Enterprise software development in cloud: trends, tips, and case studies
N-iX
2021-02-23T21:04:16+00:00

Cloud computing is now a hot topic among both enterprises and SMBs. But we saw a massive shift of businesses to the cloud several years before the coronavirus crisis began. The global pandemic has only sped up the adoption of cloud among enterprises (59% change from planned cloud usage) and SMBs (50...

Enterprise software development in cloud: trends, tips, and case studies

Cloud computing is now a hot topic among both enterprises and SMBs. But we saw a massive shift of businesses to the cloud several years before the coronavirus crisis began. The global pandemic has only sped up the adoption of cloud among enterprises (59% change from planned cloud usage) and SMBs (50% change from planned cloud usage). 

Before the Covid-19, companies adopted the cloud to disrupt the market, outrun competitors, save cost, and now they primarily move to the cloud to ensure business continuity and build resilience.

enterprise software development in cloud

So what are the key trends in enterprise cloud development? What challenges do enterprises face with cloud computing? And how to solve them? Here, you will learn everything you need to know about enterprise software development in cloud.

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What is enterprise software development in the cloud?

Large-scale businesses that operate in industries like manufacturing, oil & gas, telecom, fintech, healthcare, etc., have complex systems that are used by thousands around the world. Implementing cloud in an enterprise is a multistep process that requires a thorough strategy and planning. 

Enterprises migrate different types of solutions to the cloud starting from websites, web apps, collaboration and communication solutions to ERP, CRM, HRMS, Enterprise Mobility, and BI Solutions. Adoption of cloud between SMBs and enterprises differs a lot. Large-scale companies encounter a number of different challenges as compared to those faced by SMBs. Here is what makes enterprise software development in cloud so peculiar:

  1. Lower cloud adoption rates 

If we compare the adoption of public cloud between SMBs and enterprises, SMBs are moving more quickly with cloud than enterprises. For them it is a faster and less complicated process. According to the IDG Cloud Computing Survey, enterprises are less likely (10%) than SMBs (22%) to be all-cloud in 18 months, because smaller organizations have fewer departments, applications, and systems to migrate. 

  1. A much larger cloud spend 

If we weigh up how much companies spend on cloud, enterprises lead the game. They have bigger cloud bills because they store more workloads and data in cloud than others. SMBs spend on average up to $600K on cloud, whereas the budget for enterprise cloud computing ranges usually from $2.4M to $12M and more.

Average spend on enterprise cloud development by enterprises and SMBs

  1. Migrating to the cloud rather than developing cloud-native apps from scratch

As the report by IDG claims, enterprises are significantly more likely than SMBs to have all (11% to 6%) or most (58% to 50%) of their IT environment on premises. Thus, they usually migrate on-premise applications to the cloud rather than build new solutions in the cloud from scratch. SMBs, by contrast, are more likely to adopt the cloud-first approach. For example, they are less inclined to migrate emerging technologies like IoT and AI to the cloud. SMBs build them in the cloud from the start. As a result, they have more purpose-built cloud apps.

  1. Extensive use of container technology

Enterprises are more ready to be experimenting with or using container technology (55%) in comparison to SMBs (41%), according to data from the report by IDG. On the one hand, it makes enterprise software development in cloud more consistent and secure. But on the other hand, it complicates and delays software development in cloud. Enterprises are almost twice as likely (21% to 12%) as SMBs to already be running containers in production. Both enterprises and SMBs consider Kubernetes as a powerful open-source tool for managing containerized applications. But enterprises are more than twice as likely as SMBs (50% to 21%) to be experimenting with it, running it in production, or using it for development and testing. 

  1. Wide application of commercially licensed software

Enterprises tend to use commercially licensed software and need to pay more for it, while SMBs usually use SaaS applications. Large companies in highly regulated industries have no choice but to comply with regulations. They should ensure firm-level licenses and professional licenses for individuals to stay ahead of compliance.

  1. Less commitment to the cloud model

Enterprises are more likely to move some of their applications out of the cloud due to security issues rather than other companies. IDG report states that 17% of enterprise organizations have already reported to bring some apps back on premises, and 18% plan to do it in the next 12 months. By contrast, a few SMBs plan to move applications back to physical data-centers (12%) or have already done so (9%).

Trends in enterprise cloud development

  • Multicloud

Nearly all enterprises (93%) leverage multi-cloud strategy, according to the recent Flexera report. Only companies in financial services, government/non-profit, and healthcare tend to use one public cloud, primarily due to security and privacy issues. 

Enterprises choose multiple cloud vendors to avoid single cloud provider lock-in, increase ROI, reduce the possibility of downtime, and have the flexibility to host their applications and data anywhere. Such an approach requires detailed planning right from the Discovery Phase. Companies should develop the architecture that is compatible with other cloud providers using standard tools and services.

When it comes to selecting cloud vendors, big players on the market choose big names like AWS, Azure, and GCP. They tend to choose cloud vendors out of the Big 3. The choice of the vendors depends on many factors. The most important are: client's business needs, budget, technologies or solutions the client is already using. For example, Amazon is the most mature cloud provider that offers the widest set of products and services. GCP is the third most popular cloud provider, but it showed the most robust growth among enterprises during 2020. According to Flexera's State of the Cloud 2020 report, Google adoption rates among enterprises rose by 70% largely thanks to new services and tools they developed for large-scale companies. However, businesses that rely on .NET and Microsoft products like Office 365 and Dynamics 365 are more likely to choose Microsoft Azure. All three cloud vendors offer great discounts for enterprises. So you need to compare cloud providers side-by-side to see all the pros and cons and understand whether they have tools and services to help you succeed with enterprise software development in cloud.

Strengths and weaknesses of Azure, AWS, and GCP

  • Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is a rising trend in enterprise cloud computing. It is the only model poised for growth three to five years from now, according to the Third Annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index. 86% of respondents agreed that hybrid cloud is the ideal IT operating model for their organizations. This figure corresponds to the results of the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report, which claims that 87% of enterprises now adopt a hybrid strategy. The most popular combination is the application of multiple private and multiple public clouds. 

Hybrid cloud is a rising trend in enterprise cloud computing

The main reason why enterprises use hybrid cloud is clear: large companies want to take control of their data while making use of the scalability and elasticity of the cloud. For companies that operate in healthcare, fintech, education, this is extremely important. 

Also, hybrid cloud is the ideal solution for enterprises that are in the process of moving to the cloud or back to on premises. Migrating applications to and from the cloud is not a one-day task. Thus, with hybrid cloud, enterprises can assess and test the optimal services and resources for workloads, making the whole transition smooth, secure, and efficient.

  • Cloud-agnostic approach

As long as many enterprises prefer multicloud or hybrid cloud, it becomes essential to adopt a cloud-agnostic approach to architecture in enterprise cloud computing. Cloud-agnostic architecture is designed to be neutral towards the use of a specific cloud. You can no longer worry about vendor lock-in, because with a cloud-agnostic architecture you are not dependent on the services or tools of a particular cloud vendor. So you can easily combine different cloud vendors or switch between them should the need arise. 

Moreover, building a solution using a cloud-agnostic approach even with on-premise infrastructure will help you smoothly migrate it to the cloud in the future saving a lot of resources. 

To build effective cloud-agnostic architecture, enterprises should refuse to use native services of a specific cloud vendor and opt for standard services instead. The main principles of successful cloud-agnostic architecture are:

  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Microservices
  • Automation of CI/CD
  • Containerization
  • Orchestration
  • Partnering with technology vendors

Adopting cloud is a complex process, and enterprises need to have an experienced team of experts to move to cloud confidently. According to the Flexera report, 66% of enterprises already have a central cloud team or cloud center of excellence. Another 21% plan to have one in the near future. The main responsibilities of the cloud team are:

  • Conducting cloud assessment
  • Shaping the cloud transformation strategy
  • Preparing the architecture
  • Migrating data and apps to the cloud
  • Optimizing cloud costs
  • Supporting and maintaining the cloud
  • Setting up security policies for cloud use 

Building such a team in-house is very challenging. You need to find the right people, retain them, take care of all HR, administrative, and infrastructure processes, etc. When you transfer all this to a reliable partner, you can concentrate on more high-value tasks. So as the difference between local teams and offshore experts is barely visible now, outsourcing is getting even more attractive. Given the current situation brought by the global pandemic, many enterprises will increasingly look for reliable technology partners nearshore or offshore to make the most of their investment in enterprise cloud development.

Best practices of enterprise software development in cloud

If you decide to adopt cloud, there are solid reasons and expectations behind your decision:

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Ease of innovation
  • Business scalability
  • Cost-efficiency, etc.

To achieve tangible results and see all the benefits of cloud, you need to go through a number of challenges and know how to mitigate them. Here we gather the top 8 tips for successful enterprise software development in cloud every CEO and CTO should be aware of:

  1. Choose a cloud transformation partner and conduct a Discovery Phase: shape business requirements, estimate TCO and the profitability you will gain in the short term and in the long run.
  2. Create a clear migration plan: it should include your goals, costs estimates, timelines, services and technology to use, etc. 
  3. Assess and prioritize your apps: understand app dependencies, assess how crucial response time, latency, downtime are for each app, and categorize your apps - mission-critical applications, business-critical applications, customer-facing applications, and other non-critical apps.
  4. Adopt microservices architecture: transform your monolith architecture into a number of loosely coupled services.
  5. Choose the right application migration method: re-host (lift and shift), re-platform (lift, tinker and shift), modernize, rewrite, drop and shop, retain.
  6. Ensure high-level security of your apps in the cloud: adopt DevSecOps approach, make necessary configurations, train others on how to maintain security in the cloud;
  7. Make use of DevOps best practices: CI/CD, rolling updates and IaC
  8. Monitor the results and optimize costs: apply metrics and KPIs defined on the planning stage to see the benefits of the cloud, maintain and support cloud to gain better results.

Accelerate your enterprise cloud development with N-iX

Here at N-iX, we receive dozens of inquiries every year from enterprises about different types of their cloud migration needs. They range from data migration to application and infrastructure migration. We have proven experience in enterprise software development in cloud, and we are ready to support you in every stage of your cloud journey.

  • N-iX is a Select AWS Consulting Partner, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a Google Cloud Partner, and an OpenText Reseller Silver Partner;
  • N-ix has a pool of 300+ cloud engineers;
  • N-iX is compliant with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards;
  • Our expertise in cloud computing includes cloud-native services, on-premise-to-cloud migration, cloud-to-cloud migration, as well as multicloud and hybrid cloud management;
  • We offer professional DevOps services, including Cloud adoption (infrastructure set up, migration, optimization), building and streamlining CI/CD processes, security issues detection/prevention (DDOS & intrusion), firewall-as-a-service, and more;
  • N-iX has broad data expertise to design different kinds of data solutions: Big Data / Data Warehouse / Data lake development, Business Intelligence, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, etc.
  • N-iX is trusted in the global tech market: the company has been listed among the top software development providers by Clutch, in the Global Outsourcing 100 by IAOP for 4 consecutive years, recognized by GSA UK 2019 Awards, included in top software development companies by GoodFirms.co, and others.
  • N-iX is among the world’s 501 leading managed service providers (MSPs), according to Channel Futures' 13th annual MSP 501 worldwide company rankings.
  • N-iX has been named No. 72 on the 2020 CRN Fast Growth 150 List for the substantial growth and performance over the previous two years. 

Cloud transformation success stories

Gogo is a leading global provider of in-flight broadband Internet and connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft with over 20 years of experience and more than 1,000 employees. The company’s superior technologies, best-in-class service, and global reach help planes fly smarter, airline partners perform better, and their passengers travel happier. Today, Gogo has partnerships with more than 16 commercial airlines and has installed in-flight connectivity technology on more than 2,900 commercial aircraft and more than 6,600 business aircraft.

gogo

The Challenge

The client wanted to migrate their not scalable expensive on-premise data solutions to the cloud, make them scalable, and improve the customer experience using big data analysis.

The Solution

N-iX team has performed a complete transition of Gogo solutions to the AWS cloud platform and built a unified data platform. We’ve helped the client to optimize operations, completely rebuilt the solution using open-source technologies, such as Spark, streamlined the system of predicting failures and replacing devices, and built several highly efficient analytics platforms. As a result, we have helped reduce the number of no-fault-founds by 8 times and significantly cut maintenance costs.

Lebara is one of Europe's fastest-growing mobile companies with 5 million active customers, 1,400 employees worldwide, and operations in 9 countries.

Lebara

The Challenge

Lebara has partnered with N-iX to improve scalability, high performance, and maintainability of their products and services. They wanted to reduce the lead time from code commit to production, which consisted of too many manual steps and took days, decrease deployment time for all environments, avoid vendor lock-in, and ensure effective monitoring and alerting in the cloud.

The Solution

N-iX team has helped the client mitigate the risks of dependence on a single provider by implementing the multi-cloud strategy. Also, containerization has enabled flexibility to change the cloud provider in the future. 

Thanks to the introduction of DevOps best practices, time-to-market has been significantly improved. With Infrastructure as a Code, the client can use template-based solutions and doesn’t need to spend hours manually provisioning the IT infrastructure. By fully automating the CI/CD pipeline in Azure and AWS, lead time has decreased to a few hours. 

Implementation of 80+ AWS and Azure microservices allowed consolidating the applications for all countries and channels and enabled Lebara to further expand its markets and business operations fast and efficiently. 

Currencycloud is a London-based fintech company that offers a cloud-based payments platform. It allows businesses to manage their money flow through the multi-currency wallet functionality and send money across borders in different currencies.

Currencycloud

The Challenge

Currrencycloud needed to ensure the scalability and security of the solution, its flawless performance, and compliance with fintech regulations. As a part of their AWS cloud adoption, the company required a team with strong engineering skills and cloud expertise to enhance and support its payments platform.

The Solution

Our team has contributed to the development of an efficient and secure payments platform that processes over $400M in 35 currencies every month. N-iX has helped the client build a secure and flexible AWS-based web application on the basis of the Payment Engine as well as develop a new, improved version of Currencycloud RESTful API.

Our client (under NDA) is a Global Fortune 100 multinational engineering and technology company based in Germany. The company operates through a complex network of over 440 subsidiaries and regional entities in over 60 countries worldwide.

Logistics solution for a Global Fortune 100 multinational engineering and technology company based in Germany

The Challenge

Being a leading global supplier of technology and services, our client has many factories, warehouses, and suppliers, as well as a lot of raw materials and finished goods, which circulate among them. To improve the logistics between warehouses in different countries, the client introduced an internal logistics platform. The platform is used by warehouse staff to efficiently allocate and manage goods and materials. However, after being in use in a few warehouses for several months, the platform turned out to have a lot of flaws and was unsuitable for further scaling.

The Solution

The client has partnered with the N-iX specialists to modernize and build a scalable logistics platform. The solution is in the development phase. The modernized and scalable logistics platform will significantly improve the efficiency of warehouses, reducing operational overhead and warehouse downtime. 

Cloud-native microservices architecture enables the solution to scale fast to more than 400 warehouses in over 60 countries, ensuring better performance and responsiveness. Migrating to microservices allows smooth adding of new SaaS services: anomaly detection, delivery prediction, route recommendations, object detection in logistics, OCR (optical character recognition) of labels on boxes, Natural Language Processing for document verification, data mining, and sensor data processing.

References

  1. 2020 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera
  2. 2020 IDG Cloud Computing Study
  3. 2020 State of Enterprise Cloud and Container Adoption and Security by Divvy Cloud
  4. Enterprise cloud index by Nutanix
  5. Why enterprise cloud adoption is seeing rapid surge by Analytics Insights
  6. Cloud adoption statistics for 2021 by Hosting Tribunal
  7. Cloud Market Share – a Look at the Cloud Ecosystem in 2020 by KINSTA
N-iX Staff
Anton Vasylenko
Solution Architect

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By Anton Vasylenko, Yurii Levchuk February 23, 2021
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N-iX is an Eastern European software development service company that helps businesses across the globe expand their engineering capabilities and develop successful software products. Founded in 2002, N-iX has formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies, including OpenText, Fluke Corporation, AVL, Lebara, Currencycloud, RateSetter, TuneIn, and many others. With more than 1,700 professionals, N-iX offers expert solutions in software engineering, cloud-native services, data analytics, embedded software, IoT, machine learning, and other tech domains covering a wide variety of sectors, including finance, manufacturing, telecom, supply chain, to name a few.

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