Cloud App Development: Benefits, Challenges, Process, and Cost
Mobile apps have transformed the lives of people and businesses. But, over the last few years, various industries are facing issues in expanding their mobile apps and dealing with storage capacity & performance. All of these can be resolved with the help of cloud computing.
Cloud app development has made the process of collecting data highly smooth for businesses. Moreover, it ensures better security & performance and improves business operations. Due to this, many mobile apps are migrating toward the cloud.
According to Statista, the cloud applications market size will reach $146.6 billion in 2022. The number is expected to reach $168.6 billion in 2025.
According to Flexera, 89% of enterprises have already implemented the multi-cloud strategy.
As per Cloudwards, 100+ zettabytes of data would be stored in the cloud in 2025.
These statistics indicate that cloud-based app development is going to reach higher.
If you want to create a cloud-based mobile application, you have reached the right place.
Here we explain cloud app development benefits, challenges, process, and costs. By understanding all of these things well, you can decide whether to create a cloud-based app or not.
Before we look at the pros of cloud app development, we will look at some basics.
What is a Cloud-based Application?
A cloud application is an internet-based program hosted in the cloud environment instead of a local machine. Here, both cloud-based and local components work together. The model depends heavily on the remote server for processing logic which is accessed via a web browser with a constant internet connection.
The physical servers of almost all the cloud apps are placed at remote data centers and monitored by cloud services IT infrastructure providers. There are varied cloud applications popular in the industry. They are as follows.
- Word Processing
- File Sharing
- Inventory Management
- Customer Relationship Management and more.
After looking at the basic definition of cloud-based apps, let us look at the types of cloud solutions that businesses & startups develop.
Types of Cloud-based Solutions
There are four different types of cloud deployment solutions available for businesses.
Private Cloud: It works as a private web system with a safe space for applications, web, and data. A single company can access the private cloud without allowing any public access. Companies choose to build their own private cloud or rely on a third party to handle their infrastructure.
Public Cloud: Data inside the public cloud is accessible via an authorized device. The public clouds are available at a cost-effective price and have the adaptable processing power. Companies having a public cloud provide on-demand computing services to varied industries. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc.
Hybrid Cloud: The hybrid cloud environment integrates public and private cloud. With the help of the hybrid cloud, IT companies distribute data across various on-device services and third-party apps. In addition, it offers more options for app deployment and optimization.
Community Cloud: Community cloud deployment is almost the same as the private cloud with an exception. The data is shared between two organizations only. For example, the Government in a country consists of many departments & these need the same framework. The community cloud works well in this scenario.
You can consider the above cloud deployment solutions for building various cloud applications.
After looking at the cloud deployment solutions, we will look at the cloud development solutions available for enterprises.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS involves developing cloud-based apps accessed through mobile apps and web browsers. With the help of this service, customers can use the application without installing or configuring it on their devices.
SaaS-based cloud app development can be used for various things as follows:
- Offering email tools, monitoring features, and more.
- Automating many services and product logins.
- Handling documents, file sharing, and collaboration.
- Distributing calendars and agendas to the whole organization to schedule future meetings.
- Handling CRM (customer relationship) systems and databases of clients & prospects.
Examples of SaaS include Salesforce, SAP, Shopify, Dropbox, Hubspot, etc.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS enables you to rent all the required resources and services you need to develop a cloud-based application. These include infrastructure, development tools, and infrastructure of a cloud provider. By offering relevant software & hardware, cloud providers help you to speed up the development process.
PaaS cloud-based applications are suitable for developing the following things:
- Operating systems
- Development tools
- A database running infrastructure.
Some well-known examples of PaaS include Google App Engine, SAP Cloud, OpenShift, AWS Lambda, and more.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Talking about the IaaS cloud services, the service provider looks after the whole business infrastructure. These include network, servers, storage, and visualization through a private or a public cloud. In addition, the IaaS cloud services offer a wide range of services given below.
- Tools for data recovery
- Load balancing
- Security instruments, such as data encryption standards, PCI-DSS compliance, and more
To leverage the IaaS cloud services effectively, you can consider an admin panel or API. In addition to this, you can look after the programs and operating systems.
Examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Engine (GCE), IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and more.
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Benefits of Cloud-based Applications
Cloud app development offers significant benefits to enterprises and businesses as the majority of data storage & processing problems are handled by remote servers. In addition, cloud-based apps deliver a wide range of benefits given below.
1. Reduced Cost
Cloud service providers follow the pay-as-you-go model. It means you only pay for the cloud space and the features you want for cloud app development. You do not have to pay anything for the service you are not using.
If you look at the initial costs vs. the returns you get from the investment, returns would be definitely higher. You can scale the cloud space as and when required. Also, you do not have to look after the maintenance as the service provider looks after it.
2. Improved Data Security
Various organizations have issues in adopting cloud computing solutions. The main reason behind this is that when all things like files, programs, and other data are online, there is no guarantee of data. If all the members in an organization can access the data, then why cannot a hacker?
When it comes to a cloud service provider, they will constantly monitor the data. Hence, it is absolutely better as compared to an in-house system. Cloud app development is carried out following all government security standards. Thus, it ensures better data security.
Cloud-based apps provide more flexibility compared to local apps. If you need any update in the infrastructure, the cloud services can meet your demand quickly. For instance, it allows you to increase bandwidth without affecting the IT infrastructure.
Besides this, you don’t have to worry about any critical issues in the cloud apps. The cloud service provider will look into the IT infrastructure. You will have more freedom & flexibility to look after the internal business operations and increase efficiency.
Local solutions are built to manage a fixed number of commands. In case the company size increases and there is a requirement for more space, it is not possible with a local solution.
On the other hand, cloud apps can easily be scaled up or down according to business goals and requirements. High scalability allows you to manage many consumers and offers excellent performance.
When you use a cloud-based application, your entire data is stored in the cloud spaces. It means you can access the data from different devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Due to this, various business files and other data are simple to share on the cloud.
Shifting your business data to the cloud would be great for the employees traveling often or working from a remote location. They can access the data anywhere without any hurdle. It increases productivity and engagement among the team, improves business operations, and results in better work-life balance for employees.
6. Automatic Software Updates
When you purchase external software, you need to look after the update or reach out to an IT consultant. It consumes a huge amount of time & money.
Cloud-based apps get automatically updated to the latest version without any need for the IT team to perform any manual operations. It helps you to focus on other essential tasks running in the organization.
7. Increased Collaboration
If your business consists of two or more employees, you should consider collaboration your top priority. The main reason is that, what is the meaning of having a team if they don’t collaborate & work together.
Cloud-based applications make the process of collaboration efficient. It also makes file sharing simple, allowing employees to work in real-time.
If your app works according to the role-based access model, it enables people to access data based on their roles in a specific organization. Collaboration helps you to speed up the process and launch the app early.
8. Disaster Recovery
One of the main factors responsible for the success of any business is control. Despite controlling various things in the organization, there would be something out of control. At times, some disasters occur that are not avoidable at any cost. These disasters result in reduced productivity, financial losses, and brand reputation.
In such cases, disaster recovery is very much essential. Surprisingly, cloud applications provide quick disaster recovery in natural disasters and power shortages. It offers off-site backup for business data.
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Tech Challenges in Cloud-based App Development
Cloud app development is absolutely tough. Besides the benefits, there are several basic pitfalls you face during the process of cloud app development.
Here are some of the common tech challenges in cloud-based app development.
1. Cost Management
The majority of analysis reports indicate that 30% of the organizations that have adopted cloud services are wasting money and spending a lot of money on managing these services.
There are several reasons behind the overspending on cloud services. Firstly, employees do not have expertise in managing cloud-based services. Hence, sufficient time, effort, and money get spent on managing cloud services, and the organization goes out of budget.
Secondly, organizations fall for a wide range of cloud services as they are available at discounts. Further, they do not use these services and go out of budget.
One best way to get out of this is to build a core cloud team that looks after the usage of cloud computing and its cost.
2. Multi-Cloud Environments
In order to save money, a large number of companies have opted for the multi-cloud strategy. It means these companies are purchasing cloud-based services from multiple providers and integrating them into the organization.
It increases the possibility of a data breach as the single data of the organization is available across multiple service providers. It ultimately causes complexities in cloud implementation if the enterprise-level organizations are also involved.
3. Cloud Migration
There are a lot of companies that opt for cloud-based services considering their features. At times, companies are not satisfied with cloud-based services and want to transfer their services from one provider to another.
The migration of the cloud from one service provider to another is complicated as the entire data is present in the existing cloud. Moreover, it is challenging to move data from one place to another without disturbing anything present in the cloud.
4. Data Compliance
Compliance is a leading challenge faced in cloud computing. Any organization dealing with cloud or backup services faces compliance issues. Anytime an organization tries to migrate data from one internal cloud to another, it has to follow the rules & regulations kept by the government for that industry.
One of the most exciting things about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is that it will speed up compliance. Various organizations hire a professional who looks after the data security & privacy laws for that region.
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8 Steps to Create a Cloud-based Application
Cloud app development varies for web development services & mobile app development services. You should choose a suitable approach according to the requirements of your project.
Here is the process you need to follow to create a cloud-based application.
1. Conduct Market Research
The first & foremost step in the cloud app development process is market research. You should be familiar with the cloud market situation and your competitors. Analyzing your competitors will help you understand what kind of cloud app to develop.
You should also know your potential audience and their needs. When you know these things, you can create a better cloud-based application. One great strategy is to create a user persona. A user persona consists of demographics(age, gender, place, etc.) and the behavioral trends of your ideal user.
You should also know what users like and do not like in the current cloud apps. Based on this, you can create a unique cloud application that adds value to the life of users.
2. Hire a Reliable Development Team
In order to create a cloud application, you require a highly talented team of professionals. Now, you might have a question, where to find & hire cloud app developers?
In general, there are three ways to hire cloud app developers. There are as follows.
Freelance Developers: Freelancers are inexpensive and a preferred choice of various businesses & entrepreneurs. However, cloud application development requires enough time, and freelancers don’t like to work on long-term projects.
In-house Developers: You have complete control over the app development team. However, it is the most expensive option. You need to invest money in hardware, software, infrastructure, taxes, and more.
Outsourcing Company: Outsourcing is the first choice of various businesses & startups worldwide due to the best price-to-quality ratio. You also get the opportunity to scale the development team as per your needs.
If you plan to create a high-quality cloud application according to the latest market trends, you should outsource app development to a company.
3. Decide the Architecture & Features of Your Cloud App
To ensure that your cloud app development process remains smooth from start to finish, you should consider some essential factors like architecture, service model, and cloud migration. All of these things also impact the performance of your cloud app.
You should discuss all of these things with the professionals you have hired. They will provide you with the best outcome for your solution.
Architecture: There are mainly two types of architectures that businesses leverage for building cloud-based apps. These include monolithic and microservices. Businesses can develop applications and integrate cloud solutions according to the architecture.
Cloud app experts usually suggest advanced architecture developed on microservices. The main reason is that it is easy to scale, deploy, and update. On the other hand, the monolithic architecture looks fine at first but creates a lot of issues in the later phase.
Service Model: There are mainly three service models: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. You should choose a service model based on the type of cloud app you develop. For example, to build a Slack-based app, the SaaS model works well.
Cloud Migration: If you are running a business, it can be optimized more using cloud migration. All your company’s data can be shifted to a remote cloud server and will function appropriately.
4. Decide the Technology Stack
You should consider the features, requirements, and design while choosing suitable tools for your cloud application. You should also consider scalability as a factor while choosing a tech stack. Here is the most common technology stack for building simple to complex cloud applications.
|Data & App||Utilities||DevOps||Business tools|
|Akamai||Google Analytics||Jenkins||G Suite|
5. Choose a Proper Monetization Model
It is time to choose a monetization model that works best for your application. You should understand the user’s needs and identify what they would be ready to pay for. Here are several basic monetization models that you can consider.
Paid: In this model, users need to pay a specific amount to buy your app, and then they can access it.
Freemium: Users can download the app and access the primary features for free. To access advanced features, users need to pay a specific amount.
In-app purchases: In this model, users need to pay to access specific features, content, and more inside the app.
Advertising: There are various types of ads you can integrate inside your app and generate money. To know in detail, check out mobile app monetization models.
6. Design Your Cloud-based App
After deciding on features and a monetization model, it is time to start the UI/UX design process. Professionals you hire consist of a team of designers. These designers follow the latest app design practices to create a user-friendly and attractive design for your cloud application.
The designers share the design with you for verification. After this, you can provide any suggestions in the app design and finalize it as per the requirement.
7. Develop & Test Your Cloud-based App
After successful app design, the developers will start with cloud app development. Developers would build cloud solutions considering the Agile or Scrum methodology. The development process would be divided into a specific timeframe of 10 days & developers discuss all the things in detail before starting.
By following Agile or Scrum methodology, developers would be able to deliver the app on time. To avoid any issues in the later phase, the development team conducts thorough testing of your app. Here, you should check whether the app works properly and offers the user experience according to your needs.
You should work with only one development team for your cloud-based application. The main reason is that the team would have a clear picture of the app from start to finish. They would help you in all the stages, such as planning, designing, development, testing, and launch.
8. Launch Your App on Relevant Store
Be ready to launch your app on Google Play (Android) and App Store (iOS).
Google Play stores follow automatic testing to enhance the app’s approval. Here, Google doesn’t provide a reason if your app is rejected. You need to spend $25 to submit unlimited apps on the Android store.
On the other side, Apple assigns the app review to real people. If anything is wrong with the app, the expert will provide you with the details. You need to purchase Apple Developer Enterprise Program for $299 to submit apps to the Apple Store.
The development team you hire will look after the entire process and help launch your app on the respective app store.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Cloud-based App?
The cost to develop a basic cloud-based app starts from $15,000 and can take up to 2 to 3 months.
The cost to develop a medium to complex cloud app starts from $25,000 and goes up to $50,000. This cost is determined based on various essential factors. These include app design, features, complexity, technology stack, timeline, the total number of developers, location, and more.
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We hope you have understood all the essential things regarding cloud app development.
If you want to develop a cloud-based application to enhance business operations and provide a best-in-class experience to the users, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Guru TechnoLabs is an award-winning app development company. We have a decade of experience building mobile apps for varied industries worldwide.
We have a highly-talented team of professionals who keep themselves updated with the latest app trends. Our developers help you in every stage of cloud app development, right from choosing a cloud model to deploying a modern cloud-based app.
FAQs on Cloud App Development
What are some popular examples of cloud apps?
Several popular examples of cloud applications include Dropbox, GSuite, Salesforce, and Cisco WebEx.
What are some of the latest cloud computing trends?
Here are some of the latest cloud computing trends for 2022 & beyond:
- Cloud AI
- Rise of Serverless Computing
- Kubernetes and Blockchain
- More Focus on Cloud Security
- Cloud-Native Applications