5 Reasons to Develop Custom Applications in the Cloud

Posted by Paul McLain, Manager, Application Development

Nov 01, 2018


Using the cloud for custom application development has proven to be a superior platform compared with traditional methods. Developers who embrace the cloud are leaders have moved beyond the curve and understand the future of cloud computing.

Here are five reasons why…

1. Workflows are moving to the cloud.

A recent report from MarketsandMarkets shows the cloud workflow market size should reach $1.75 billion in 2018 and grow to an estimated $3.85 billion by 2023 at an annual CAGR of 17.1 percent.

The report indicates top drivers of this growth include increasing cloud migrations, rising adoption of cloud-based workflows across small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a growing focus on streamlining business processes and workflows.

The cloud is the enabling glue for the emerging digital enterprise model. 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.

Product_DevelopmentFor IaaS, virtualizing infrastructure yields savings; there is less on-site equipment to maintain. You also get the benefit of remote monitoring and management. Scalability for growth is not seamless; it’s more streamlined and less costly than owning your own equipment.

PaaS offers additional money-saving benefits. You don’t need to maintain anti-virus software, patches or hardware updates, and scalability is seamless. PaaS also provides ubiquitous access from any modern browser. It’s more flexible for add-on productivity-improving capabilities, such as Google App Engine.

3. The cloud can reduce development time.

With a constant eye on efficiency, developers crave speed of delivery. Cloud platforms have the potential to dramatically reduce development time. Here’s why. As noted in a Tech Republic article summarizing an October 2018 report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2019 Predictions, app development has been in constant evolution. Today such cloud-native technologies like serverless computing and containers have reshaped the development process.

When you combine this with tried-and-true agile methodology and cloud DevOps and site reliability efforts, it allows you to speed innovation and delivery over what you could do in the past. In fact, the IDC report predicts that 35 percent of all apps will be cloud-native.

4. Cloud development optimizes mobility’s benefits.

Business woman working on tablet with secured cloud technology and network conceptThe chasm between desktop and mobile apps continues to narrow. Users want apps that work on any device from anywhere. The cloud is a fantastic choice for developing and maintaining business apps that enable workers to do this because it best supports mobile user needs, according to Gartner’s Research Vice President Van Baker.

Baker also spoke in support of using the agile methodology for development, as opposed to the waterfall method or other development lifecycle 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 risk for users. For example, the cloud has more redundancies than an on-premise environment, including multiple server locations and multiple copies of a custom application. Compared with traditional hosting models, this reduces the risk of lost data.

business woman in front of two roads thinking deciding hoping for best taking chanceA March 2018 blog post from Gartner notes that cloud security challenges don’t typically have anything to do with the cloud itself but with the human users -- the ones who make missteps and fail to protect their company’s data

In fact, Gartner predicts 95 percent of cloud security failures through 2022 will occur because of errors on the end user’s part, not the cloud itself. The cloud will continue to offer even more built-in security, which makes it a terrific place to house data and build apps.

It also 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. Developers who assess their options will find that the cloud is an excellent choice for custom development work because they can take advantage of the cloud’s benefits immediately.

This article is has been updated from the original, which was published on March 15, 2016, to reflect new insight, cloud developments and research.


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Paul McLain, Manager, Application Development

Paul McLain leads the Application Development Department at Onix, working with development teams, architects, quality assurance engineers and project managers to ensure custom development projects are developed on time and within budget. Paul is based in Atlanta, GA. When he isn't delivering custom development projects, Paul manages his 100 lb German Shepherd and spends too much time watching college football.

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