Welcome to the sixth and final installment of our series on the advantages cloud native development delivers for SaaS providers. 

Unraveling the Sweater of Monolithic Apps

Monolithic apps are almost always built on a single tech stack, so any new capabilities introduced must be built using the same code, language, and resource types. As usual, The Register depicts these challenges in an entertaining manner. Monolithic apps “with complex codebases were difficult to maintain. Changing one thing was like pulling on a thread that could unravel the whole sweater. That made software update cycles infrequent as developers re-tested the entire application after making multiple changes across the entire code base.”

Infrequent updates might be suitable for some apps – but few have the luxury of sustained success without regularly improving.

Speed is Required…

As Deloitte notes, technology teams are now expected to deliver projects four times faster with the same budget, and most of that budget goes toward running the business — not process or software innovation. GitLab’s 2022 DevSecOps survey quantified the acceleration in development. The survey found that 35% of devs are releasing code twice as fast, and 15% are releasing code between three and five times faster. 70% of DevOps teams release code continuously, once a day, or every few days, up 11% from 2021.

And Cloud Native Delivers Speed

Robust public cloud ecosystems have evolved to create new opportunities for software developers and SaaS companies to do things more efficiently. AWS lists the benefits of cloud native application development as:

  • Faster development
  • Platform independence
  • Cost-effective operations

According to an IBM survey, 73% of development executives, IT executives, and developers said cloud native resulted in quicker development and roll-out.

Chris Jackson, Head of Cloud Platforms at Pearson, a global learning company, describes using Kubernetes to develop, deploy, and manage new kinds of online learning systems. Pearson products are designed to be fine-tuned all the time, as opposed to an older twice-yearly model. “It forces our internal teams to think about innovating faster. Conservatively, we can have 10 times more release activity.”

Proactive, Predictable Release Schedules

The vast majority of SaaS products are in competitive spaces and must constantly evolve to attract and retain customers. For us, the benefits of microservices are that you can choose to leverage best-of-breed technologies to address specific needs. It also opens up new opportunities to make adjustments more quickly since any impacts can be much more isolated, speeding up all aspects of the SDLC.

Perhaps most importantly, release timelines can be shortened and made more predictable, since updates can be more targeted – allowing SaaS businesses to be more proactive, in general.

Dr. Werner Vogels, VP and CTO, Amazon.com said, “No server is easier to manage than no server.” An AWS Whitepaper quoted this succinct observation and elaborated, “Getting rid of servers is a great way to eliminate operational complexity…. One of the biggest advantages of AWS Lambda is that you can move quickly: you can focus on your business logic because security and scaling are managed by AWS.” 

Tech That Radically Accelerates Dev

McKinsey’s “SaaS, open source, and serverless: A winning combination to build and scale new businesses,” states, “This tech fusion [SaaS, open source, and serverless] enables companies to radically simplify and accelerate the development process for both launching and scaling new businesses.”

In the recent past, software delivery within the U.S. Department of Defense could take anywhere from three to ten years for big weapons systems. Using CNCF-compliant Kubernetes clusters and other open source technologies, releases which once took as long as 3 to 8 months can now be achieved in one week. U.S. Air Force Chief Software Officer estimates that with the 37 programs, the result will be a 100-plus years saved off planned program time.

Independent Development Pipelines

With cloud native, you can make updates without shutting down the app, and without updating every portion. In The imperative to become cloud native, Deloitte notes how isolation allows development pipelines to run independently, increasing releases. “A change to one microservice can have zero impact to another, which reduces deployment risks and increases the number of releases per application.” Elaborating on speed, AWS wrote, “Feature updates do not cause downtime and companies can scale up app resources during peak seasons to provide a positive customer experience.”

Accelerated Embedded Analytics

At Qrvey, we know the accelerated development benefits of cloud native architecture because we see it in our own embedded analytics platform. Qrvey is built on AWS with a 100% serverless architecture, making it the most scalable and cost-effective analytics platform available. Register for our daily demo to see our embedded analytics in action.

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