Top 5 reasons why businesses need cloud application development to grow
8 min read
The cloud has become an integral part of business for many organizations. It's no longer a question of whether individual organizations will make a transition to the cloud; 90% of businesses have done so already. But now, organizations, even startups, are moving into developing web applications in a cloud environment, rather than just using traditional single-server infrastructures.
Today, we'll take a look at why businesses need cloud-based solutions for their business process automation to manage their workflow and how they can take the utility of cloud-based solutions to the next level.
What are cloud applications?
In simple terms, cloud applications are web apps that run on the cloud or internet-connected servers. These apps are designed to help businesses improve their productivity and efficiency by providing them with on-demand access to the resources and information they need when they need it.
There are three types of cloud applications: software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
SaaS apps are typically delivered to users via a web browser and can be accessed from any internet-connected device. PaaS apps are designed to be deployed on a cloud platform and are used by developers to build, test, and deploy new applications as part of the development process lifecycle. IaaS provides businesses with access to compute, data storage, and network resources that can be used to run any type of workload in a cloud-native application.
Benefits of Using Cloud-Based Solutions for Business
There are many reasons why businesses need to migrate web applications to cloud-based solutions, but on a practical level, it's simply essential to remain competitive in today's changing landscape.
1) Cost reduction
One of the main reasons businesses move to the cloud is to reduce costs. With cloud-based solutions, businesses only pay for the resources they consume and can scale up or down as needed. This pay-as-you-go model can lead to significant cost savings, especially for businesses that have seasonal or fluctuating workloads.
That being said, many organizations also see their cost-effective cloud solutions consuming significant resources — and therefore costing them more money than they anticipated. The solution is not only to audit their spending but also to develop custom solutions that reduce resource usage.
2) Flexibility in app development
With cloud-based solutions, businesses can quickly and easily deploy new ASP.NET web applications and services without having to invest in expensive infrastructure upfront.
Before, organizations needed to invest in on-premise servers to launch and scale. Now, organizations can engage in custom software development at any time using the app architecture of their choice, thereby remaining more agile and competitive within their space.
Cloud-based web apps are highly scalable, so businesses can easily add or remove users and features as needed. This makes it easy to customize web applications to meet the specific needs of a business.
But to remain truly competitive, businesses today must also be willing to develop and innovate. Many organizations are now leveraging the power of cloud-based technology to meet the products and services provided by large enterprises. Organizations that develop their own solutions and innovate creatively can achieve better market penetration and better address the shifting needs of the modern customer and provide a better customer experience.
Security is always a top concern for businesses, but with cloud-based solutions, businesses can take advantage of the latest security features and technologies. Today's cloud-based security solutions leverage features such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect security threats before they become a problem.
Most security risks today relative to cloud solutions are actually a matter of configuration and maintenance. When cloud solutions are properly administered and monitored, they are exceptionally safe.
When businesses rely on cloud-based solutions, they can be confident that their data is backed up and stored safely off-site. This reduces the risk of data loss due to hardware failure or natural disasters.
A wide-scale data loss can be devastating to an organization. In fact, many organizations may never recover from data loss; all their customer, product, and even intellectual property data may be stored on the cloud. But cloud-based solutions create redundant copies of both the web application and the database that are protected and cannot be easily lost.
For the above five reasons, many businesses are already adopting the cloud. But modern organizations must be aware that it's not enough to simply adopt the cloud, as everyone is doing; they must also be ready and willing to develop their own custom software solutions, application integration, and databases.
The world is shifting. Industries have to be lean and agile. Companies are better poised to take advantage of the extensive benefits of the cloud if they can also update and modify their cloud solutions.
Cloud-Based Applications Challenges
While cloud-based solutions offer a number of advantages, there are also some challenges that businesses need to be aware of. These are the issues that most organizations cite when they hesitate to make a full cloud transition.
1) Internet connectivity
Of course, cloud-based solutions cannot be accessed offline. This has led many organizations to maintain both on-premise solutions and cloud solutions — a hybrid infrastructure. Frequently, business software development is required to ensure that solutions can operate in tandem.
2) Vendor lock-in
Another challenge with cloud-based solutions is vendor lock-in. When businesses rely on a single software vendor for their cloud solutions, they can be at risk of being locked into that vendor's platform. This can make it difficult and expensive to switch to a different vendor in the future.
3) Security concerns
As noted, in the early days of the cloud, security concerns were both understandable and significant. Cloud solutions increased risk by increasing the organization's exposure; systems were online and entirely accessible. Today, most cloud solutions are more secure than on-premise solutions.
4) Compliance issues
Another challenge that businesses need to be aware of is compliance. There are a number of regulatory compliance requirements that need to be met when storing data in the cloud. Many organizations today have no idea where their physical data is being stored; this is quickly changing as government restrictions tighten.
5) Budget creep
One of the final challenges that businesses need to be aware of is budget creep. With cloud-based solutions, it can be easy to let costs spiral out of control. Organizations are using 1,000s of cloud solutions — each solution has its own cost. Further, many solutions have costs based on usage. If budgets aren't tightened down early, it leads to creep.
Most of these issues crop up when organizations who are unfamiliar with cloud technology nevertheless attempt the transition. Organizations need to take control of their cloud infrastructure to reduce their risk.
Web-Based Apps vs. Cloud-Based Apps: What Are the Differences?
Cloud-based apps are apps that are accessed through a web browser, but they run on a cloud server. A cloud server is a network of remote servers that are connected to each other.
The main difference between these two types of apps is where they are hosted, but this difference is actually becoming negligible at best. Historically, web-based apps are hosted on a web server, while cloud-based apps are hosted on a cloud server or multiple cloud servers.
Cloud servers are more scalable because the workload can be divided up between them. Think of sites like Amazon or Salesforce. If the whole Amazon.com web application was on only one server, what would happen if one million users tried to buy something at precisely the same time? As you can imagine, it would be a disaster. Amazon, which is a pioneer in cloud computing, spreads its web application across thousands of servers that can scale up and down automatically in real-time depending on the workload thus giving the application a smooth user experience.
You'll find that nearly all big websites today are actually hosted on the cloud... networks of servers rather than a single server. These redundant capabilities are what make the web as scalable as it is. You can develop an ASP.NET Core / SQL Server either for a single web server or port it to the cloud and it will essentially still be the same system developed by the same ASP.NET developer.
So, when we talk about web-based apps vs. cloud-based apps, we're really just talking about how extensive that server network is. Today, most of the web is on the cloud.
What are the leading cloud computing platforms?
These three providers alone account for over half of the global market share in cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). They are followed by a group of about 20 other providers with a more limited market share. The remainder of the market is made up of thousands of small providers.
AWS, Azure, and GCP are often referred to as the big three cloud providers. They are the leaders in the cloud computing race.
- Amazon Web Services. Amazon has been a dominant cloud service provider for years and continues to grow at an incredible pace. AWS offers more than 175 services, covering every major type of cloud computing. AWS even offers serverless options. This option allows you to run applications, manage cloud storage, integrate applications, and do automatic scaling, without having to manage servers. But while AWS is popular, that doesn't mean it's always the best choice; it's also known for its high levels of complexity and potential for pricing confusion.
- Microsoft Azure. Azure is Microsoft's cloud platform. It's a comprehensive set of cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy, and manage ASP.NET Core web applications through their global network of data centers. Azure offers both IaaS and PaaS services, manages dependencies, and eases cloud deployment.
- Google Cloud Platform. The google cloud platform is a suite of public cloud computing services offered by Google. It includes a set of virtual machines (VMs) that run on Google's infrastructure. GCP also provides container services, cloud storage options, and big data solutions. GCP provides advanced, bleeding-edge services at the cost of user-friendliness.
- IBM. IBM's cloud platform, called IBM Cloud, offers both IaaS and PaaS. IBM Cloud is based on an open-standards approach and offers a wide range of services, including storage, networking, analytics, and more.
Out of all of these, Microsoft Azure is the most frequently recommended for organizations by companies that provide cloud software development services.
What is Microsoft Azure and Why Should You Use It?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that provides a wide variety of services, including those for computing, analytics, storage, and networking. Azure is one of the leading public cloud providers and is known for its reliability, scalability, and security.
Azure offers many benefits, including:
- Microsoft Azure Partners, who provide complete support for transitioning to and maintaining Microsoft Azure.
- Integration with other Microsoft solutions, such as the Office 365 suite improves the intuitiveness and efficiency of the platform.
- Security support through Microsoft Azure's extensive security solutions, including their endpoint management solutions.
- Azure allows you to build a Hybrid Cloud. That is a solution that combines a public Azure cloud with a private cloud on your premises, and it provides the management and communication between the two to create a unified solution.
- Web and mobile app development tools that make cloud app development easier for the development team.
However, this doesn't mean that Microsoft Azure has all the features that an organization might need natively or out of the box. Organizations can reduce their costs and optimize their operations by developing their own core integrations through APIs and features that match their business needs.
Organizations are now facing the task of transitioning their entire infrastructure to the cloud. Indeed, most organizations will end up with hundreds of cloud solutions all integrated within a single platform. The best way forward is to work with an IT Consulting Firm to develop a complete cloud infrastructure built upon a known and trusted platform such as Microsoft Azure. Outsourcing to a software application development company can be your most cost-effective strategy as your staff doesn’t need to get up to speed on the intricacies of Azure.
As organizations start to pull at the fringes of what is possible with off-the-shelf software solutions, it becomes necessary for companies to start developing their own cloud web apps. Whether these applications are plug-ins, add-ons, integrations, or complete platforms, companies can not only streamline their operations but also reduce their budgets.
Working with a web application development company will lead to a tighter, more robust infrastructure that contains everything that the organization needs — without gaps or overlaps. Through this, organizations can both improve their competitiveness within the market and ease their transition to the cloud. Cloud migration is a must for businesses to stay competitive.
To find out more information about our ASP.NET software development outsourcing capabilities, or if you’d like to discuss your ASP.NET needs with Keene Systems CEO, Lance Keene click here to book a call with him. You can also download our great new eBook - Why ASP.NET Development Services Fuels Business Growth - to learn more about this essential topic.