Cloud application development, these days, is something that cannot be overlooked. It has caught the eye of the whole IT industry and everyone wants a piece of it. Due to this, it is here to stay for a while. The number of apps migrating to cloud technologies is staggeringly high. Cloud software is of much profit to businesses as a whole.
Multiple industry reports suggest that as businesses are expanding storage capacity, mobile applications, and performance have become troublesome for more than 70% of digital workspaces. Cloud computing is the solution to problems like these which is why it is so much in demand. However, before we take a deep dive into the benefits of cloud computing and how it solves such issues, it is necessary to know what it really means.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is when an organization outsources IT resource management to third-party vendors. Clients pay only for the specific services they have hired the development team for on a pro-rata basis.
The kind of services and resources that are provided on-demand include computational power and data-storage systems. Subscribers benefit from these IT resources that they engage with via the Internet and can cut back on their costs to focus on building in-house infrastructure.
Due to resource outsourcing, companies and businesses can cut back their costs on infrastructure and channel that money into more scalable strategies of the business that could elevate their reach. Regardless of whether the business is a startup, digital at-scale company, or a legacy business, cloud computing apps allow all such companies to increase their product’s functionality.
The global cloud services market is projected to witness a robust growth of 21.7%, reaching a total value of 597 billion U.S. dollars. 2021 was the year when the value of cloud computing applications globally rose to about 133.6 billion US dollars. The annual rate at which this industry was estimated to grow was believed to be 4.8%.
Research done by RightScale in 2022 suggests that 31% of enterprises invest more than $12 million in public cloud services each year. Out of this, 54% of SMEs spend more than $1.2 million on cloud services. Amazon Web Services dominates the market share for cloud services by 34%.
Features of a Cloud-based application
- The app’s data in a cloud computing application is stored in the cloud’s infrastructure and can be partially restored to a user’s device. This implies that such an app could be run on devices under minimum requirements.
- The user can temporarily access the information stored on their device while offline. The cloud infrastructure makes this possible. Once back online, the infrastructure updates the cloud and the data is stored back into the original cloud storage location.
- As a user, you can set up backup schedules like data compression, optimization, and encryption any time you want.
- You can access a cloud application through any internet-connected device which contains a desktop, mobile, and tablet.
- With the help of API integration, third-party cloud computing services are also granted access via cloud-based applications and are more conveniently customized as a web application.
As we have observed the features that make a cloud-based application, it is time to focus on the multi-faceted solutions they provide that are available for digital businesses and enterprises.
Types of cloud-based solutions for companies
There are several elements in a cloud-based application such as databases, storage, data servers, etc., which are executed by third parties. The third-party controls your computer reserves and infrastructure either on a free or a paid basis. This means you can get access to those services and resources without having a care in the world for infrastructure maintenance. There are four major types of cloud-based solutions for companies:
- Private cloud: This operates as a private web system with a safe space for the web, apps, and data. The services of this solution are accessible only to a single company without any public access.
- Public cloud: There is only one way to access data in a public cloud through an authorized device. With much data processing, the public cloud allows optimal flexibility and price.
- Hybrid Cloud: This type of solution is regarded as both private and public. This solution allows you to share your data among on-device services with third-party apps and extra variants for optimization and deployment.
- Community Cloud: Similar to private cloud except for data sharing between multiple organizations. For instance, a popular IT firm has multiple departments under it. So they share the same cloud with similar infrastructure and resources.
You can utilize these solutions to the fullest for multiple application services. There are also enterprise-specific cloud deployment solutions available for access. Three of the major ones include SaaS, PaaS & IaaS
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS creates cloud applications using web browsers and mobile devices. SaaS provides access to online applications without allowing the user to install them on their device. This cloud application development can be utilized for:
- Maintaining CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems along with a database of clients.
- It also offers auditing features with email tools.
- Document management for file sharing and collaboration.
- It also allows the user to automate services and register their products.
- The entire company can share agendas and calendars to plan their future activities and events.
Some of the instances of SaaS technologies in the tech market are AWS, Google Apps, Salesforce, Zendesk, etc.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This solution allows you to borrow every service and resource you require to build an app based on cloud providers for operating systems, infrastructure, and development tools. This implies that to build cloud apps you will be working with cloud application platforms (hardware or software) as a service. The applications derived from PaaS can be used for:
- Development tools
- Operating systems
- Database running infrastructure
Some of the famous companies with PaaS as their cloud platform are Windows Azure, Openshift, and Heroku.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Your cloud provider maintains the business infrastructure which includes the network, storage, server, and visualization. This infrastructure can also be taken care of by a private cloud. Besides controlling the services, IaaS cloud services provide additional services for cloud-based app development such as:
- Log access
- Load balancing
- Detailed invoice
- Resiliency tools (backup replications and recovery)
- Security tools (PCI-DSS compliance, data encryption measures)
To ensure the correct approach to using IaaS cloud services, utilize an admin panel or API for better navigation. Moreover, you can manage your programs and OS with the help of cloud app resources as your cloud service provider takes care of them.
Some instances of famous companies utilizing IaaS as their platform include PayPal, Zoom, Slack, etc.
Benefits of Cloud-based app development
Engaging with cloud-based services is a profitable trade for all companies and enterprises as most of the processing issues and data storage are managed by remote servers. Additionally, such apps and software have multiple benefits enrolled to itself that can aid in cloud mobile application development.
You can avail of cloud services only for your required application development model. Such a ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ service applies to every cloud app development service that comprises lower costs and better results.
2. High Security
The job of a cloud host is to monitor data security which is much more effective than a simple in-house system. Due to cloud computing, a company can meet the government’s demands regarding security standards. Cloud also provides an automated reaction to data recoveries and updates.
3. Flexible Solutions
Cloud applications offer more flexibility as opposed to hosting on a local server. They also provide more bandwidth instead of going on a long update that would bolster the infrastructure.
4. Competitive edge and sustainability
AI services such as chatbots and assistants also offer a greater customer experience to the audience when they are integrated with cloud services.
5. Mobility and Insight
With cloud application platforms, you have permission to access data across all devices, teams, companies, gadgets, etc. to stay updated. As a result, it is observed that organizations investing in cloud application services generally have better employee satisfaction and engagement than other local hosting companies.
Native cloud app development aids in personalized customer data insights to enhance data experience and access speed.
6. Range of Solutions
By extending their range of services and resources to the business model, cloud-based solutions take the company to better horizons as it can manage everything ranging from CRM to ERP solutions.
It also manages data quality by implementing disaster recovery and shielding data loss. These solutions ensure the success of a business.
Cloud-based application development process
Cloud applications can be implemented in both mobile app development services and web app development services. It is best if you choose the method that suits your application the best. Investing in cloud development also helps a lot in understanding the tools and resources you will be working with that could help your business scale better options.
Before you begin, make sure to understand the target audience, their pain points, and their needs from the app. A decent cloud company will offer you instant business model analysis, project planning reports, and app development cost estimation. Before overseeing the application development process, your development team will help in developing an app workflow, and app design concept, and picking the MVP features of the app.
The architecture and features
To develop an efficient cloud-based app, elements such as app architecture, service model, and cloud migration are introduced. These decisions can impact your app’s performance for the better or the worse. As a result, it is important to discuss such things with your outsourced team and come to a conclusion, about which one is the best for your business.
App development becomes much easier due to simplified cloud architecture as it deploys cloud solutions conveniently. An above-average app development company would utilize advanced cloud architecture developed on microservices. You can pick any service model (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) mentioned above to implement in your cloud application.
Defining the tech stack
While picking cloud app development tools, consider the features, requirements, and design of your app. Make sure to consider the scalability factor too before picking one. To develop simple and advanced cloud-based applications, below is a common tech stack that can help you out:
For data and app
- New Relic
- Sauce Labs
- Cloud9 IDE
For Business Tools
- G Suite
Picking an app monetization tool
Once you understand what your audience asks of you, you can anticipate the things your audience will pay for. Below mentioned are four different app monetization models you can pick from:
- In-App Purchases
Development and Testing
Cloud app development is based on agile scrum methodologies. There are two sprints into which the building process is split. The native apps must be built using this process since they provide better customization with minimal issues during the development stage.
It is also significant to quality test the app before releasing it. This would confirm if your cloud application offers the required user experience. The outsourced companies that provide full-cycle development processes offer development, design, testing as well and management services that deliver enhanced product quality.
App launch and maintenance
Your app will be released for either Android or iOS implying Google Play Store or Apple App Store based on your preferred platform. Due to automated testing, Google Play increases the approval process of your app. However, if rejected, Google Play will not state the reason for its rejection. It does not charge any fee either.
The App Store, on the other hand, provides relevant information and areas your developers need to work on if your app is rejected. However, for its launch, you will require $299/year to join the Apple Developer’s Enterprise Program.
Cost to develop a cloud-based application
The factors given below determine the cost of developing a cloud software or application:
- Product design
- Location and rate of your outsourced development team
- Technology stack
- Product Features
- Project size and complexity
Cloud app development roughly costs:
- SaaS development services can range from $500 to $500,000 depending on the app you want to develop for your business.
- A general cloud app takes about 200 to 600 hours to build and can cost around $15,000 based on the efforts of the team.
- A medium to complex app takes more than 800 hours of development time and can cost you anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000.
These prices do not include cloud hosting prices. You can pick any hosting platform from the likes of AWS Cloud to Microsoft Azure or GCP Cloud hosting. The service provider for your cloud development will provide an accurate app development cost estimate.
An app developed in the cloud will more often than not be profitable for the business. The cloud delivers some architectural, security, and scalability issues during development, however, rewards the user equally in the final stage. Cloud solutions let you deal with business strategies and dilemmas and leave the provider with all the maintenance issues. Cloud computing services provide faster app performance and are much cheaper.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What challenges does a developer face while developing cloud applications?
It can be difficult to maintain cloud costs effectively, guarantee data security and privacy, control data consistencies across a range of networks, oversee network latency and reliability problems, and obey regulatory requirements.
2. What is the most common example of a cloud application?
A typical example of a cloud application would be a Google Doc or Office 365. To gain access to these cloud applications all you need is a good internet connection and a device on which you can access these apps. The data storage, functionality, and interface are provided by the remote servers.
3. What are some of the famous cloud computing trends in 2023?
Some of the trends widely popular in the IT industry for cloud computing are:
- AI and machine learning
- Data Security
- Low Code and No Code Cloud Solutions
- Edge computing
4. What is a cloud service provider?
A cloud service provider (CSP) is a company that offers services aligning with storage, computing, and software solutions across the internet, also called ‘Cloud’. Popular CSPs around the world include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
5. What programming languages and frameworks are best for cloud computing?
The following programming languages and frameworks are best for cloud computing:
- Spring Boot
- Spring Cloud
- Ruby On Rails