Top benefits of cloud-based software development your business needs right now
How does cloud computing work? In cloud computing, there are no servers to maintain, the cost of service is cheaper, and it’s quicker for companies to bring products to market. This means that software development is much more effective as developers have more freedom to build bigger, more complex products that are free from the physical constraints that used to hinder them.
What is cloud-based software development?
Cloud-based software development refers to creating software solutions that are designed to run on third-party server infrastructures. These solutions are optimised and secured to run from the cloud to provide storage, performance and analytical power.
How cloud computing is changing the way we build software
Companies all over the world are undergoing digital transformations through the utilisation of cloud-based solutions. In 2020, more than 50% of businesses around the world migrated their operations to the cloud, and this trend has increased since. The global cloud market was $368.97 billion in 2020 but is projected to grow at a rate of 15.7% a year between 2022-2030.
There is no doubt that cloud computing is not only coming, it has arrived.
Companies can build ‘cloud-native’ solutions, meaning that they build applications directly in the cloud to exploit the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. These are not focused on where applications are located, but on how they are created, allowing them to be agile, flexible, and creative when building software solutions.
What are the Benefits of a Cloud-based Development Environment?
Cloud computing brings a host of strategical advantages such as allowing software developers the flexibility to manage and deploy applications much better in a cloud environment. This creates a virtual environment that is conducive to effective project management, automated testing and software builds, which in turn increases performance and allows companies to bring products to market much quicker and to a higher quality.
Cloud-based software development also comes with significant cost benefits as there are no server maintenance costs, lower operational costs, and an overall reduction in spending.
Each company has its own reasons for migrating to cloud-based software solutions according to its individual needs.
A survey conducted as part of The 2022 State of IT report by SWZD discovered that 42% of respondents cite the ability to access data anywhere as the most critical reason they decided to migrate their operations to the cloud. 38% claim that disaster recovery was vital in their decision, allowing them to work safely in the knowledge that there is a recovery plan in place should the worst happen. Better flexibility was also a popular reason for moving to the cloud (38%), as was the need to reduce the burden on the companies’ IT staff (36%).
There are too many advantages of cloud-based computing to name at once, but just the sheer volume makes it clear to anyone interested that this is a tool to sit up and take notice of.
Types of cloud-based solutions
There are four main types of cloud-based solutions:
- Private clouds
These refer to cloud environments that are only intended for one end-user and typically run behind their private firewall. This could include typical cloud solutions that are created and managed by individuals or companies.
- Public clouds
These clouds are built with IT infrastructure that is not owned by the end-user and are probably the most widespread solutions that people are familiar with. Examples of public clouds include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud. Many individuals and organisations around the world utilise one of these behemoth services in one way or another.
- Hybrid clouds
These clouds refer to what seems like a ‘single’ IT environment, but one that is actually created through the use of multiple environments connected through LANs (local area networks), VPNs (virtual private networks), WANs (wide area networks) or APIs. The advantage of a hybrid cloud network is that applications have access to multiple (yet separate) environments.
These clouds consist of more than one cloud service that is provided by more than one vendor (these could be either private or public). All hybrid cloud approaches are multiclouds, for example, but that doesn’t mean that all multiclouds are hybrid. They only become hybrid when the various clouds are connected by some form of integration. Multiclouds exist in order to maintain control over sensitive data and as a means for storing redundant data in case of the need for disaster recovery for a system. This is becoming a much more common approach take on by companies.
In addition, there are four main cloud-based software infrastructures:
Known as software as a service, this involves providing an ‘on-demand’ software service for end customers. This allows customers to gain access to software solutions that never have to be updated or maintained as it is running in the cloud.
Backend as a service is exactly as it sounds, a service for backend apps. This tool allows companies to integrate backend services such as analytics, storage, push alerts, and dashboards.
Infrastructure as a service provides users with the ability to access computer resources through a virtualised environment, allowing them to easily obtain control over their virtual servers.
Platform as a service offers companies a platform to create and test applications on. It’s useful because it doesn’t require an operations team to monitor the infrastructure.
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The drawbacks of cloud-based development
Unfortunately, despite the numerous advantages, there are drawbacks to cloud-based software development solutions. Obviously, you need to have a good connection to the internet. Although we take this fact for granted these days, not every corner of the globe can be sure of a permanent, issue-free connection 24/7.
When there is no internet, cloud-based computing doesn’t work! In addition, not only does it require a connection, but a fantastically high-speed connection capable of delivering sophisticated and sensitive data continuously. This ultra-high bandwidth usage doesn’t come cheap and could really impact a company’s finances.
Security is always going to be a top concern for companies and individuals alike, as once you have entrusted your precious information to the cloud, there is always the risk that data breaches or leaks could occur (be they intentional or otherwise).
Another potential issue is that cloud-based development can be difficult to integrate with on-premise applications that are already present in your company. Eventually, they’ll all need to be connected, which comes with a whole host of new challenges.
Despite these issues, the benefits of cloud-based approaches and cloud-based software development far outweigh any drawbacks. That’s not to say that we can jump in with both eyes closed and ignore potential problems, but rather that they are manageable and, once overcome, a company’s journey into the cloud will be full of benefits and new discoveries.
More and more enterprises are migrating to the cloud every day and that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. With the proper optimisation, cloud services can provide businesses with scalability and access to precious resources that they need to grow. They are (largely) cost-effective, offer incredible performance, and come with the prospect of limitless potential.