Enterprise software development has changed. Monolithic architectures are out, and fully cloud-enabled applications are in. Companies that have gone cloud native are seeing shorter development cycles, increased functionality, and happier customers. It’s no wonder that cloud-native development has taken off. So how do you take advantage of it to dramatically accelerate app development? Read on for our five tips.
- Assess the opportunity
Cloud-native development is about parsing your business needs into manageable functions and then developing for those. You don’t need to replace your entire software infrastructure at once; in fact, few companies migrate everything to cloud-native architectures. Instead, we recommend focusing on the areas that set your company apart and can grow top-line revenue. These could be faster product launches or expansion to global markets or being able to scale up to handle traffic from an advertising campaign.
- Be methodical and have a plan
When tackling cloud-native development, explore all options to ensure you’re taking advantage of the latest and greatest functionality. Cloud native is an opportunity to push your business forward and take advantage of new and cutting-edge functionality rather than simply defaulting to what’s worked in the past. Your billing system, for example, may have been in place for years and works well for what you need, but cloud-native development presents an opportunity to modernize and improve the functionality, such as enhancing customer experience through facial recognition. This can be implemented as a containerized or serverless module, meaning that it can be tested and deployed at low cost and very little risk to other parts of the business. If it does not perform properly, it can be pulled out of production or simply tweaked and refreshed.
- Embrace an iterative approach
Successfully shifting to cloud-native development also means embracing new tools, processes, methodologies, and architectures, such as automated testing, automated infrastructure provisioning, and one-click deployment. That technology change is matched by the need to adopt a more agile, DevOps-led way of working and a new mindset to go with it. To make both happen, take the new, dynamic development paradigm as your inspiration. Rather than the monolithic waterfall approach, in which the entire dev team is taught new skills and expected to start producing, identify risk-taking leaders who already embrace change and give them one business-function project to complete. The skills learned from that pilot can then nourish other initiatives.
- Evaluate and then evaluate again
With rapid iteration comes constant re-evaluation, and that’s a good thing. A key benefit of cloud-native development is getting feedback from the business to continually and rapidly tweak existing modules or create new ones to keep up with the pace of change. With cloud native everyone has to understand the concept of “fail fast,” whereby it’s far quicker and cheaper to fix containerized functionality than to begin the entire development process again in a waterfall mode.
- Keep your options open
One of the defining characteristics of cloud-native development is its unprecedented flexibility, allowing you to pivot, adapt, and adjust with changing industry dynamics and customer demands. For maximum flexibility, an open-source container platform such as Red Hat OpenShift can help avoid vendor lock-in and ensure code portability from one cloud to another. This kind of planning will allow you to pursue optimal scenarios: you can run where you want, with the choice based on price, performance, technical features, etc. And if conditions change and you want to move to a different platform, you can move easily. It’s your call.
Capgemini and Red Hat are helping organizations on their digital journeys. With Capgemini’s Digital Cloud Platform built on Red Hat OpenShift, we offer a set of tools and methodologies to cut time to market by 30% to 50%. It can also leverage Red Hat OpenShift to ensure no vendor lock-in, whatever the environment, and can help you move from one environment to another with no disruption.
Ashok Bajaj is a Managing Solutions Architect at Capgemini. Jose Kuzhivelil is a Director and cloud-native enterprise architect at Capgemini. Capgemini will be presenting at the virtual edition of Red Hat Summit, taking place April 28 to April 29, and Ashok will be speaking. Access our sessions here.