Native cloud: what is it?
Native cloud has been talked about for quite some time as one of the most important enablers for enterprise digital transformation. If for enterprise-level companies it is a natural evolution, for less structured ones it represents a real revolution. Not only from the point of view of choosing a new cloud infrastructure, but also because of the degree of participation required from management.
Before delving into the benefits offered by native cloud solutions, it is worth pointing out that when we talk about native cloud we consider not only an ecosystem of technologies, but also the entire application stack that falls under this definition. We can say that cloud native represents the technological answer that allows for the efficiency of operating models based on the “Cloud”, enabling the deployment of applications in both public and private or hybrid environments.
An application is cloud native when, leveraging the cloud and microservices, it offers maximum scalability, allows maintenance activities to proceed without requiring the interruption of services, and is easy to use. Features that, by themselves, address many of today’s top management needs: cutting infrastructure costs, optimizing processes, seeking continuity in service delivery and production, as well as reducing provisioning, are all issues that find in cloud native a more than effective solution.
Native cloud: companies believe in it
According to IDC’s most recent forecasts, by 2024 enterprises around the world will have modernized about 70 percent of their application fleets, enhancing them according to native cloud logics.
Enterprises are fundamentally changing the way they operate introducing an era of large scale business transformation. Everyone knows the digital transformation was inevitable but it seems the pandemic gave impetus to a change in organizational thinking and to the cloud native acceleration. The majority of enterprises have come to realize that IT and business strategies can no longer exist side by side but rather need to be joined at the hip.
True cloud native enterprises believe that cloud adoption goes far beyond technology. They understand that the cloud not only adds value to their business by reducing costs and time to market. Cloud native methods drive innovation and allow them to move faster than non-cloud competitors.
As the cloud native wave grows, enterprises will continue to see cloud culture permeate their organizations and their workforce. Enterprises who have adopted cloud native methods already experience a dramatic change in the way their developers migrate and manage their workloads. And as the cloud approach matures, automation will relieve enterprises from manual tasks allowing them to move and scale even faster and more cost-effective.
Native Cloud, why adopt it?
If the market urges top management in an increasingly frantic manner to release products and services, the adoption of cloud native solutions can significantly facilitate time-to-market. Application development in a cloud-native environment is extremely more dynamic, perfectly mirroring how agile services are designed and released.
According to the “State of Cloud Native Development Report” published by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), cloud native is undoubtedly on the rise: suffice it to say that, in the past twelve months, the global number of cloud native developers has grown from 0.3 million to 6.8 million. According to a recent report by Tigera, however, 75 percent of companies are developing cloud native applications. Gartner, then, estimates that by 2025 more than 95 percent of new digital workloads will be based on native cloud platforms.
Not only that: again according to the sample of large enterprises involved by the Cloud Transformation Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano, scalability, flexibility and portability turn out to be the main advantages found by native cloud adoption. In detail, the top management of the companies surveyed rated the benefits of this solution as follows:
– Scalability – 95%
– Flexibility – 86%
– Portability – 80%
– Speed of development – 73%
– Maintainability – 71%
– Security – 69%
– Ease of deployment – 68%
– Cost of management – 61%
– Cost of implementation – 54%
Another very important aspect to consider is that cloud native allows for the development of solutions that can be executed either within containers or in a serverless environment. This allows to benefit from dynamic allocation of resources, which is a function of processing needs. These resources are activated by the cloud provider (developers do not, therefore, have to worry about server provisioning or solution scalability) and remain active only while the applications are being used. There is, therefore, a twofold benefit: on the one hand, efficiency is optimized, and on the other hand, you pay only for the actual time the resources are used.
Understanding the cost of the native cloud
Embarking on this path, however, requires a clear understanding of costs. Extremely important in this regard is the assessment phase, conducted internally or with the support of an external partner. In this part of the process, investments are defined, which must cover not only the planning and management of the new cloud infrastructure but, also performance tracking, to define the correct pricing of services and cost allocation.
The native cloud presents itself no longer as a necessary technological evolution but rather as a dynamic revolution in business thinking, which no longer involves considering IT infrastructure and applications monolithically, but in a distributed manner. Protagonists are microservices and containers: scalability is on demand and can be triggered by events. The high level of automation and “partitioning” simplifies the development, management and use of applications, benefiting users who can focus even more on core activities.