Comprehensive Guide to Cloud-Based Application Development
According to studies by the end of 2023, the global cloud market is estimated to reach over $623 billion.
In this blog, find out about the trends, challenges, app structure and the resources to get a cloud based app.
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According to Cisco, in 2021, over 94% of workload and computing processes will be transitioning to the cloud. The cloud has garnered immense popularity amongst businesses due to features like scalability, improved productivity, and cost-effectiveness. Cloud-based application development and cloud technology both are becoming the norm, many have transitioned while many are still to deploy this technology.
This blog will be your guide to answer all the questions around cloud-based application development and how it is going to protect your business in a better way.
The cloud simply refers to the software or services that are accessed over the internet. The cloud has data centers, used to store the information, which ensures access to files and applications from any device and anywhere.
A business that deploys cloud technology can save on IT costs and overheads skipping on frequent updates and maintenance of servers. It allows access from anywhere and any device, making it easy for businesses to operate from different locations globally. Companies can share and access applications and files from anywhere and any time. Google Drive, Dropbox, Apple iCloud, and Microsoft OneDrive are some of the well-known and widely used cloud services today.
What is a “Cloud-Based Application”?
The last decade has seen an incredible boost in cloud computing investment. By the end of 2023, the global cloud market is estimated to reach over $623 billion.
A cloud-based application is a software application deployed in the cloud. To simplify it, a cloud-based app is an internet-run program that has its components stored online while the majority of its processes are carried out online. You can access it through computer networks, storage, and resources using the internet.
Cloud-based solutions are preferred by the companies because they offer scalability, functionality, and augment capacity while at the same time reducing maintenance and in-house teams costs.
Cloud-based applications include:
- File storage and sharing
- Inventory management
- Order entry services
- Word processing
- Customer relationship management software (CRM)
- Data collection
- Financial accounting services
Benefits of Cloud-Based Applications
The heavy reliance of companies on cloud technology is apparent from the Gartner survey which predicted that over 60% of the companies will rely on cloud technology to run their operation by 2022. This depicts that the cloud is offering huge benefits to businesses. Some of the benefits will be discussed down below in detail.
Data sharing and security feature
The data stored on the cloud is quickly and instantly available to its users. This easy access to data often raises questions about security and privacy. The chunk of cloud technology improvements has been focused on enhancing data security and privacy. The cloud technology providers guarantee data security, making it the most viable and used option for data storage. The cloud provides a streamlined solution to restore data and back up in case of a data loss.
As the cloud allows sharing across platforms and locations, cloud-based applications are most efficient and effective for collaboration. These applications provide employees with the option to work on projects in groups and individuals from remote locations and in real-time as well. Working collaborations can reduce the time to market of the enterprises and enhance customer services.
Cloud-based applications are cost-effective for businesses as they can be scaled up and down according to the company’s needs and resources. Cloud providers ensure that you will only be paying for what you use, something that makes it the most used option. Most cloud providers offer seamless support and maintenance which lessen the burden of having to spend on maintenance and support services yourself. The cloud can store data safely to share without having to buy different devices for storage. Due to all these reasons, cloud-based applications are a cost-effective option.
Types of Cloud-Based Application Development
Before starting and choosing the type of application you want, you need to understand the different types of cloud-based applications. The difference primarily is in the architecture of the applications.
SaaS – Software as a Service
SaaS includes traditional as well as cloud applications. The applications run on third-party hardware and don’t use the user’s device. The software is hosted remotely. SaaS is beneficial as you won’t need to buy any additional hardware or licenses for software updates.
It allows startups to develop custom tech solutions with zero investment and capital. The SaaS vendors provide customers with a solution that you only have to purchase and will be ready to use.
Learn more about SaaS: SAAS APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT: HOW TO START YOUR SAAS BUSINESS?
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is a type of cloud computing service that offers essential storage, computing, and resources on demand. It often requires middleware and app support from the clients.
IaaS can be extremely beneficial for the subscribers such as making workloads faster, easier, and more cost-effective.
Some of the services are
- Detailed billing.
- Logging access management.
- Monitoring and security.
- Storage, replication, recovery, and backup.
However, IaaS lets you develop a customized product without having to build the basic component from scratch.
PaaS – Platform as a Service
This cloud-based app development is a cloud computing model whereby a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools over the internet. PaaS providers allow customers to use their hardware and basic development software.
Developers get to use the latest version of the software as it gets updated continuously. PaaS offers scalability as per the needs of the customer. Cost-effectiveness and flexibility are some of the key features of PaaS.
Features to Consider When Developing a Cloud-based Application
The cloud can do wonders for your organization if employed the right way. It is imperative to have a clear objective and benefits chalked out before starting to develop a cloud-based application. Few things to consider while determining the features of your cloud-based apps.
Proper market research
Before starting the development of your cloud-based application, thorough market research is a must. It’s important to understand the pain points of your targeted audience and the solution should be aimed at solving those problems.
Flexibility and scalability
One of the most important and valued features of cloud-based solutions is that they provide ample space for flexibility and scalability. It ensures safe storage of data which can be expanded as per convenience.
Application data and app security
While the storage aspect of the cloud is a winner, the security of the data is always a concern. When investing in cloud application development, you must highly prioritize data and app security by developing a code-based architecture for high security.
Define the tech stack of your app
While you decide on the architecture for the app, you should also consult with the experts for the technology stack that you should use for your cloud application development. They will suggest the best solutions after analyzing your requirements, features, and design. In addition to that, app scalability should be kept in mind to keep the app updated.
Undoubtedly, Cloud has many benefits but cloud hosting has a cost to it. Data size optimization and condensed user requests should be at the top of your list of top priorities while developing a cloud platform. For these and many such benefits that the cloud has to offer, it is imperative that you partner with developers who are familiar with the diverse range of cloud platforms to develop software that perfectly aligns with your business needs.
Following an agile approach will allow you to collaborate better with your developers, programmers, designers, data architects, and QA managers to achieve improved development efficiency. For this reason, at InvoZone we ensure client participation at every step of the app development.
Tech Challenges in the Cloud Application Development
The three major types of cloud-based solutions have been discussed above. The whole process of cloud application development is a very intimidating task because of the technical complexities.
If you’re a cloud computing development provider or intending to build a cloud computing app based on third-party solutions, in either scenario, there ought to be some technical challenges. These will be discussed in detail to give you a better understanding of what may be.
As most of the data is stored and accessible over the cloud across locations, which is a great feature but also puts everyone’s privacy and security at risk. If you’re a business opting for cloud-based apps then you should ensure your security and privacy are well-protected at all times. If you’re a service provider, you should use strong data encryption and SSL to increase the security level of your cloud-based apps.
Choose a reliable cloud framework for your cloud solutions because customers prefer service providers that work without delays and errors. You can use Amazon Web Services (AWS) for your cloud application development. It gives users the freedom to back up their data securely and also some advanced tech features for developers to work with.
It is advisable for service providers to have as many data centers as possible. For instance, most global providers locate their servers to provide their customers with the same loading speed and experience irrespective of the location. Content delivery networks (CDNs) can be used to speed up content delivery.
The scalability feature depends on the quality of the server. You must provide a scalable solution with the service you have chosen. If a product doesn’t have the scalable feature or falls over with a sudden influx of traffic or is unable to deliver services to a large audience then it is bound to lose potential profits.
The cloud environment should be supportive of your app on different devices and integrate other cloud services into your infrastructure. You may not be able to mix components from different services because not all cloud systems support it.
Tools to Build Cloud-based Applications
The technological stack is of utmost importance while developing cloud-based apps. If you don’t choose your tech stack approach wisely, it will have consequences for your business. You can opt for a cloud service vendor from market leaders. The options are listed down below:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) – AWS is leading the market with a 32% share since 2019 as a leading service provider. It comes with 140 flexible and integrative services which facilitate the developers in building any custom app that they like.
Google Cloud Platform – As a PaaS, it provides cloud computing, API services, advanced analytics, storage, NoSQL database service, and even virtual machines. It is a great platform for startups because of its affordability and flexibility.
Microsoft Azure – It is specially designed for enterprises looking for scaling solutions or dealing with many web products. It may include services like ML modules, mobile back-end, database services, and virtual machines.
Structure of cloud-based apps
- Data Architecture – Another aspect to take into consideration while cloud application development is the data architecture. A cloud app operates as a collection of interconnected services or APIs. If you want to obtain maximum benefits of cloud services, you will have to establish a connection while ensuring what kind of components you have to make sure that those services are well integrated.
- Data organization – You must consider data organization. The app architecture must facilitate the cloud services as to how to decouple the data. This will allow you to store app components on either the public or private cloud, providing you with flexibility and enabling you to achieve better web performance.
- Communication bridge – A communication logic between the data and services of your app is important to establish. The app components should be quick in communication. If you don’t work on getting the logic right, the app experience will be poor due to slow loading speed. Optimization of communication is important and applies either single-channel streaming or through system message grouping.
- Scaling – Scaling is something you should think of well in advance. Consider keeping the margin for future traffic extensions and safety for operational channels. Having an operational model to help back-end components and storage server customers will be of great help in extreme situations.
- Security algorithm – The last consideration should be the security algorithm. You should keep in mind the dedicated standards of banking, retail, and healthcare so that your tools can live up to their expectations. It is pertinent to check the security algorithms for any vulnerabilities in your cloud-based solutions and that the encryption is strong. Place a cloud identity and access management (IAM) approach to ensure your product’s security and cost-effectiveness.