Many organizations have hit a wall when it comes to delivering new kinds of value and innovation from their existing cloud strategies. They’ve migrated applications to the cloud, but the ROI for that “lift and shift” method has stalled. Now they need to go "cloud-native"—meaning, creating apps with the cloud specifically in mind rather than repurposing old-world architectures.
Cloud-native is the future of application development, with massive potential for business impact—the ability to move an idea into production quickly and efficiently. Organizations can take advantage of the inherent business value of the cloud platform such as faster speed to market and development of new products, and greater elasticity, scale and resiliency.
Adopting the cloud-native mindset
What does it mean to create applications in a truly cloud-native manner?
Cloud-native is not just substituting one technology for another, nor is it simply a different programming model. Organizations need to chain together the various technologies, processes and services of cloud-native to produce an outcome that has actual business value. That is, cloud-native is much more than just a programming model or a new way of writing code. It changes the entire lifecycle of how requirements are collaboratively incepted, coded, tested and deployed.
The essentials of cloud-native
Four technology, people and process models are essential to true cloud-native computing. If you miss one of them, you miss the combinatorial effects of the current IT era:
- Microservices: By structuring applications as a collection of loosely coupled services, microservices strengthen continuous delivery and deployment.
- Agile development: Agile is all about making development processes fast and easy, creating super-nimble organizations that can innovate quickly.
- DevOps: DevOps focuses on how quickly a program can move from the design stage into production.
- Cloud: Cloud is an extremely flexible delivery platform that can support many different architectural and deployment styles.
More than just a new way to code
Cloud-native is not just substituting one technology for another, nor is it simply a different programming model. Organizations need to chain together the various technologies, processes and services of cloud-native to produce an outcome that has actual business value.
Companies should be prepared for widespread change. In particular, the effects on organization, people and culture need to be effectively managed. Roles and responsibilities are likely to change, as will skills definitions. Many employers are already experiencing talent shortages. And, with new skill requirements, that gap is likely to increase dramatically.
How to “think and do” cloud-native
Here are some key insights and to-do’s that can help you deepen your own maturity in cloud-native development:
- Create an organization that is more service-oriented. Organize your teams around specific services or capabilities. This change needs to be carefully managed to avoid resistance.
- Provide access to all the tools and automation your developers need. Enable developers so you can increase your DevOps capabilities and proactively begin training.
- Use architectures that are modern and up to date, not old architecture patterns. Cloud-native means using microservices and a reactive type of architecture.
- Rearchitect your organization, too. The organization needs to rearchitect itself so it can react and think in a way that takes advantage of a cloud-native architecture.
- Enjoy the cloud-native journey. IT leadership should emphasize that there is an element of fun in cloud-native development.
Learn more about cloud-native and find out how to plan to stay ahead of the curve.