Implementing Digital Strategies Using Cloud Native Platforms

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The complexity of business systems today is increased by users demanding more features, responsiveness, innovation, and flexibility, with less downtime and service outages. As such, inflexibility, poor performance, and a lack of innovation and speed are increasingly costly to businesses. Cloud native strategies enable enterprises to flexibly and resiliently handle the many complex challenge of today’s business systems.

Also see: Developing a Cloud Modernization Strategy

What is Cloud Cloud Native?

Cloud native is defined by speed and agility, as business systems today are evolving into increasingly complex tools of strategic transformation to expedite business velocity and growth. Cloud native refers to an approach to designing, creating, running and operating applications and workloads that take full advantage of the cloud computing delivery model.

Cloud native architectures help enterprises innovate and respond to customer demands much faster in today’s markets. With cloud native technologies, enterprises can create and run scalable applications in modern and dynamic environments. Containers, immutable infrastructure, declarative APIs and other techniques exemplify cloud native technologies. Combining these techniques with automation enables engineers to make strenuous changes frequently and predictably with minimal effort.

Cloud-Native and Digital Transformation

The inevitability of increasing digital transformation means that the challenges of legacy enterprise applications are continually magnified. As much as legacy applications involving system integration and database management are crucial to enterprise operations, building such applications is time-consuming today. Additionally, migrating to and scaling across different cloud environments presents a hurdle to completing digital initiatives.

A cloud native approach alleviates the above-mentioned challenges by offering high availability and reliability, improved performance, and a wide scope for innovation. Enterprises are empowered to design, run and manage their digital operations to maintain a competitive advantage, have better control over costs, deploy products faster and ultimately improve customer experience. Cloud-native techniques help organizations to accelerate and optimize their cloud computing adoption.

Cloud-native platforms are becoming more and more important as they offer organizations their primary means of implementing their digital strategies today. Gartner forecasts that by 2025, cloud-native platforms will provide a foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives.

With the focus on creating lightweight platforms, architectural elements to ensure qualities such as scalability via microservices and containerization are required. Cloud native plays a key part in transforming legacy monolithic tightly coupled architecture to loosely coupled elements which enable rapid scaling, integration and upgrades.

Also see: 9 Cloud Cost Optimization Strategies

Why Cloud Native Strategies Are Key to IT Teams

Cloud native approaches help to fast-track the use of advanced cloud computing. Cloud native platforms offer technology functions and capabilities like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), container management, serverless functions, infrastructure as code, and more. The flexibility of cloud native platforms evolves around scalable infrastructure, operations, application architecture and transformation.

Cloud native strategies create a distinction between on-premise environments by delivering standardized and automated solutions, eliminating monotonous manual tasks common in on-premise environments. They also encourage the adoption of DevOps practices to increase the productivity of development teams as well as overall enterprise efficiency. The fundamental capabilities of cloud computing like scalability, flexibility and self-service help cloud native platforms improve time to value.

Development teams can take full advantage of cloud computing to build, deploy and operate applications facilitated by cloud native environments, which may reduce the infrastructure burden of IT teams and focus IT resources on adding value to the business. Additionally, organizations that struggle to successfully implement digital initiatives due to a talent and expertise gap can leverage the capabilities of the cloud to offset their talent gaps.

IT teams enjoy the environment of innovation and modernization provided by cloud native strategies at a time when consumer tastes change ever more rapidly. Cloud native platforms use the capabilities of cloud computing to tackle backlogs of legacy applications to maintain the competitiveness of enterprises. They not only ensure that enterprises stay relevant in their markets but also lower barriers to entry into new markets. The democratization of IT using cloud native platforms – and hyperscale delivery of innovative services – helps organizations enter new markets.

However, despite all the benefits of adopting cloud native strategies, IT teams will still maintain responsibility for many functions. They will still be responsible for compliance, security, procurement, maintenance, vendor management and strategy development among others.

Also see: Top Cloud Jobs in 2022

Cloud Native Strategies

To effectively implement cloud native approaches, there are number of vital strategy elements to consider.

Transitioning to Cloud Native

Every effective transformation begins with a plan. Organizations may end up frustrated with their implementation of cloud native initiatives because they prioritize the technology ahead of an effective plan. When organizations align their business goals and teams with their cloud native expectations and then follow up with pursuing the technology, the transition becomes more rewarding.

Transitioning to DevOps

The silos of application development still exist despite the extensiveness of agile methodologies. Even though these silos have their own management structures, methods and tools, they result in diverse views on application development efforts. DevOps, being both an organizational structure and a methodology, seeks to break silos to give rise to a culture of constant releases of high-quality deliverables. Additionally, the autonomy of DevOps replaces cumbersome procedures and bureaucracy.

Monolith Decomposition

Multi-tier monolithic applications need to be decomposed as they seldom function as required when moved to the cloud. This happens because such migrations are made with non-supportable assumptions concerning the deployment environment. As cloud infrastructure provides limited support for monolithic applications, it is imperative to develop a plan for dividing monoliths into elements that can be effectively deployed in the cloud.

Collection of Cloud Services

Cloud native applications should be deployed as a group of cloud services or APIs at the expense of tightly coupled applications. Developing for the cloud involves understanding that the application architecture should be able to interact with complex, heterogeneous and distributed systems that can support loosely coupled applications.

Implementation of Cloud Native Strategies

Making cloud native the standard

Teams should make cloud native strategies the standard for digital initiatives and application development. Furthermore, teams should focus on the results they seek as opposed to getting caught up on the definitions of cloud native offered by vendors.

A dedicated platform team

Organizations can form a team that is dedicated to the automation, operation, security, and reliability of agile application development and delivery. They could also work toward instilling a culture that is enabled by standardized operational patterns to enhance automation. Additionally, the goals of IT teams and other organizational structures should include the enhancement of the usability of cloud native platforms as well as their alignment with business goals and service delivery.

Minimize lift and shift migrations

As much as lift and shift migrations make sense in contexts such as complete cloud migrations due to data center closure, it fails to take full advantage of the cloud. Since lift and shift involves no changes to virtualized applications, it makes it highly unlikely to optimally leverage cloud capabilities, and it limits the delivery of potential cloud outcomes.

Also see: 9 Ways AI Can Help Improve Cloud Management

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an experienced B2B technology and finance writer and award-winning public speaker. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook, and has written for various publications, including eWEEK, Enterprise Networking Planet, Tech Republic, eSecurity Planet, CIO Insight, Enterprise Storage Forum, IT Business Edge, Webopedia, Software Pundit, and Geekflare.

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