Using the cloud for custom application development is rapidly proving to be a superior platform compared with traditional methods. Developers who embrace the cloud will be seen as leaders who are ahead of the curve. Here are five reasons why.
1. Workflows are moving to the cloud.
According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index, cloud IP business traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% over the five-year period 2013-2018, driven largely by the adoption of digitally-driven workflows. The cloud is the enabling glue for the emerging digital enterprise model, so developing custom apps in the cloud “future-proofs” the work.
2. The cloud can reduce costs.
Whether you’re using IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service), the cloud reduces custom app development costs.
For IaaS, savings come from the virtualization of infrastructure; there is less equipment to maintain on site plus the benefit of remote monitoring and management. Scalability for growth is not seamless, however it is more streamlined and less costly than owning your own equipment.
PaaS has additional money-saving benefits. There is no need to maintain anti-virus software, patches or hardware updates, and scalability is seamless. PaaS also provides ubiquitous access from any modern browser and is more flexible for add-on productivity-improving capabilities such as Google App Engine’s Task Queue.
3. The cloud can reduce development time.
Cloud platforms have the potential to dramatically reduce development time. A 2014 survey conducted by Evans Data found that using the cloud to build apps reduced overall development time by an average of 11.6%. However 10% of those surveyed achieved a 30% time savings while another 10% cited savings in the 11-20% range. This potential is a powerful driver of cloud development acceptance — and will likely accelerate adoption.
“Cloud-based development platforms in PaaS and IaaS public clouds — such as Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com… show cost savings and better efficiencies. Most developers are surprised when they review the metrics,” according to an InfoWorld article by David Linthicum commenting on the Evans Data report.
4. Cloud development optimizes mobility’s benefits.
The chasm between desktop and mobile apps is quickly disappearing. Users want apps that work no matter the device. The cloud is the superior choice for developing and maintaining business apps because it best supports mobile user needs, according to Gartner’s Van Baker, Vice President/Research. Baker also spoke in support of using the agile process for development as opposed to waterfall or other techniques. Combining cloud-for-mobile and agile results in a powerful methodology for developing custom applications in the cloud for any device — in a shorter period of time.
“The number of mobile device types further complicates mobile app development and operations efforts, because the range of device screen sizes, resolutions, hardware API access and performance is fragmented and changes rapidly,” Baker said. “The pace of change in the mobile market presents challenges in particular to the operations team…” (from infrastructure and systems), “...and this pace is unlikely to slow down.”
5. The cloud reduces risk.
Some unique aspects of cloud infrastructure reduce risks for users. For example, the cloud has more redundancies such as multiple locations and multiple copies. Compared with traditional hosting models, this reduces the risk of lost data.
Another advantage is that data is actually more difficult for internal interlopers to access.
“[Servers] are physically removed from where the data is stored, and you don't have the personal relationships with the person who does have access to the data,” Matt Davies, senior director of EMEA marketing at Splunk told Information Age in 2015. “The argument could be made that the lack of physical access and relationships with people could make data in the cloud more secure.”
The security risks due to physical access and relationships are illustrated by Business Insider’s article How The Hackers Broke Into Sony And Why It Could Happen To Any Company.
The cloud is quickly becoming the core backbone of business processes for a number of reasons including increasing digitization of workflows, cost-control and scalability benefits, and risk reduction. Smart developers who assess their options will find that the cloud is a superior choice for custom apps work because they can take advantage of the cloud’s benefits immediately — and be ahead of a burgeoning paradigm shift.