Cloud Software Development: A Primer for Your Business

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on October 29, 2019

The ability to develop and deliver software applications that meet customer demands quickly and cost-effectively has long been a differentiator for technology companies. For many years, building the capacity to create that software was a major obstacle that required significant capital investment. With the growing adoption of cloud software development, however, today’s companies are finding ways to bypass those obstacles and cycle development faster than ever before.

Cloud-Based Software Development

Software development has traditionally been a very resource-intensive undertaking. It requires extensive infrastructure in the form of server space, programming tools, operating systems, and network capacity. All of that infrastructure is not only expensive to establish, it also represents ongoing maintenance and updating costs. For smaller companies, investing in hardware and software tools that could very quickly become outdated represents a sizable risk, especially considering how many applications fail to take hold among consumers.

Thanks to the expansive power of cloud computing, however, organizations now have access to a stable development platform that allows them to design and deploy software applications without the same level of risk they would face by building out their own infrastructure. Cloud-based application development platform providers make it possible for even the smallest startups to have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and software tools as they build their innovative products and services.

What is PaaS in Cloud Computing?

One of the more common forms of cloud computing, cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) allows customers to develop, run, and manage applications entirely within an infrastructure maintained by the cloud provider. Most PaaS offerings are provided on a subscription basis that charges customers for the compute, storage, and networking resources their applications utilize.

PaaS Explained

A PaaS is typically accessed through a web browser and allows customers to access software development tools. The PaaS provider maintains all the necessary infrastructure needed to host applications and data, which could include virtualized servers, databases, and operating systems. By developing applications in a PaaS environment, organizations can focus their resources on products and service delivery rather than building out their own infrastructure.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Application Development

Building and hosting applications natively in the cloud offers a number of important advantages that make it an appealing solution for companies. Here are just a few reasons why PaaS providers make ideal partners:

Better Tools

Few organizations have the resources available to build an IT infrastructure that compares to a top-tier PaaS provider. The stack and platform technology they utilize not only features the latest products, but it’s also optimized for high performance and uptime. Even when problems do occur, trained support staff is typically available to troubleshoot issues and resolve them quickly. That means PaaS customers can focus more of their IT resources on developing innovative software solutions and applications rather than tending to every detail of their infrastructure.

Speed

Developing software in a cloud environment makes it easier for development teams to collaborate and iterate. Since they’re working across a standardized infrastructure and using the same tools and code, there is less chance of merge conflicts, technical debt, and bugs. Most PaaS providers offer automation tools that streamline manual processes and reduce the risk of human error. Getting software up and running faster makes it easier to refine, adapt, and iterate over time to match customer expectations.

Scalability

The ability to rapidly provision additional resources is one of the key advantages of working in a cloud environment. This is especially important for development teams that need to spin up virtual servers for testing and staging new applications. Working in a PaaS environment makes it much easier for these teams to work through new ideas and concepts without taking away from existing infrastructure resources.

Security

While there is always some concern about security when it comes to public cloud platforms, the fact remains that they are often far more secure than the typical on-premises security solution. PaaS providers utilize industry-leading security practices and continually update their infrastructure to guard against the latest cyberthreats. They also offer redundancy options to help mitigate the risks associated with downtime, which provides significant protection against service disruption.

Cost

When it comes to cost savings, there’s no comparison. Developing applications in the cloud completely eliminates the need to maintain expensive on-premises infrastructure. For organizations that want to retain full control over their data and systems, however, a hybrid or multi-cloud deployment that connects colocated servers to their preferred PaaS provider is an ideal solution. The connectivity options available within a carrier-neutral data center make it easy for customers to access their preferred PaaS provider for secure, low-latency service.

For most organizations, cloud software development has opened up a new world for possibilities and potential. Partnering with a PaaS provider gives them access to the computing resources they need without burdening them with the challenges associated with building and maintaining their own infrastructure. Cloud-based application development allows them to innovate faster and get their products and services to market in time to meet consumer demands. And with the flexibility offered by cloud development, they can adapt to changing needs quickly enough to stay ahead of their competition.

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