How cloud native software development works & why you need it

Christian Hubinger

Christian Hubinger

cloud native

techstack

software development

A MacBook with lines of code on its screen on a busy desk photo

You might've come across terms like “cloud native software development” over the past year or two — but what does it even mean, and what added value does it bring? Turns out that having a cloud native tech stack doesn't just overcome the challenges of outdated software; it can also shift your organizational culture.

In this insight, we're going to dive right into what cloud native software development is in the first place, the value a cloud native tech stack brings, how secure it is, and why it just makes sense to double down on it for your business.

Cloud native software development explained

At TRIGO, we see cloud native solutions as a means of developing business software — which incorporates the incredible benefits of cloud technology right from the start. Building software based on a cloud model affects its infrastructure and how it works once it's built.

Cloud native applications tend to be designed to improve continuously with user feedback and integrate with each other. Because they're connected, development teams can speed up and optimize applications more easily while remaining responsive to market needs.

In a nutshell, cloud native software development focuses on:

  • Building and updating apps at speed
  • Consistently maintaining and improving quality
  • Minimizing risk

You might've found this article on the most popular example of cloud native software — good old Google. Just like other examples, such as Twitter or Notion, these are flexible solutions you can work with from anywhere in the world, which explains why they're so popular. Investing in cloud native software development means creating responsive, scalable apps committed to reducing the risk of bugs or errors across public, private, or hybrid clouds.

Why a cloud native tech stack just makes sense for your business

Compared to legacy systems and traditional business software, cloud native software uses several interconnected APIs, giving users more points of contact to interact with or extend the software. It also tends to be more flexible and scalable than traditional software solutions. We cover more on why we at TRIGO are doubling down on cloud native software since we've consistently used it to replace monolithic business software solutions and outdated tech stacks for our clients.

What does “cloud native” have to do with the “cloud?”

When talking about switching to cloud native services, companies often consider the cloud itself and how secure it is in the first place. Here's a quick distinction between the terms:

  • The “cloud” refers to servers on the Internet and the software and databases running on it. When we think of terms like “the cloud,” we often think of public cloud services like Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services. In a nutshell: anyone who wants to use or buy from a public cloud can use its tools and features.
  • “Cloud native” services are simply programs designed to run on the cloud. This means that users and companies don't need to invest in their own physical infrastructure to store data or even run software on their machines. Rather, they can access the same applications from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and across different devices because this data is stored on servers in a data center, not locally on their devices.

You can develop cloud native solutions without ever interacting with a public cloud service. Instead, you could host yours on a private cloud network — like TRIGO's very own private cloud development service, which is something we provide for most of our clients.

Why we're doubling down on cloud native software at TRIGO

Here's why TRIGO clients work with us to develop cloud native solutions:

  • They're fast, flexible, and scalable.
  • They help our clients respond quickly and sustainably to changes in the market.
  • They positively impact organizational culture because of how they require constant, iterative checks for improvement and continuous feedback integration.

Cloud native software development means building a tech stack in an open software world. This makes it easier to integrate with other systems rather than remaining closed off and restricting access — which is a problem many of our clients have faced when using software built in the 2000s.

The challenges of traditional software methods

Outdated software tends to be large and monolithic in infrastructure — when one software includes a huge number of functions within the business. Our clients using this kind of software found it more difficult to respond quickly to changes in the market environment, whether legal regulations or something on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monolithic software lacks the flexibility and speed that cloud native software solutions bring. Since many of these might also rely on hardware adjustments, businesses waste time and productivity in placing orders and waiting for these parts to be shipped to them — only to find that by then, it's usually too late for it to work as a solution.

One of TRIGO's clients, BFI Burgenland, was using Excel as their baseline software for planning educational lectures and tracking work hours. From the start, we observed a great deal of switching back and forth between Excel, their internal software (UMA), and paper — which increased the risk of human error and slowed down productivity. Together we ended up developing a custom software solution that significantly reduced the amount of click work in their workflow by centralizing many software functions — you can read the full story here.

The security benefits of cloud native software 

When deciding what kind of business software to use, data security is an essential factor, and, of course, this requirement applies to cloud native solutions too.

At TRIGO, we address this by using the business software solutions developed by Red Hat. One of our tried and trusted official partners, Red Hat leverages the power of open source software for hybrid cloud solutions. Red Hat's OpenShift tech stack, for example, protects sensitive data including platform secrets and open configuration data by providing strong encryption controls. This helps us build fully custom software solutions with all the tools available in the Kubernetes ecosystem, along with security standards that comply with those set by US federal departments.

TRIGO's cloud native solutions also leverage multiple smaller applications or microservices — because of these APIs, your entire business system will be less likely to be affected by cybersecurity threats since you can add more security layers. Whereas, if a monolithic software system is hacked, you're likely to lose more data because the entire system might be affected.

Here's another example of how a preliminary analysis for data security helped TRIGO client 3-S-IT. Right from the start, an external audit had found significant threats to data security within their current technology, which itself was

  • built on legacy software
  • outdated, slow, and inefficient

TRIGO overcame these challenges by developing a new tech stack built on OpenShift, which uses more modern technology and supports 3-S-IT's long-term scalability targets. We also centralized its services into a hub where they could publish applications more quickly and efficiently.

How cloud native software transforms organizational culture

At TRIGO, we believe businesses benefit from building a culture of change and supporting each other on our learning journey, which might look like this:

  • Making day-to-day operations more efficient
  • Streamlining more flexibility in decision-making
  • Establishing a culture where employees have the “freedom” to fail

Building cloud native software also means change management and an organizational culture shift towards greater flexibility and efficiency. Here's what we think makes a great cloud native software engineering team:

  • Developers and team members can balance thinking outside the box while also keeping an eye on the big picture (i.e., how business processes are doing overall).
  • People who have hands-on experience with cloud native software development.
  • Teams that bring in a “DevOps” mentality: take ownership and responsibility — not just for their tasks but for supporting their colleagues across departments for a harmonized workflow.

Interested in switching to cloud native software? In the next post, we talk about migrating to cloud native solutions and why that doesn't necessarily mean building everything from scratch.

If you want to get in touch, our CEO, David, would be happy to get connected — book a call or drop him an email at david@trigodev.com.

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