What is Cloud Application Development?







What is Cloud Application Development?

Published: 2024/06/25

5 min read

Though it comes with integration challenges, cloud application development delivers faster response times, reduced costs, and improved scalability capabilities.

Many organizations still do not know exactly what cloud-based applications are, however, if they use Slack, Salesforce, or Dropbox, they have experience with them. Across industries, the need for cloud adoption, and the cloud software development, and cloud computing tools that come with it are on the rise.

But how can businesses ensure compliance when developing cloud applications? What are the benefits of developing applications in the cloud? What are the key considerations when developing a cloud application, and how do you secure a cloud application?

What is a cloud-based application?

Application development in cloud computing involves creating apps that run in a cloud environment, utilizing scalable, on-demand computing resources. This method enhances collaboration, increases development speed due to readily available platforms, and allows for easy scalability and integration. But how do these apps work?

If an organization develops an app, and their customers download it on their mobile, does the app work entirely on their mobile? Of course not, this is where the cloud aspect of modern apps comes in. Typically, modern application compute cycles and data are stored in a remote data center often run by a third-party provider. But what does this mean and what are the benefits that come with this setup?

The benefits of cloud application development

Any cloud application, and the development process that comes with it, offers several advantages to businesses including:

  • Faster response times: Cloud-based apps can be updated, tested, and deployed quicker than apps based on local IT infrastructures, which provides faster response times to issues or customer needs when required.
  • Simplified operations and scalability: Cloud-based apps are typically hosted in data centers often owned by third party providers, enabling uptime, security, integration, and scalability processes to be handled externally, which frees up organizations to focus on more business-critical tasks.
  • Gradual adoption and reduced costs: Shifting any legacy app to the cloud can be done in steps to ensure minimal downtime and address any concerns employees may have, additionally cloud applications also lower storage costs due to the competition between third parties to offer storage for these apps and the lack of need to host them on premises once they are in the cloud.
  • Automatic updates and maintenance: Cloud-based applications are typically updated by the third-party service provider that hosts them, saving users from having to manually update them and giving customers access to the newest features and security patches quickly and easily.

Stages of cloud application development

The general steps in cloud application development include:

  • Project discovery: during this phase, the development team figures out their client’s vision, goals, and desired outcomes for the app. They then outline the scope and complexity of this project, including estimating its cost, and the challenges that might come with it. They also establish development priorities during this opening stage of the cloud development application process.
  • Choosing the development team: during this phase, organizations can hire freelancers, build an in-house team, or outsource the development of the app to a third-party technology expert. Whatever route they choose to take, organizations need to remember that developing a cloud-based application requires regular updates and may even need to expand its functionality during the development process to address market needs – so they need to ensure the team they pick can provide all this at speed.
  • Planning the development: During this phase, developers need to consider the features of their cloud-based app which should include the security, collaboration, notifications and alerts, and scalability capabilities users now expect to come as standard in any app.
  • Choosing the right tech stack: Delivering the right features, however, depends on the project scope, scalability requirements, and various integration types and safety concerns surrounding any particular project. All of these, of course, can be different meaning there is no magic tech stack that will solve every problem during the development process. It is therefore up to the development team to figure out what stack best fits their app based on the functions they want it to carry out and the need or needs it will address for their customers.
  • UI/UX design: There are some general recommendations to consider when working with UI/UX design service providers, including responsive design, intuitive navigation, and scalability. This is because cloud-based software should offer the same level of experience across various platforms, adapting seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices when necessary. Users should also be able to easily navigate through different sections and features of the application, based off other apps they might use. And finally, any cloud-based app should be able to grow naturally overtime including adding more features, if needed.
  • Development and QA: Cloud application development typically uses Agile or DevOps approaches. With the Agile approach work is organized into short, time-boxed iterations, usually lasting two to four weeks and features are prioritized based on business value, and a potentially shippable product increment is delivered at the end of each sprint. DevOps breaks down silos between development and operations teams, fostering collaboration throughout the entire cloud application development lifecycle. Therefore, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and automation play a crucial role in DevOps practices.
  • Deployment and delivery: Finally, it is important to remember that the market constantly evolves, so any cloud application needs ongoing maintenance to keep pace with market changes, particularly in terms of security, performance optimization, scalability, and technology updates. All of which will ensure users stay protected, and any cloud-based app remains efficient and scalable in an ever-changing market.

Learn more about cloud computing services.

Cloud application development – technology challenges

Cloud app development brings its own set of challenges including:

  • Security concerns: Anything offered on the cloud is consistently exposed to threats from the internet. Potential threats include unauthorized access, data breaches, and infrastructure vulnerabilities. However, properly implemented cloud-based security services deliver strong authentication and authorization mechanisms to any organization and encrypt data across the entire cloud hosting process.
  • Scalability and performance management: As a cloud application grows, its architecture will become more complex, which may lead to bottlenecks. However, implementing caching mechanisms and conducting regular monitoring and performance metrics analysis can identify and fix these bottlenecks, especially if developers design their cloud apps with scalability in mind
  • Integration challenges: Integrating cloud apps with existing systems, third-party services, or other cloud-based services can be complex due to mismatched APIs, data formats, or communication protocols. However, by implementing robust error handling and monitoring processes, in addition to using middleware, proven integration platforms, and developing custom APIs, organizations can overcome these challenges quickly.

Developing cloud-based applications with Software Mind

At Software Mind we know that cloud application development is easier said than done, and we also know that undertaking this kind of work can be extremely daunting.

That is where our experienced software experts come in. They can help choose the right development approach for you quickly and easily by connecting with you to understand more about what you need to leverage your cloud-based application for, which in turn will save you significant time and money overall.

So, what are you waiting for? Our experienced software development team is happy to talk about what AI can do for you wherever you are. Use this form to contact us.

About the authorSoftware Mind

Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world. 

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