Cloud-native architectures will become the default option for customer-facing applications by 2020, according to a new study from IT consultancy Capgemini, Cloud Native Comes of Age. However, that move is predicated on whether the business leaders will allow it.
Capgemini surveyed more than 900 senior professionals across 11 countries and found that 15 percent of new enterprise applications are cloud-native today, and that figure will jump to 32 percent by 2020.
The main reasons for the shift to cloud-native apps was a desire to improve velocity (74 percent), collaboration (70 percent) and improved customer experience (67 percent). Companies with strong cloud-practices leadership are taking the lead in this trend, using agile and DevOps methodologies and automated app deployment.
These companies are also more likely to have a growth-focused attitude towards IT functions, with improving customer experience (90 percent), business agility (87 percent) and scalability (85 percent) viewed as higher priorities than reducing costs (79 percent).
This means new challenges for the CIO, however. CIOs surveyed cite the difficulties of integrating cloud-native applications with legacy infrastructure as their main hurdle, along with existing contracts with software vendors, concerns about cybersecurity and data protection, and costs in on-premises infrastructure.
But they also have to battle ingrained attitudes from the business leaders. Two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they expect to have to battle an ingrained culture, 70 percent cited a skills shortage as a problem, while 62 percent cited integration with legacy infrastructure as an issue.
Capgemini noted that companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix, Airbnb, Uber and Deliveroo are defined by using software as a key differentiator and source of competitive advantage. Their success is driven by their ability to fully harness the elasticity of the cloud by adopting a cloud-native approach to application development.
“Building applications directly in the cloud, and using a modular, microservices architecture, means these innovators can rapidly innovate and scale new products – achieving a business velocity and flexibility that is simply impossible for organizations tethered to monolithic systems,” the report said.
6 steps to build a cloud-native business
Capgemini gave a six-point roadmap for organizations looking to build a cloud-native business:
- Assess the application portfolio and identify priorities for cloud-native development.
- Build credibility by demonstrating a cloud roadmap and ability to deliver growth.
- Start small, then scale up to develop a skilled team.
- Adapt the IT operating model to support both business agility and stability.
- Be pragmatic in selecting technologies.
- Incubate a culture of innovation, collaboration, testing and learning.