The Rise of Cloud-Native Applications: Everything You Need to Know

August 25, 2023

Idhaya M V

The Rise of Cloud-Native Applications: Everything You Need to Know

We all desire some sense of freedom, and it turns out our software applications yearn to be free, too. Apps lose their potency when chained down by tight coupling; they’re less agile, cost-effective, and scalable.    

Enter cloud-native applications, which harness the limitless potential of the cloud. Just like we often do our best work when given autonomy, our applications reach their true potential in a more loosely coupled architecture. With the cloud as their playground, these apps become easier to change and integrate with other systems.  

By 2025, Gartner predicts that more than 95% of new digital applications workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021.

Defining what it means to be “cloud native” can be a challenge. Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought among experts. The first group believes  running apps exclusively in the cloud, without any onsite infrastructure, makes an organization “cloud-native. Another group suggests that going beyond basic cloud services, such as Virtual Machines (VMs), Database services, and embracing advanced offerings like Serverless Computing and container services is the true measure of being “cloud native.” Regardless of interpretation, the growth of cloudnative technology is undeniable, with Gartner predicting more than 95% of digital applications moving to cloud-native platforms by 2025 (up from 30% in 2021). The concept of cloudnative remains dynamic, with various perspectives shaping its evolution in the ever-changing technology landscape.

Key Components of Cloud Native Application Development and Their Benefits

Microservices Architecture:

Microservices architecture is a software development approach where applications are divided into small, loosely coupled services. These services can be developed, deployed, and managed independently. Microservices architecture is the foundation for cloud-native applications, revolutionizing the traditional monolithic approach. By breaking down monoliths into independent and scalable services, microservices enable agile development, deployment, and scaling. This modular approach fosters flexibility, promotes innovation, and optimizes resource usage within the cloud-native ecosystem. Using microservices empowers organizations to navigate the digital landscape with enhanced adaptability, unlocking the full potential of cloud computing. 


Containerization is a method of packaging and isolating applications within lightweight, portable containers. This method ensures consistent and seamless deployment across different environments. Containerization empowers applications by enabling portability and scalability.  

Docker and Containerd are prominent container runtimes that handle the management and execution of containers. Docker provides a set of tools and APIs for containerization, allowing developers to build, package, and distribute applications. Containerd, on the other hand, is a lightweight runtime designed specifically for container execution, ensuring reliable and secure container operations.  

Serverless Computing:

In serverless computing, developers can deploy and execute code without managing the underlying infrastructure. This setup provides automatic scaling, allocates resources based on demand, and charges users only for the resources used during code execution.  

Developers can focus on writing code for specific functions or services without worrying about resource provisioning. Functions, logic apps, and event grids are key components of serverless computing. Functions allow for execution of discrete tasks or functions in response to events, enabling event-driven architectures. Logic apps provide workflow and integration capabilities, while event grid enables event routing and processing. Together, these components empower developers to build scalable, event-driven, and cost-efficient cloud-native applications. 

Pros and Cons of the Cloud-Native Approach 

  • High Availability: Cloud-native applications use the scalability and redundancy of cloud infrastructure, ensuring high availability. By distributing application components across multiple servers and data centers, cloud-native applications can withstand hardware failures and maintain uninterrupted service, making them more reliable overall. 
  • Lower Costs: Cloud-native technology’s pay-per-use model lowers upfront capital expenditures (CAPEX) and shifts spending to operational expenditures (OPEX). This allows for greater investment in development rather than infrastructure and results in overall lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and hosting expenses. 
  • Disaster Recovery: Cloud-native applications benefit from built-in disaster recovery capabilities. Cloud providers offer data replication, backup mechanisms, and geographic redundancy, helping organizations to recover quickly from unforeseen events or outages. This cuts downtime, safeguards data, and prevents the disruption of business operations.  
  • Minimum Time to Market: Cloud-native development practices, such as continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), enable rapid testing, deployment, and updates. By automating processes and using cloud resources, organizations can bring new ideas and features to the market faster. The agility provided by cloud-native architectures reduces time-consuming manual tasks and simplifies software delivery, resulting in shorter development cycles and quicker time-to-market. 
  • Reduced vendor lock-in: Cloud native gives you a choice of tools without staying stuck to legacy offerings.  By taking advantage of multi-cloud compatible tooling wherever possible, cloud native applications are more portable and beyond the reach of vendor predatory pricing.  You can easily migrate to alternate public clouds with better product offerings or where compliance requires multi-cloud infrastructure. 
  • Complexity and Learning Curve: Adopting cloud-native practices can introduce complexities, especially for organizations transitioning from traditional monolithic architectures. The learning curve associated with understanding and implementing new technologies, such as containers, microservices, and serverless computing, can require additional resources, training, and expertise to effectively manage and operate cloud-native applications. 

Common Myths Busted

Myth 1: Cloud-Native is Only for New Development
Contrary to the misconception that cloud-native is exclusively for new applications, cloud-native principles can be applied to both new and existing applications. While developing new applications with a cloud-native mindset allows organizations to use the cloud’s benefits from the start, development is not only limited to new projects.  

Cloud-native tools and technologies are also designed to be compatible with hybrid environments, allowing organizations to integrate their existing on-premises systems with cloud-native architectures. Cloud-native is not limited to new development; it is a flexible approach that can be applied to existing applications and infrastructure, allowing organizations to modernize their systems and unlock the benefits of scalability, resilience, and agility.

Want to know how we transformed a leading transportation company’s existing on-prem scheduling and monitoring application with cloud-native using Microsoft Azure?

Click Here
Myth 2: Cloud-Native is too Expensive 

Cloud-native architectures allow organizations to use a pay-as-you-go model, where resources are provisioned and billed based on actual usage. This cuts the need for upfront hardware investments and allows for better cost management. With the ability to scale resources dynamically, organizations can precisely match their infrastructure to the workload demands, avoiding overprovisioning and reducing unnecessary costs. 

Cloud-native technologies promote automation and efficient resource utilization. Through containerization, microservices, and serverless computing, organizations can optimize resource allocation, reduce idle time, and improve overall efficiency. This leads to cost savings by maximizing the utilization of resources and minimizing waste.

Additionally, cloud-native architectures can drive cost savings for operations. The automation and workflows enabled by cloud-native approaches reduce manual labor, improve developer productivity, and speed up timetomarket. While there may be some initial investments and transition costs associated with adopting cloud-native approaches, the long-term savings from improved efficiency outweigh the upfront costs.  

Myth 3: Cloud-Native Requires Complete Infrastructure Overhaul 

Cloud-native is all about flexibility and compatibility. It’s about gradually evolving your existing infrastructure and not completely tossing your current systems out the window. Cloud-native principles like containerization and microservices allow you to break down monolithic architectures into smaller, more manageable pieces. This incremental approach lets you take advantage of the benefits of cloud-native without scrapping everything you’ve built. 

Cloud providers understand this too. They offer tools and services that seamlessly integrate with your current infrastructure. You can migrate specific workloads, experiment with new services, and gradually shift towards a cloud-native model, all without abandoning your existing systems. It’s a journey that lets you make strategic decisions without disrupting your entire operation. 

Let’s take the case of a manufacturing conglomerate as an example.

We assisted them in gradually implementing a cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) solution, resulting in more visibility into their operations. By using the power of the cloud, they could analyze real-time data from multiple production sites without overusing computing resources

Myth 4: Cloud-Native Approach is Only Suitable for Large Enterprises 

Cloud-native principles are not limited by the scale of an organization. They are designed to address common challenges faced by businesses of any size, including agility, resilience, and cost optimization.

Smaller organizations use a cloud-native approach to simplify development, speed up time to market, and gain a competitive edge. Containerization lets them scale resources based on demand, allowing for rapid growth without huge upfront costs.

Cloud-native lets smaller organizations focus on their most important core tasks by leaving infrastructure management and maintenance to cloud providers.  

Final Thoughts 

A cloud-native approach opens up a world of possibilities for companies, whether they started in the cloud or migrated later. At Eleviant, we help companies of all sizes start or continue their journey to a cloud-native approach.

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