In 2015, Gartner predicted that “Cloud computing will promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device”. The cloud adoption rate in 2015 was 38% as opposed to 29% in 2014. Fast forward five years, in 2020, about 86% of the companies were using cloud. You can attribute this growth to the demand for innovation and the need to improve productivity exponentially, but constantly evolving use cases are also an important factor. Cloud has completely changed the IT industry landscape and with it the organizations that rely on information technology. Legacy systems based on monolithic software architecture have become obsolete and organizations need to have a service oriented approach while developing software. Microservices architecture has emerged as a savior for organizations that were experiencing stagnation and losing revenue. Microservices coupled with Containers, Continuous Delivery and DevOps has taken organizations a step further by fostering innovation and ridiculously shortening the time-to-market of products. Cloud-Native Application Development has helped organizations build applications at the speed of their businesses and has contributed to their growth exponentially.
Product development in the old days usually meant following the waterfall approach and designing software without considering the customers. But the cut throat competition in the industry has provided the organizations onus to adopt goals oriented approaches that increase their business value and ultimately their market share. Agile development, DevOps, and Design Thinking have revolutionized the way products are developed. Design thinking’s user-centric approach, Agile’s focus on responding quickly to customer feedback, and DevOps’s insistence on promoting fast feedback help build impactful products and decrease the product cycle time. When organizations couple these approaches with cloud technology, they reduce cost and capabilities such as scalability and faster time-to-market to scale impactful ideas.
While Cloud technology is clearly a winning element for a lot of businesses, there are a few caveats organizations must be aware before adopting them. This blog is meant to educate the decision makers of companies about the do’s and don’ts of product development on cloud. Let us discuss the things organizations must not do so that we can end this blog on a positive note.
Things “not” to do
Mimicking the on-premise model: Adding more servers to the cluster does not impart scalability or stability to the application. Cloud applications are more secure than on-premise applications and extra security measures will only add redundancy.
Ignoring Downtime: Server outages can prove disastrous for the business. Server connectivity is important for uninterrupted performance of the application. So it is important to avoid server outages altogether.
Skipping Documentation: Documenting everything will give your team a chance to rethink the development process. It gives developers a clear image of the application’s limitations and helps them plan for future development. Skipping this might lead to complexities in the future.
Migrating En Masse: Migrating all your applications to the cloud for the sake of migrating is unnecessary. Not all applications are suited for the cloud. Organizations that do a return on investment analysis before migrating will find that only a few applications are enough to be migrated.
Underfunding: Cutting costs on cloud migration might prove disastrous in the long run. Migrating to the cloud will add business value to the company and hence it is in their interest to do a cost analysis and ensure that the migration is done well.
Things to do
Aim for the least amount of responsibility: Choosing SaaS, PaaS or IaaS will allow you to share management of services such as middleware, Servers, Applications and Data with third parties. This will save you time, resources and space.
Separate data from the application: Storing the data on your application will compromise its security and slow down its performance. Decoupling the data and the application will make it faster and more secure.
Implement Cloud Application Best Practices: It is important to establish time tested approaches and architectural guidelines. Organizations must keep it simple and avoid taking on additional responsibilities. This is why it is wise to choose SaaS, PaaS or IaaS. Adopting approaches like Agile and DevOps will reduce the product life cycle and enables frequent deliveries.
Futureproofing: As your business grows, scaling will become inevitable. Unsuitable platforms and bad programming will make it difficult to scale up. So it is better to futureproof the applications during the initial stages of development itself.
Have a cloud focused vision for the architecture: The cloud journey doesn’t stop once you migrate to the cloud. You need to decide upon the resources for taking up the responsibility for billing, subscription and consumption.
Organizations that wish to make full use of the cloud must be aware of the best practices in the industry and pitfalls they might encounter if they follow unsound practices. Cloud migration can prove fruitful for organizations that do it correctly but, approaches like Cloud-Native application development where cloud principles are applied from the initial stages of the application development have proven to improve the business value multifold and gain market share.