Trends indicate that businesses across the world are shifting towards the cloud en masse. According to Precedence Research, the global cloud computing market value is forecasted to hit US$1.6 trillion by 2030. To meet the accelerating demand for cloud services, 2021 saw a 67% increase in developers using Kubernetes compared to the previous year, with a total of 6.8 million cloud-native developers globally.
Instead of being born on-premise, cloud-native apps are built and deployed in the cloud and take advantage of the distributed systems within its architecture. Leveraging many separate components such as microservices and containerization, cloud-native architecture is now hailed as essential for digital companies seeking agility and flexibility as well as time and resource savings.
However, going cloud-native is more than just a change to infrastructure, it’s a complete mindset shift, an approach that places the cloud at the front of mind within every choice a business makes to their operations and processes.
Read on to find out how cloud-native architectures can drive transformation within your business.
Organizational processes are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex. Yet, many are still struggling to keep up with the ever-evolving market conditions, digital transformation, and rising customer demands. This makes agility one of the top business priorities of today.
Cloud-native architectures are made up of many loosely connected microservices which communicate with each other to form the fabric of the application. This independence in the infrastructure means that changes can be made quickly to separate elements without dismantling the entire system, allowing for a nimble and highly flexible infrastructure.
A cloud-native approach is essential for achieving optimal agility thanks to the capability of scaling or down on demand. When an application needs to scale, more containers can be automatically deployed. Conversely, when there are significant drops in traffic, they can be de-provisioned to save resources and costs.
An example of this would be e-commerce stores that experience peaks during discount periods such as Black Friday and then subsequent lulls. Being cloud-native helps businesses avoid traffic-related crashes which could lead to the loss of potential sales. Cloud-native is therefore a highly agile and scalable architecture that caters to business needs in real time.
This increased agility and scalability is not only an advantage for businesses but for their customers too. In a cloud-native environment, users experience faster fixes and new features, improved responses to their demands, and minimal service disruption. This is because when one microservice goes down or malfunctions, the rest of the application isn't affected. A new one can simply replace it and carry the load in real-time, giving customers the high availability they have come to expect as standard.
Another way DevOps teams can offer an optimized CX is through adopting best practices around change management in cloud-native architecture using Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).
CI is the developer practice of merging code changes into a central repository so that the running of tests and builds on said code can be automated.
CD is the automation of code changes as they pass through the development cycle, including production and deployment.
When adopted together, these two processes allow developers to locate problems and fix them quickly, as well as facilitate the faster release of new features. Cloud-native’s compatibility with automation frees up DevOps teams to focus their attention on innovation, coming up with new products and updates that will excite their customers.
One of the greatest elements of cloud-native architecture is how containers and microservices can function like building blocks and be reused for other applications. Developers can access components used on previous projects and reuse them for new apps, reducing the costs that would otherwise be spent on building and deploying them again from scratch.
This also leads to huge savings on time as well as cost so that developers can focus on more complex tasks. For example, the testing process is also simplified as vetted microservices don’t have to be tested like brand new ones, creating a more straightforward pipeline for developers. One success story of shifting to a cloud-native approach is Latin American fintech giant Nubank which gained 30% cost efficiency and now deploys 700 times per week since transitioning to a cloud-native Kubernetes platform.
Going cloud-native can also help businesses become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. A key component in cloud-based applications is that businesses only consume what they need as opposed to on-premise data centers where servers are not always fully utilized. This means that the lightweight nature of cloud-native architectures goes hand-in-hand with the optimization of a business’s energy consumption. In fact, migrating to the public cloud can reduce CO2 emissions by 59 million tons per year, according to a 2020 report by Accenture.
However, sustainability shouldn't just be considered an added bonus after a shift to cloud-native. Rather, architects and developers should design their applications with sustainability at the forefront. A 2021 report from CloudBolt Software found that 68% of surveyed IT leaders stated that a cloud provider's sustainability initiatives are an important factor in determining who they will do business with.
Teams can adopt the green software engineering principles to make running their applications as sustainable as possible. They can also use carbon footprint tools offered by some cloud providers such as Google so that they can accurately monitor their cloud usage. In order to truly ensure energy savings, cloud-native architects must make sure they are observing and measuring energy usage to identify where they can become more efficient.
Going cloud-native can undoubtedly transform a business when it comes to scalability, time and cost savings, and even its sustainability credentials. Yet, the cloud’s benefits go even further, bringing about a shift to a team’s very way of operating, one focussed on innovation, versatility, and embracing continuous change.
Learn more about how intive can help your business achieve a successful digital transformation with the power of the cloud.