The software industry is evolving towards greater flexibility, as teams adapt to agile structures, remote communication, and virtual workspaces. Consequently, companies are exploring alternate options to traditional on-premises software solutions.
Cloud-based software development is a commonly accepted solution that fulfils the needs of modern businesses while also tackling infrastructure-related obstacles. Outsourcing server maintenance has become a norm.
In case you are contemplating or currently implementing cloud-based software development in your company, let us examine the advantages and drawbacks of this approach here.
Introduction to Developing Software on the Cloud
By allowing computers to tap into shared resources like data storage and processing power, cloud computing enhances their capabilities without requiring expensive hardware upgrades. ‘The cloud’ denotes all the software, hardware, servers and networks that facilitate these services.
Cloud computing is a technology that empowers software development without necessitating local installation. It enables the creation and operation of server-based applications, as well as the use of production and development tools, without being held back by hardware limitations. This allows for the adoption of more sophisticated software without bulky hardware requirements. Learn how real estate businesses leverage cloud computing.
Cloud computing typically offers three different services, each providing varying degrees of user control over the underlying cloud infrastructure, in descending order:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)gives users access to shared computing resources, including servers, storage, and networks, enabling them to install and operate their own applications.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)offers users access to one or more remote servers with their preferred operating system.
Software as a Service (SaaS)is a delivery model that enables the provision of computer programs and apps via the internet.
The choice of how to launch a cloud computing service hinges on the specific customer requirements. Each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks; thereby, the ultimate decision should be influenced by budget constraints, privacy considerations, and the number of users. Learn more here.
Here are some of the most common deployment models, listed in order of decreasing user access:
- A private cloud is a cloud service that is exclusive to a single enterprise, whether it is hosted internally or externally.
Community cloudpertains to a cloud infrastructure built specifically for a cluster of firms with shared interests or objectives.
- A hybrid cloud is formed when private and public clouds are combined, typically used when dealing with clients who require the protection and confidentiality of their sensitive data.
- A public cloud is a cloud service that is accessible via the internet to the general public, allowing numerous users to use the service simultaneously.
Pros and Cons of Cloud for New Software Development
Cloud computing substantially simplifies software development by freeing up the development team from many duties.
Some Benefits of Cloud in Software Development
Easy Installation and Operation
Cloud adoption offers a means to reap the advantages of server architecture without struggling with the technical intricacies. You and your team can utilise a cloud infrastructure without worrying about creating or sustaining it; a trusted and experienced third-party can handle these responsibilities.
Your team can access the necessary software without the need to meet any hardware requirements.
Secondly, it is highly scalable to adapt to your evolving needs.
One of the numerous benefits of utilising a cloud service is the ability to adjust the number of virtual machines and processing power anytime.
Moreover, this provides you with the added advantage of storing any data essential for your team’s day-to-day operations.
Lower Adoption Costs
Scaling up offers an additional benefit. Most cloud services operate under a “pay-as-you-go” model, which means that charges are determined by actual usage. This eliminates the need for expensive hardware investments or additional personnel to manage the cloud infrastructure, making adopting a cloud service more cost-effective and easier.
Easily Accessible from Any Location
As the cloud is accessible through the internet, developers can leverage its numerous benefits from anywhere. All team members can access the cloud and be ready to work, assuming they have a computer that meets the minimum requirements and is connected to the internet.
Better Team Collaboration
Enabling your team to access a centralised development environment can enhance their ability to collaborate and deliver projects in real-time. Furthermore, every team member will have unrestricted access to the latest versions of all documents they are working on.
Automated Data Storage and Backups
Cloud service providers usually keep various copies of the stored data to provide an additional layer of redundancy. This can relieve your team from managing the process on their own.
When contemplating Cloud Computing for Software Development, evaluating the pros and cons before committing is crucial. It is necessary to consider the advantages and drawbacks of this service to guarantee the best outcome.
Challenges of Developing Software for the Cloud
Membership or Subscription Fees
Cloud services provide a more economical alternative than setting up your own server, but there are continuous costs involved. As your team’s needs grow, the monthly or annual subscription fee may require adjustments accordingly.
Safety and Maintenance Concerns
Cloud services are not entirely immune to data breaches and cyber attacks, and users may face downtime if there are physical faults in the services. Even the most secure and dependable systems can fall prey to these errors, although they are rare.
Benefit of using a reputable provider in this scenario:Given their experience in managing such systems, service providers are more likely to have the essential resources, expertise, and workforce to develop a secure and dependable platform, rather than an individual.
Lack of System Customization and Inability to Make Changes
Outsourced services limit your control over hardware and (depending on the provider) software. To cater to your complex development lifecycle, it is crucial to choose a cloud-based platform that fulfils all your particular requirements.
Reliance on Internet Connectivity
Cloud services provide excellent flexibility and capability, but they become obsolete if the internet connection is unreliable or unavailable. Prior to committing to a cloud service, it is crucial to confirm that the organisation and its employees have access to a reliable internet connection.
Take note that replicating your cloud data onto your local system may slow down your internet connection due to the volume of information being transmitted. If your internet connection is already slow, be extra cautious.
When opting to use a cloud service, you are relinquishing control of your data to an external provider. This may pose challenges if you plan to switch to a different vendor in the future.
Risk to your information if:Disclosing data to the public domain heightens the possibility of unauthorised access by malicious individuals or entities. Uploading data from one platform to another increases susceptibility to security threats by four times.
No limitation to the amount of data stored in your cloud.Cloud services are an excellent solution for abstracting storage space, enabling storage of data without considering the underlying hardware. However, creating local backups may be challenging, particularly for organisations with a substantial amount of data, as it requires replication of hardware with regards to storage capacity. The volume of data dictates the storage space and funds needed to store it.
If searching for a service, guarantee that it caters to your future needs. Otherwise, make sure your chosen provider offers a reliable method to migrate your data if you ever decide to switch vendors.
By leveraging cloud services, businesses can delegate their operational and financial worries to expert providers, freeing up resources to concentrate on other aspects. They also benefit from enhanced accessibility, reduced initial investment and increased computing capability. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that this entails a loss of control over the specifics of their infrastructure and software.
The widespread adoption of the internet has led to the extensive utilisation of cloud-based computing services in recent years. Cloud-based applications are now a fixture, both for personal and business purposes. Two examples of well-known commercial solutions that can be accessed via the cloud are Oracle Cloud Applications and Shopify.