Ten reasons business leaders should care about cloud-native tech
Ten ways cloud-native tech helps strike the sweet spot between revenues, costs, and business agility
In the relentless drive to achieve competitive advantage, cloud vendors are continuously experimenting with new features, equipment, services, and platform designs. This competition benefits end-users because it unlocks new, innovative, and ever-evolving capabilities for business applications. Beyond enhanced software performance, it also reduces the potential risks associated to platform migrations, enabling progressive and phased migrations to the cloud.
2. Collaboration and integration
Whether with partners or within a company, collaboration is central to innovation and quickly launching and testing new capabilities that add value to customers. The ability to break down developments into granular parts and use advanced tools and methodologies through a common platform enables the concurrent and accelerated development of new applications. A wide set of Open APIs also facilitates the integration of new business partners and technology vendors in the ecosystem.
3. Speed to market
Operating in the cloud allows organizations to quickly deploy multiple testing environments, automatically at full scale, and then switch them off once set objectives are achieved. This enables different parts of the business to collaboratively test and learn from the performance of new capabilities and solutions, and the way they behave with other systems, before locking into bespoke developments and full-scale deployment. Once tested and approved, infinite development environments help accelerate and scale full out deployment.
4. Artificial Intelligence and automation
The infrastructural benefits of the cloud make it easier to integrate AI and leverage its full capabilities. Cloud vendors offer increasingly sophisticated and pre-canned AI and ML tools, including algorithms, for their customers to use or build their own from scratch. Off-the-shelf capabilities are cheaper and faster to deploy, allowing users to plug in their data and quickly test and learn from these capabilities. Advanced, scalable, and cheaper data processing enables the system to deliver intelligent capabilities, like personalization and automation.
5. SaaS delivery model
SaaS delivery models are faster to deploy and more efficient to manage than on-premises installs. Essentially, the vendor takes on responsibility for deploying updates, patching, security, and compliance, among key activities. By shifting these responsibilities to the vendor, SaaS models free-up IT departments to become value-added service centers to their business partners. It also ensures that users are always operating off the latest version of the software and benefit from community enhancements.
6. Flexible scaling
Demand varies over time, and this translates into transactions per second and the processing power required to cope with them. Cloud technology allows companies to scale, automatically, through peaks and troughs in demand resulting in lower processing costs, greater business agility, and the ability to run more powerful applications. Cloud vendors also enable users to take advantage of continuous improvements in server and processor capabilities by frequently upgrading hardware.
7. Centralization and localization
The inherent flexibility of cloud platforms grants businesses more freedom to decide how much centralization and/or localization they choose to deploy across their infrastructure. Multiple availability regions provide redundancy and reduce network latency, resulting in improved business resilience, faster disaster recovery, and better user experiences. They also enable flexible organizational designs by making it easier for businesses to choose which systems are hosted where, accessed by whom. End result? Key applications are closest to where they need to be – customers and end users.
8. Cloud-native design
There´s an important distinction between cloud-native and cloud migrated applications. The former are designed on the latest technology developments enabling them to fully exploit the benefits of modern architectures and methodologies. The use of containerization and microservices, for example, lead to more resilience, efficiency, agility, security, and scalability. Cloud-native applications are developed to maximize the benefits of modern technology, leading to more business functionality, faster deployment of new capabilities, better user experiences, lower IT costs, and improved systems uptime.
9. Remote implementation
Cloud-native software has an additional advantage that it can be accessed from anywhere, meaning that its implementation can often be done remotely. This is an important consideration as it drastically reduces the costs and timeline associated to vast implementation teams having to travel to be on-site.
10. Lower total cost of ownership
Finally, cloud-native systems that encompass the above benefits cumulatively result in a lower cost of ownership. And this is a key driver to more and more companies moving their tech stack to the cloud. By simplifying systems development, deployment, integration, and maintenance IT departments can spend more time focusing on value added services to their business partners. This essentially unlocks even more value and capabilities for the business, while reducing costs.
The digital transformation journey
While shifting key technologies to the cloud brings many benefits and new capabilities, it´s worth remembering that broader factors need to be considered to extract maximum value. Technology alone should not be the sole focus. The transformation journey is a golden opportunity to revisit existing business processes, strategies, and organization. In other words, technology should support your business strategy and accelerate it, not determine it.
Enterprise stakeholders must be aligned on business objectives so the shift to the cloud unlocks new business opportunities and new ways of working, rather than merely replicating the status quo on the cloud. Reducing costs, building resilience, and enabling greater agility through cloud infrastructures are an important benefit of the transformation journey whose multiplier effect comes with a mindset shift across the business.