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  • October 13, 2017

5 essential elements to becoming a cloud-native business

Alexandra Anghel
Social Media Coordinator

Author: James Allerton-AustinSenior Director, EMEA Product Management, Oracle

Modern businesses need to deliver new services more quickly than their competition to stay ahead of the game. The most successful organisations are achieving this by going cloud-native.

A successful cloud-native approach is characterised by the close relationship between Lines of Business and IT, resulting in the delivery of applications faster, with greater adaptability and scalability than ever before. The cloud native approach to application development is therefore a key component to successfully becoming a truly responsive digital business.

Here are 5 essential considerations for an organisation adopting a cloud native approach:

1. Agility
Agility is a goal modern organisations share to react to a change in business direction, scale out rapidly, or fail fast. Cloud native exploits new techniques, technologies and platforms to realise a more rapid pace of change, often as a counterpoint to the slower pace associated with legacy systems.

Technology however, is only a single piece of the puzzle. Driving the right changes, requires a closer working relationship and organisational alignment between the business and the IT delivery that supports it, and for many organisations, that means a change in culture too. High level buy-in to a more responsive approach is crucial for organisational change to follow.

2. Containers

Rapid business change requires a change in the IT service delivery lifecycle.  The need to release high quality applications faster and more frequently, is best supported when the parts comprising those applications can be released, updated and scaled independently.

A key component to achieve this goal is Containers, which provide a discreet unit in which to deliver a service and its dependencies, faster and more reliably through the software lifecycle. Containers encapsulate the complete service, enabling smoother migration through development, testing and to production stages, whilst removing the opportunity for human error when delivering software - resulting in a faster path to production. Critically, containers also enable independent scale-up in operations, providing a foundation for a truly responsive IT delivery, from development through to live operations.

3. Devops

Delivery of software services to production typically falls to two groups, Development and Operations, each with a differing agenda. But organisations faced with the challenge to deliver faster, need to actively combine development and operations professionals into a singleteam.

DevOps as a discipline, combining both development and operations, is key and requires investment in the combined team to success.  Investment is required in terms of promoting close team collaboration, and in automation, to continuously deliver, operate, monitor and manage software right through the lifecycle from idea, through development, into operations and to retirement.

4. Microservices

Microservices provides an architectural approach to software development that breaks an application down into discreetly designed elements. Each element has a well-defined, single function within the application, so dependency between components and the resources they use is eliminated, allowing them to be revised, re-written and scaled independently. It also enables, through the commonly used “ReST” interface as a communications mechanism, the independent choice of language for implementing a microservice, allowing the most expedient approach to solving a problem to be taken.

Designing applications using the microservice approach results in a more flexible, scalable and resilient application to meet the needs of the business.

5. Capitalising on the Cloud

The nexus of a successful cloud native approach to building business applications is the exploitation of the elasticity of the cloud itself. Each of the 4 above elementscan be used in any environment, but the crucial factor to success is the use of the cloud to clear the way to rapid delivery. Cloud provides a uniquely scalable platform, providing the foundation for agility, and combining the facilities for DevOps automation and turn-key containerisation. Its elastic scale and pay-as-you-go commercial models, also lower the barriers to investment from the business.

Combining these 5 essential elements, businesses can really start to plan their transformation to a faster, more adaptive, innovative IT organisation, that can quickly respond to the most predictable of business needs of all, the need for Change.

For more on the journey to cloud-native, watch our webinar and lean how the flexibility and freedom of the Oracle Cloud can help accelerate the journey to agile development.

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