They are pointing for it Gartner and Forbes— it appears that in the coming year cloud computing will still have one of the key roles in the business processes of the largest market players. Two years ago, Deloitte emphasized that even banking and capital markets leaders are more and more often indicating the cloud as a target for the financial industry in the field of data storage, advanced analytics and implementation of business innovations. Today, the same topic is on the lips of the CIOs and CTOs of medium and large-sized companies from around the world. And rightly so, because there’s much to talk about: migration to the cloud has become a sign of a technological revolution and is gaining momentum every year.
With all this in mind, as a company specializing in cloud services — especially in the field of migration, optimization and development in the cloud — we see needs and we try to meet them. We would be happy to join the discussion on the three key technological trends related to the cloud, which we believe in 2022 will become a ticket to the successful digitization and development of the portfolio of services provided.
Trend 1 | Cloud Native Development
Applications designed specifically to take full advantage of the cloud
The cloud provides great opportunities in terms of scale and efficiency of services. To fully use its resources, in addition to the optimal migration of existing IT systems, companies should start working with Cloud Native applications. In 2022, newly emerging business solutions will be developed with a view to cloud optimization, providing companies with a number of competitive advantages — including speed, reliability and functional safety, which are the basis for better customer service. Enterprises will be able to choose from ready-made services, increasingly provided by cloud technology providers.
Native cloud applications use microservices architecture, i.e. numerous elements that can operate independently of each other. This approach allows developers to quickly add new functions, and because the application is not tied to a particular server, the environment can be easily scaled up and down without negative side effects. Separating tasks into individual services that can run on several servers in different places is also a recipe for application reliability — even if the infrastructure fails, the cloud native application will still work. A report from Lightbend shows that among programmers, software architects and IT leaders, the degree of implementation of cloud technologies is already high: 60.9% use microservices and 59.9% run most new applications as containers running on Kubernetes.
Cloud Native applications are also the best way to focus on the development of your business in the new year. Currently, both start-ups and mature enterprises are increasingly interested in serverless possibilities, i.e., a model of cloud services that allows you to create highly scalable applications without having to worry about infrastructure. In this way, developers focus only on building and developing applications, and everything around them — scaling, updating systems, network configuration, putting virtual machines — is handled by the cloud service provider.
Research shows that AWS Lambda functions are already invoked 3.5 times more often than two years ago. This confirms that interest in serverless is growing, and companies using this service model indicate its many benefits:
- No need to administer the infrastructure,
- Less workload on the development team and better use of its capabilities,
- Automatic scaling of the service depending on the real load,
- Payment only for resources used (including the ability to scale “to zero” and no operating costs),
- High performance and availability of the service, and thus the availability of applications even with the greatest loads.
As you can see, Cloud Native applications help to implement new ideas, provide innovative functions or test and implement changes in systems, and thus constantly develop your company and portfolio of services. In addition, moving to native cloud services will provide enterprises with:
- Shorter time-to-market for digital products,
- Higher performance compared to web applications,
- Faster and more convenient access to data,
- High automation that will speed up operations and reduce the risk of errors,
- Using professional security, built into the cloud environment,
- Better adaptation to the changing market thanks to the possibility of updating in real-time.
Trend 2 | Automated Testing Factory
Taking testing to the next level
The dynamics of cloud systems and applications is one of the foundations which makes the cloud environment so attractive for companies that want to constantly develop and improve their offer. Unfortunately, traditional software development and testing models do not support this kind of architecture. To be able to create effective, efficient and safe cloud applications, companies will start launching a cloud testing model.
By creating software that works in the cloud, developers undertake to provide efficient and quick delivery of new functions. The testing process must meet similar standards — individual features of the application should be changed or bug-fixed on an ongoing basis so that all tests and patches take place at the same pace as the quick releases. Automation and transfer of the test environment to the cloud provides this comfort of work, and thus allows the high quality and safety of the created solutions to be ensured, while reducing the time and costs of testing.
The new cloud test infrastructure is:
- Test development and automation,
- Dynamic scaling and creation of test environments,
- Easier configuration for load and performance test scenarios,
- Integration of test processes with the CI / CD workflow,
- Adaptation of the testing phase to the software release cycles,
- Providing necessary information for product, development and DevOps teams.
Trend 3 | Cloud Migration Factory
IT transformation and strategic migration to the cloud
In the CloudCheckr report “The Cloud Infrastructure” from this year (2021), we can read that 57% of the companies surveyed declared that more than half of their infrastructure is in the cloud. Moreover, as many as 64% of them assume a complete transition to the public cloud within the next 5 years. Before our eyes, migration to cloud computing is becoming a strategic decision, strongly related to the possibilities of further business development, including through:
- Reduction of fixed infrastructure costs,
- Implementation of new solutions with low capital expenditure,
- Easier introduction of modern functions in applications,
- Accelerating the creation and introduction to the market of digital services or products,
- Greater control over the access of employees and partners to specific services,
- Faster and more efficient infrastructure provision,
- More effective data management (Big Data),
- The transition from complex monolithic applications to flexible and scalable services.
The development model based on internal IT infrastructure becomes less and less efficient every year, which is why the need to develop an effective concept of migrating entire IT systems to the cloud comes to the fore. Strategy for 2022 should take into account the order in which the application is moved (taking into consideration criteria such as: relevance, time, workload, resources, costs, necessary changes, availability of specialists or required competences), as well as the appropriate migration model. Based on the most important models described by Gartner and known as “5R”, we assume five possible scenarios for a successful migration:
- REHOST (Lift & Shift) — allows you to transfer applications together with data from the existing local server to a new cloud environment, without major interference in the architecture.
- REPLATFORM (Lift & Reshape) — moving the application to the cloud is associated with the introduction of minor modifications to the software, the purpose of which is better integration with the new environment.
- REPLACE (Repurchase) — this assumes a complete abandonment of the application used so far and finding its counterpart in the cloud.
- REFACTOR (smart Decoupling, rewrite) — involves the need to introduce changes to the application in order to adapt it to work in the cloud environment. The functionality itself does not change.
- REMOVE (terminate) — in the process of migrating IT systems to the cloud, it may turn out that some of the applications used so far will no longer be needed (they will be replaced by other functionality), so the company may completely abandon them.
At the same time, we are aware of the existence of industries that are partially or completely limited by legal regulations and in which full migration to the public cloud is not possible. In such cases, individual applications should be directed to track number 6: REMAIN (do nothing) in the on-premise environment, at least until the law allows for further action.
Where Cloud will lead us in 2022?
We leave this question open, although, considering the rapid development of cloud services, we could hazard a guess: wherever there is a need. For years, cloud technologies have been responding to newer and newer business challenges, sharing with companies their unlimited computing power and space for data storage.
It depends on us — developers, CTOs, CIOs — how else we use their capabilities.