Cloud-based software development: benefits and solutions your business needs
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 is Cloud based system development 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 keeps increasing.
In 2020 the global cloud market was worth $368.97 billion and is projected to grow at a rate of 15.7% a year between 2022-2030.
There is no doubt that cloud computing is now at the basis of all technology.
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 cloud based software solutions.
What are the benefits of a Cloud-based development environment?
Cloud based computing brings a host of strategical advantages, such as allowing software developers the flexibility to manage and deploy applications. It 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 quickly bring high quality products to market.
Cloud computing development also comes with significant cost benefits as there are no server maintenance costs, lower operational costs, and an overall reduction in spending.
Processes are more efficient and testing is more effective, so potential issues can be found and eradicated much more easily, which also saves money.
Other benefits of moving to the cloud-based computing include:
cloud scalability and elasticity, meaning cloud resources can be optimised and adjusted to the current business needs,
data security, meaning data is less accessible to hackers,
reliability, meaning cloud infrastructure is less prone to break downs.
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 for which 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 (38%), as was the need to reduce the burden on the companies’ IT staff (36%).
One thing is sure: cloud-based solutions and software development allow companies to operate efficiently, to be mobile and agile, to have the necessary tools to be adaptable, to optimise their costs and to scale their enterprises effectively.
Types of Cloud-based solutions
There are four main types of cloud-based solutions:
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.
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, IBM Cloud and Alibaba Cloud.
Many individuals and organisations around the world utilise one of these behemoth cloud service providers in one way or another.
These clouds refer to what seems like a ‘single’ IT environment, but one that is actually created through the use of multiple environments connected with 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.
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Multi cloud strategy 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 based approaches are multiclouds, 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. Multi cloud infrastructure 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, it involves providing an ‘on-demand’ software service for end customers. This allows customers to gain access to custom 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, automatic software updates, push alerts and dashboards.
Infrastructure as a service in Cloud 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.
The disadvantages of Cloud-based software development
Unfortunately, despite the numerous advantages, there are also some drawbacks to cloud-based software development solutions. To use them, you need to have a good internet connection.
Although these days we take this fact for granted, not every corner of the globe can be sure of a permanent, issue-free connection 24/7. When there is no internet, cloud computing services 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 in cloud 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).
The utmost care must be taken when securing your data because at the end of the day, it’s not the server’s fault if something gets leaked!
Another potential issue is that cloud-based development can be difficult to integrate with on-premise software that are already present in your company.
Eventually, they’ll all need to be connected, which comes with a whole host of new challenges.
Cloud based services development: a summary
Despite these issues, the benefits of cloud-based approaches and cloud-based software development far outweigh any drawbacks. That’s not to say 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 it doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. With the proper optimisation, cloud services can provide businesses with scalability and access to precious resources they need to grow.
They are (largely) cost-effective, offer incredible performance, and come with the prospect of limitless potential.