In the present world, where technology constantly evolves, the applications and the organization’s system must become compatible with the latest tech stacks. While in some cases, they adopt app modernization strategies, it’s not sufficient in some places. Hence, the apps must be entirely revamped from scratch, which means adopting cloud-native app development. A study by IBM shows that 75% of non-cloud apps will be moved to cloud environments within the next three years. This explains a significant need to migrate obsolete solutions to modern technologies, such as cloud.
However, since cloud adoption is a newer and more complex process, you must follow a strategic approach and partner with a professional cloud-native app development company. Let’s now discuss this concept in detail and the development steps.
What is Cloud-Native App Development?
Cloud-native refers to practices and architectural patterns that leverage every aspect of the cloud computing model–IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, to build and run scalable, resilient, and manageable applications. The Key elements of cloud-native applications include:
- Microservices Architecture: Applications are decomposed into smaller, loosely coupled services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.
- Containerization: Applications and their dependencies are packaged in containers, providing consistency and portability across different environments.
- Orchestration: Containerized applications are managed and orchestrated using platforms like Kubernetes, which automate deployment, scaling, and resource management.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Automation is key, with CI/CD pipelines enabling rapid and consistent development, testing, and deployment of code changes.
- Resilience and Scalability: Cloud-native applications are designed to be resilient to failures and scalable to handle varying workloads.
- DevOps Practices: Collaboration between development and operations teams is fostered to enable faster and more reliable software delivery.
A Step-by-Step Cloud-Native App Development Process
Now that we have understood the concept of cloud-native let’s discuss the critical development steps, which are also followed by a professional cloud-native app development company.
Step 1: Define Clear Business Objectives
Adopting cloud-native development begins with clearly understanding your organization’s business objectives. Start by asking yourself questions like:
- What are our short-term and long-term goals?
- How can cloud-native development help us achieve these goals?
- What specific outcomes are we looking for, such as faster time-to-market or cost reduction?
- Defining these objectives will provide a strategic direction for your cloud-native journey.
Step 2: Assess the Current State of Your Legacy System
Once you have identified your business objectives, assess your current application landscape and which apps require rebuilding from scratch and which require app modernization. This assessment should analyze existing application architecture, methodologies, technology stack, skills and expertise of your teams, and current pain points in your SDLC process. This assessment will help you identify areas where cloud-native practices can have the most significant impact. You can also read this cloud-native app development guide to understand the methodologies and benefits of choosing this approach.
Step 3: Build a Cross-Functional Team
Cloud-native adoption is not just an IT initiative but a cultural shift requiring collaboration across various departments. Build a cross-functional team that includes members from development, operations, security, and business stakeholders. This team should be responsible for defining the strategy, setting goals, and overseeing the implementation of cloud-native practices.
Step 4: Educate and Upskill Your Team
Cloud-native development services implement new concepts and technologies to ensure a successful transition and invest in training and upskilling your teams. Provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to work effectively in a cloud-native environment. This includes training on containerization, Kubernetes, CI/CD pipelines, and microservices architecture.
Step 5: Start Small, Iterate, and Scale
Rather than attempting a complete modernization of all existing applications, start small. Identify a low-risk, non-critical application or service that can be a pilot project. Take assistance from a cloud consulting company to migrate and refactor this application using cloud-native principles. Learn from the process, gather feedback, and iterate. Once you successfully pilot, gradually scale your cloud-native efforts to more critical applications.
Step 6: Embrace Automation
Automation is a core principle of cloud-native development. Implement CI/CD pipelines to automate your applications’ development, testing, and deployment process. Use infrastructure as code (IaC) to define and provision resources in a repeatable and automated manner. Automation reduces manual errors, accelerates development, and ensures consistency across environments.
Step 7: Prioritize Security and Compliance
As you modernize your application development practices, security and compliance will become essential. The team offering cloud-native app development services will implement security best practices throughout the development lifecycle, from code scanning and vulnerability assessments to runtime protection. Ensure that your cloud-native applications adhere to industry-specific compliance standards and regulations.
Step 8: Monitor and Optimize
Continuous monitoring is essential for maintaining the health and performance of cloud-native applications. Implement monitoring and observability solutions that provide real-time insights into application behavior. Use these insights to identify and address performance bottlenecks, anomalies, and security threats. Continuously optimize your applications and infrastructure for cost efficiency.
Step 9: Implement a DevOps Practices
The cloud-native adoption is not just about embracing modern technologies but also about how you use various practices that make the process successful. Hence, businesses must implement DevOps strategies within their organization, emphasizing collaboration, communication, and shared responsibility between development and operations teams. This will help in encouraging a mindset of continuous improvement and innovation.
Step 10: Measure Success
Finally, measure the success of your cloud-native app development process against the business objectives you defined in the first step. This will help you identify the areas of improvement and whether you’re moving in the right direction. In this step, you will also be able to gather customer feedback and ensure your apps offer higher customer satisfaction and user engagement. Continuously access your efforts and adjust your strategy as per the changing needs of your business.
Modern-day technologies require adopting future-ready approaches and technologies that can help your business thrive despite multiple uncertainties. Hence, they must migrate their system to the cloud and leverage its capabilities to modernize their obsolete apps. By choosing cloud-native as their development approach, they can benefit from every aspect of the cloud and ensure their apps are entirely automated, secure, and highly reliable. You can also partner with a trusted software development company to undertake this process and ensure the end product is as per your business standards.