Leaping into the cloud to develop enterprise apps

Regardless of the industry—financial services, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, government, or education—employees and, indeed, customers are growing less tolerant of manual, paper-based processes that slow them down. Individuals expect service and access to their information to be instant, automated, mobile and secure, and these expectations are continuing to escalate.  

This in part occurs because some organisations are already doing a very good job of digitising work processes, setting the bar higher for everyone else. As a result, when organisations lag behind the benchmark, it’s a big disappointment to the growing community of customers, employees, and partners who live and work in a digital world. As these individuals get frustrated with organisations that cannot keep up, their loyalty begins to shift, and they begin to seek out new organisations that value their preferences. 

With the push for digital transformation, both cloud computing and enterprise apps should really be on the rise. These technologies offer businesses the opportunity to increase workplace productivity and boost employee collaboration within the business, perhaps even allowing for better engagement with customers, providing them with excellent service and preventing them from looking elsewhere. 

Sadly, many organisations still remain lumbered with legacy IT systems, unable to keep up with the growing and ever-changing demands of the business. Gartner predicts that even with the high rate of predicted growth, a large number of organisations still have no current plans to use cloud services. On top of this, they also predict that market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver it through 2021 and that one out of every three new B2E mobile apps will fail within six months of launch by 2019. It’s clear that something needs to be done.

Stepping stone for app development

Interestingly, in the same way that DRaaS is often seen as the entry point for an organisation adopting a more holistic cloud strategy, many have begun using the cloud initially as a stepping stone for app testing and development. Then, once they become more comfortable with it and more experienced at managing apps in the cloud, many will then move their production apps to the cloud. We are seeing more and more customers using the iland cloud platform for extra capacity for development and testing of apps. 

The benefits of doing this are abundant. Using the cloud in this way allows for seamless growth as organisations are able to scale up and down without needing to invest in and manage IT infrastructure. It is fast and secure and allows for transparency in pricing. Organisations need only pay for what they use and, at iland for example, this is made easier with burst-style pricing options. 

By using the cloud to test new apps, organisations avoid the need to invest in on premise IT infrastructure for testing as well as avoiding the need to disrupt production apps while testing new apps. We have observed that customers are not just using cloud capacity for testing new apps, but also for testing changes or upgrades to existing ones. They’re able to test the change and then upgrade it in the cloud again without risking production systems.

On some occasions, being able to test in the cloud has enabled IT teams to identify security vulnerabilities that would have had serious implications for on premise infrastructure, and may otherwise have gone undetected. However, this is only possible if the cloud provider delivers security controls, and furthermore, reporting on these controls. 

It is clear that organisations need to make the shift towards more innovative IT to not only keep up with, but to also stay competitive within the ever-changing business landscape. If applied properly, the cloud can allow for faster application development, facilitating ‘Dev-Ops’ style collaboration, incorporating cloud-resident features with minimal coding, reducing development effort, and creating realistic distributed testing for application lifecycle management. Many organisations have already proved that the key to cracking the digital transformation challenge is harnessing the right technology to meet business needs. Don’t let your business lag behind in this age of digital transformation – start exploring the benefits of app development in the cloud today.

Monica Brink, Director of Marketing, iland
Image Credit: Melpomene / Shutterstock