In his 2020 blog post titled “Why Software is Eating the World,” Marc Andreessen, cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, painted a picture of what continues to disrupt business as usual.
“Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at global scale,” he wrote.
Some analysts expect to see half of a billion applications by the end of 2023, which is how many were created in the past 40 years. That number is expected to grow by 50% by 2026.
“Every company, regardless of industry, needs to use software and applications to differentiate itself from the competition,” said Jeff Kelly, senior product marketing manager for Nutanix’s Database Service.
“Every company must deliver exceptional digital experiences to customers. And who builds those applications and digital experiences? Developers.”
The creation of new software makes it possible for more businesses to generate valuable new services and capabilities. Computing resources needed to design, test, deploy and manage these business applications is driving businesses across all industries to use scalable, flexible and easily updatable hybrid multicloud IT systems.
IT leaders increasingly use cloud computing services and cloud native tools to meet changing business needs. Research firm Gartner expects more than two-thirds of spending on application development will go towards cloud tech in 2025, and more than 20% of applications are now being built in the cloud.
“Just as a growing number of companies are now moving to cloud-native operating environments, so too are they increasingly embracing customized and cloud-native applications,” noted Tim Rosato, president of trend forecasters the Silver Lion Group.
“This frequently leads IT pros to look to public clouds and quicker-turn solutions to get the job done,” he said. “However, dedicated and scalable hybrid cloud IT solutions can often offer greater performance and security.”
Designing the Future of Cloud and Online Applications
According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.
The CNCF reports that more than half of modern developers now release code weekly, with 18% doing so multiple times per day. Technologies that can fast-track development such as Kubernetes are becoming almost so ubiquitous that developers don’t even know when they’re using them.
“At the speed today’s enterprise now needs to move to stay competitive, we’re seeing more companies move to embrace hybrid cloud and DevOps best practices,” says Rosato.
“They’re doing this as a way to boost speed of development… and boost organizational agility.”
Nymbus, a banking software provider, recently created an in-house container-based solution for its suite of technology applications with help from Nutanix and Red Hat. This custom Kubernetes-powered solution runs on Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and enables Nymbus to roll out new features and innovations for its customers more rapidly while also improving security and compliance.
Recent research by open source cloud enterprise provider Red Hat found that an enterprise’s level of cloud-native technology adoption is now directly proportional to speed of software development. Simply put, “cloud is revolutionizing how industries develop software,” says Paul Gillin, former editor-in-chief of Computerworld.
Adapting to the Challenges of Tomorrow’s Corporate IT Needs
Many organizations link legacy IT systems and business processes with newer cloud-native apps, industry best practices and operating infrastructures. Or they often choose to diversify technology solutions and services across a different number of cloud providers (adopt a multi-cloud strategy) to enhance flexibility, security and performance. Either way, IT teams must manage a myriad of different computing resources while building expertise in cloud native capabilities.
“At its core, cloud-native development is as much about teams, people, and collaboration as it is about technology,” stated the Red Hat Cloud Native Development Outlook report. “Collaboration is key to building apps in an iterative, flexible way… stakeholders and makers all need to contribute to how the product is created, coded, tested, and deployed.”
When it comes to cloud-native app development, “Without a smart, well-planned, and meticulously-engineering game plan, organizations can lose time, money, and competitive positioning,” explained global consulting firm KPMG. “That’s because modernization must account for identifying, selecting and integrating [not only] the right technical tools [but also] business acumen and process expertise.”
It also means investing more time, effort and energy (not just capital) in instituting scalable hybrid cloud operations that can evolve to meet future needs.
“Looking ahead, companies will only have to get faster, smarter, and more skilled in terms of the approach that they take to cloud-native app development and deployment,” says Silver Lion Group’s Rosato.
“That means having to get better about both project management and picking the right technology and data management tools to help speed up production.”
Editor’s note: As the adoption of cloud native applications continues to grow, there is a pressing need to address the challenge of providing application-aware data services for Kubernetes. Learn more about Nutanix Data Services for Kubernetes (NDK).