an independent, loosely coupled services architecture.  Its very nature has provision for faster development and updates.  The cloud computing environment will support in speed, scale, flexibility and lowers the risks upon deployment.  Cloud-native apps can quickly adopt changes to suit current or new requirements and hence deliver higher business value.  The Microservices architecture supports apps to run each application process as a service, where it performs a single function and is independent of other services.  When any service has to be tested or replaced, this action does not affect the others, leading to making faster updates and addressing of issues in real-time.  Furthermore, cloud-native app development brings in the value of agile approach and DevOps in addition to continuous delivery.

Cloud-native’s various facets bring several advantages

Apps can accelerate productivity in manufacturing, track and reduce asset costs in construction, enable hassle-free delivery in retail, deliver online consultation in healthcare and the list goes on across different industry verticals and processes. All these tasks require scale, speed, intelligence, updating abilities and enable continuous delivery, which reiterates the need to go for cloud-native app development.

To enjoy the competitive edge, organisations have to innovate to meet the evolving customers’ needs.  New feature deployment, the key feature in the innovation process can be easily delivered across cloud-native platforms.  Better agility with microservices brings in more efficiency in the deployment process.  Higher flexibility is also provided where re-deployment is done effortlessly ensuring business continuity.  Furthermore, cloud-native computing is cost-effective too, as companies do not have to invest in additional servers and hardware, but pay for only the resources used.

With cloud-native computing fast becoming part of digital transformation and business strategies, organisations should also address the growing complexities of this technology and carefully deploy necessary measures across the cloud.

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