To succeed with digital transformation, enterprises must learn how to modernize and develop applications much more rapidly and frequently. That requires a paradigm change in how applications are created. This new approach, cloud-native application development, should adhere to the following three principles:
Choice: Choice enables enterprises to be more flexible and agile, and is required on several levels. First, business applications should work on any infrastructure (on-premises, virtualized, and private or public cloud), from any place, and with any provider. Second, enterprises should have an IT infrastructure that lets them use best-of-breed solutions, specifically the best price, best technology, and best innovation capabilities.
Open source: Open source provides a collaborative way for the development community to design and create software. Solutions get the features that the community wants and are available to everyone at any time. Proprietary solutions can come with vendor lock-in that sacrifices long-term benefits like agility and innovation. Today, ground-breaking open source software for cloud is being developed by highly motivated and creative individuals. I believe it’s hands-down the best software and technology for the cloud-native approach.
Infrastructure as code (IaC): From a developer’s perspective, infrastructure needs to be flexible so new and improved applications can support changing business requirements. At the same time, infrastructure needs to be rock solid – reliable, available, scalable, and designed with security in the forefront rather than as an afterthought. IaC streamlines the process of managing and provisioning data centers via machine-readable definition files. Effective IaC should also include investments in hybrid cloud, containers (so applications can run anywhere), composable infrastructure, and automation to support workloads no matter where they live.
Designing your cloud-native approach – abstracting operations and infrastructure –based on the above three principles provides two important benefits. First, it increases IT agility and flexibility. And second, it can accelerate application development, letting enterprises deliver new applications and capabilities weekly, or even daily. It’s an important capability for remaining competitive over time.
We invite you to listen to this podcast (episode 1; episode 2) for an in-depth discussion on the cloud-native approach to IT architecture featuring Lauren Nelson from Forrester and Jonathan Le Lous from Capgemini, alongside myself.