How to better leverage the cloud for your tech business

My Post - 2019-11-12T151028.345.pngThe cloud allows companies to be more efficient and flexible with their computing resources, scaling up or down as their needs change. Here’s how to make the most of it.

A recent report by research company Gartner projects the global public cloud services market to grow 17.5% in 2019 to $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018.

“We know of no vendor or service provider today whose business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies in organizations,” said Gartner’s research VP, Sid Nag. And in the next three years, “Gartner projects the market size and growth of the cloud services industry at nearly three times the growth of overall IT services.”

Here in Philly, a recent survey of 100 Philly-based tech execs surveyed found that three of the top five most desirable tech skills involve the cloud. So why are so many companies turning to the cloud? There are several reasons driving its growth.

When we think of the cloud, many of us think data centers and hardware and less about software development. And with good reason: The cloud allows companies to be more efficient and flexible with their computing resources, scaling up or down as their needs change. Cloud providers are most likely to have better security and disaster recovery options, as well.

But you should also consider how the cloud can leverage your people. Cloud computing allows them to access applications and data from any location, as long as there is an internet connection. This increases productivity and also allows for the workforce to not be tied to one specific office location, while still allowing collaboration. Lastly, cloud providers have tools and features that let your people focus on the business problem, rather than things like authentication and mobile app configuration.

So how can you leverage the cloud for your business?

Extend what you already have.

Do you already have a Java web application? There’s no reason to throw it away and start fresh with Node.JS and AWS Lambda. Instead, look at how you can leverage auto-scaling to ensure that your application responds to changes in demand, how a load balancer can replace your existing Nginx or HAProxy front end, how you can use a content delivery network such as AWS CloudFront to reduce load on those servers, or how a cloud-based web firewall can protect you against denial-of-service attacks.

There is a lot of low-hanging fruit to be gained from an initial “lift and shift,” and the benefits of being “cloud native” will appear as you make these changes. Eventually, you will see ways to reimplement those parts of your application that can truly benefit from running in the cloud.

This advice applies to new projects as well. If you have a team that already knows a technology, leverage that knowledge and add in parts of the cloud infrastructure that make sense. – Read more