The value of cloud computing for a business was originally described as lowering IT operational costs and spending via operational expenses versus capital expenses.
In other words, instead of setting up your I.T budget for the usual capital investments like Hardware, Software procurement, and data center capacity, the focus could now be placed on strategic operational costs to unlock business value.
This did however mean changing the way we plan to build and deploy solutions for the business, as cloud-native introduced a new innovative way to build and run applications.
Cloud-native applications are built to run in the cloud, moving the focus away from machines to the actual service we are using.
Cloud-native app development requires a shift to a DevOps operating structure. This means development and operations teams will work much more collaboratively, leading to a faster and smoother production process.
Benefits of Cloud-native
Using Cloud-native to build your applications has a number of tangible benefits:
- Saves money by monitoring and scaling application resources through cloud orchestration
- Updates ship faster
- Aligns operations with business goals
- More time on business goals, less time on maintenance
Approaches to going Cloud-native
According to Accenture as you go across the scale, the degree of modernization through the cloud increases from zero (i.e. rehosting and replacing) to comprehensive (i.e. refactoring and reimagining).
- The applications you don’t need anymore.
- On-premises applications that are too complex or costly to migrate.
- Applications quickly in the cloud.
- Applications that need to run on a different operating system in the cloud.
- Applications for which better and/or cheaper SaaS solutions are available.
- Applications that need significant code rework for the cloud, decoupling from other systems as needed.
- Business processes in the cloud by redefining and enhancing core value propositions.
Considerations for going Cloud-native
If your business does decide to embark on the cloud-native journey there are a few considerations to keep in mind and to get the most out of moving to the cloud:
Set a North Star
Having a north star will keep the team aligned to where they are going.
Innovation is everyone’s opportunity
To get the most value from cloud innovation, it needs to be a core objective for the whole organization, not just an IT project.
Baby steps, with much smaller initiatives in parallel
That north star can seem a long way off. Consider breaking the innovation journey into a series of smaller and more manageable initiatives.
Leverage relationships with cloud providers and partners
Cloud providers invest a lot into new services, keeping ahead of the curve of the rest which usually means they have the breadth of knowledge and insights
Innovation is not a side project
If you view innovation as something that happens outside the core organization, you risk your initiatives getting sidelined—and failing to scale.