Enterprise cloud app development has exploded globally, signaling a widely accepted enterprise cloud adoption strategy.
Just how many organizations have their head in the cloud? Nearly half, according to Aryaka’s 2017 State of the WAN report, which found a substantial 46.3% of all enterprise traffic is now cloud-based. And Enterprise cloud adoption strategy is only expected to grow, with a reported 90% of all organizations either planning to leverage cloud apps within the next year or already on the cloud for at least one app.
Custom Cloud Software – An instant win
Organizations aren’t rapidly adopting cloud-based apps to jump on a bandwagon, they are updating to cloud computing solutions because the benefits extend to customers, stakeholders, and employees both inside and outside the organization. Powered by a cloud services platform on the Internet, cloud computing enables on-demand delivery not only of applications, but also of compute power and data storage. This enables numerous benefits, including:
- When power, storage, and applications are sourced on-demand, an organization no longer has to stockpile their IP or services on servers, which not only means reduced hard costs in hardware and maintenance, but also the ability to move quickly to meet market demands.
- New operating models. Leveraging only cloud services offers new opportunities for businesses. For example, a massive global business may enjoy increased connectedness, while a small startup is freed to invest in other areas of its growing business.
- While connectedness was just mentioned, this win deserves a separate mention. In a cloud-based environment, employees globally are equipped not only to share documents, but to collaborate – in real time, and at the same time – in shared documents or apps.
- Enhanced efficiency. Cloud services can be deployed quickly – and allow for immediate use.
- Heightened change response. Organizations that partner with outside experts for their cloud services can reply on the experts to respond quickly and effectively to challenges or changes.
- Planet-friendly practice. Cut down carbon emissions and energy consumption thanks to an on-demand approach that uses energy only on an as-needed basis.
Enterprise Cloud Adoption Strategy: Planning for a smooth transition
While the numerous benefits seem clear, many organizations still haven’t made a move to the cloud. One key reason may be that cloud migration isn’t always simple. Last year, Forbes reported that one key driver of a decision to delay cloud deployment was a cyber security skills gap.
As with nearly any application, cloud-based apps perform, adjust, and are managed best when designed with the hosting platform in mind. Skilled cloud app development follows several best practices, including:
- Break up your data. Officially, this is referred to as decoupling the data, but what this is entails is pretty simple: keep your processing and data separate. Because the cloud is primarily a distributed system, it pairs best with applications that distribute as well. This also yields the added benefit for organizations of having the flexibility to elect where the data is housed. For organizations still wary of the cloud, this could mean leveraging the computing power of the cloud, but housing the data aspect of an app on a local server.
- Put security first. While building a brand new house and forgoing a secure foundation may seem ridiculous, many organizations effectively make this same mistake in their applications by tacking on security at the end, like trying to reinforce a house by stuffing a few support beams into the ground. Instead, organizations should ensure security is part of the app’s architecture. One critical component of this is understanding the minefield of compliance and data security issues specific to your organization. For example, apps used in Europe now have to be GDPR compliant. Industries like health care are also regulated by specific laws, like HIPPA in the US. Business operating in this sector may need to include encryption to help handle sensitive data correctly.
- Break up your design. Remember how valuable it was to keep data and processing separate? The same goes for the overall application design. Unlike older methods of application design, which often centered around user interface only, cloud app development should separate each individual service to take advantage of the cloud’s distributed system. When each component, or service, of an organization’s app is individual (but, collectively comprise the app), that organization is also able to use individual services in other ways to support other applications or services.
- Streamline communication. Thoughtfully breaking up data and design does little to capitalize on the cloud if the communication within in the app is extensive. Keep in mind, delivery on the cloud is across a network or the open Internet; quality cloud app development plans for high latency and avoid constant communication with combined data streams or groups.
- Plan for growth. As with anything in Enterprise, the goal is to grow. Which means cloud app development needs to prepare and understand scaling in the app. Decentralized components of a cloud-based app mean that understanding scalability requires a picture of how app servers, back-end database, and the network can accommodate an app. Organizations that only focus on one element, like the app servers will be caught off guard if the app servers are fine under a significant increase, but the network can’t handle the load.
Make Your Move to the Cloud
Understanding the benefits and the barriers are two critical steps in making a move to the cloud. But, organizations should also consider overall technology strategy before haphazardly jumping in.
Key questions to ask as your organization develops its enterprise cloud adoption strategy include:
- Which cloud environment is the right fit for your organization? Options are public, private or hybrid.
- Who is responsible for data ownership and security? Where will this be housed?
- Once ready, how will you integrate your cloud-based app with existing internal systems?
With careful planning and adept understanding of how to capitalize on cloud-based apps, organizations can pass up potential pitfalls surrounding cloud migration and enjoy immediate wins.
Whether cloud-based apps are already part of your organization’s strategy or you’re just exploring this option, we are happy to partner with you on fine-tuning the perfect strategy and implementation for your organization.