Modification date: August 29, 2020

What is Cloud-First Development?


When businesses talk about moving software to the cloud, often what they mean is simply migrating existing software by replacing a traditional hosting provider with a cloud-based provider, or even developing new applications in a classic way and then deploying them in the cloud.

While simply hosting software in the cloud certainly has its benefits, here at Syberry, we encourage clients to adopt a cloud-first strategy, using their cloud service providers as partners and not just hosts in order to reap the many benefits the cloud has to offer.

Cloud-first development refers to building software specifically for the cloud, using all the services and features available from the cloud provider. Here are three ways a cloud-first approach can improve a business’s growth potential by enhancing software solutions.

1. Streamlined Development

Beyond lightening a company’s infrastructure load, cloud providers offer a wide range of engineering tools to help developers streamline the design and build processes. From source code repositories to CI/CD services to tools that automate build pipeline, testing, and deployment, when developers build software in the cloud, they can take advantage of countless opportunities to become more efficient and reduce human error in their work.

What’s more, cloud providers offer managed services such as databases, messaging queues, and cache storages that make setup and configuration much easier and more efficient, allowing developers to focus on building the application logic rather than spending their time on basic configurations.

Ultimately, this means businesses can get their software up and running in less time and at lower cost, saving their resources for other growth initiatives.

2. Access to Innovation

Among the advantages cloud-based providers offer is the use of bleeding-edge technical capabilities such as big data, IoT connectivity, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. As these technologies are revolutionizing the business landscape, they’re shifting from novelties to must-haves for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve. But development and deployment is often prohibitively costly and time consuming for companies to tackle on their own. Fortunately, cloud-based providers make the latest innovations — from big data analytics that provide deep insights into customer behavior to AI algorithms that enhance user experience — accessible to every client.

Of course, companies that simply migrate existing software to cloud hosting services can opt to incorporate these capabilities later, but the danger of adding functionalities in a piecemeal fashion is that these companies are likely to end up with patchwork software that looks — and runs — like Frankenstein’s monster. But with cloud-first development, the latest bleeding-edge technology can be a core component from the get-go, ensuring a cohesive application that functions exactly as it should.

3. Decreased Risk

One of the key benefits of cloud-based software is the heightened security of data and content in case of unexpected maintenance or system failure. When companies move their existing software to the cloud, they can take advantage of storage backup, risk management policies, and disaster recovery protocols that would be cost-prohibitive for them to enact on their own.

But what about during the development process? If there’s a hardware failure or a data breach mid-build, the company is on its own — unless it’s adopted a cloud-first approach. Cloud-first developers can take advantage of the incomparable security and resilience capabilities of cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft from the moment they kick off a project, mitigating risks and taking a costly load off their shoulders.

A commitment to cloud-first software development gives companies the resources and the freedom to “go big” with their custom applications. They can design and build the solutions they need without having to compromise, and they can redirect the saved time, resources, and budget to other growth initiatives.

Publication date: August 27, 2018

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