Cloud-Based Application Development: Pitfalls, Solutions & Business Opportunities [2021]

22 min read

Cloud technology has entered the world far and wide.

Today, 90% of companies use some type of cloud service. Around 77% of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of it in the cloud. Almost 60% of organizations use cloud technology to store confidential data.

Cloud Based Application Development

Many companies are inspired by such popularity of the technology and are starting to think about how to make a cloud-based application.

If you are considering cloud-based application development for your business, this article will uncover the key details needed for making the right choice.

Here’s what is waiting inside:

  • The basics of cloud-based applications + architecture overview
  • Benefits of cloud-based apps for business
  • Step-by-step plan to develop a cloud-based app
  • Types of cloud-based applications
  • Pitfalls and challenges of cloud-based application development

Dive right into the article to explore cloud application development best practices.

What is Cloud Based Development?

A cloud application is software that is deployed in a cloud environment. Some or all of their processing logic and data storage operations are processed on the cloud and not hosted on local servers or machines. The data inside a cloud-based application is managed by a local device.

Cloud-based app development delivers a number of benefits for businesses, including but not limited to improved user experience, increased reliability and scalability.

Architecture to Develop a Cloud Based App

To better understand how cloud-based applications work you need to understand how their architecture is built.

The first decision you need to make when designing a cloud application is to choose an architecture. The choice of architecture depends on the complexity of the application, the scope, its type (IaaS or PaaS) and the tasks for which it is intended to be solved. It is also important to consider the skills of the development team and project managers, as well as whether the application has a ready-made architecture.

The below image demonstrates an example of cloud-computing architecture.

Architecture for Cloud-Based Application Development

Let’s see how each component of such solutions works.

The front-end is the “face” of a cloud-based application. It is the client-side part of the application with which users interact. 

The front-end of a cloud-based application interacts with the cloud data storage via an application (i.e., middleware) via a web browser or through a virtual session.

Storage keeps all the data and makes it accessible to multiple clients. Cloud storage can be deployed on public, private or a community cloud.

Management establishes coordination among the cloud resources, like application, task, service, security, data, and cloud infrastructure.

Security is an integral part of back-end cloud infrastructure. This part of the architecture provides security management to the cloud server, including firewalls that prevent data loss.

Do you need help with cloud-based application development?

Get in touch with our team for a free initial consultation. We’ll be glad to discuss technical aspects of your future solution and provide you with a free project estimate

Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture

Cloud-based application development can be approached in two ways: monolithic and microservices.

Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture in Cloud-Based App Development

Monolithic architecture is a single whole. But in a microservice architecture, there is a group of small, independent blocks that work together as one application. 

Monolithic architecture lies the basis for many enterprise applications. While at the beginning such architecture might suffice the needs of the business, business growth creates a lot of challenges. Applications based on monolithic architecture quickly become difficult to support and scale. Such apps have a lot of dependencies, which is not the best quality of a modern app.

Microservices architecture devices an application into a number of components. Such components are independent of each other, making it possible to update one or a few of them without touching the others.

Each of the services in the microservices architecture can be easily scaled, deployed, and updated independently.

Below is the table explaining the benefits of microservices as compared to monolith apps:

Monolith apps Microservices
Perform all operations Perform a single operation
Single app Service with minimal function
Deployed as an entire app Deployed separately, interact together
Organized around technology layers Each has its own datastore
One tech stack for the entire app Different technology for each microservice

Benefits of Cloud-Based Apps for Business

Benefits of Cloud-Based Application Development

The biggest benefit is eliminating the need to buy, maintain, and constantly update the software you need to work. Moreover, as the number of employees using cloud services decreases, so does the fees for them, which is not possible with the standard purchase of software licenses.

If you are considering how to make a cloud-based application, remember that can bring a number of business advantages to your company:

  • Cost efficiency – you don’t have to buy expensive hardware and build server infrastructure. You can only pay for the resources your cloud-based application is using.
  • Scalability – cloud-based apps are not limited by the server’s capability. Modern cloud platforms can manage the scaling automatically, upscaling the resources when needed and downgrading them when required.
  • Reliability – cloud networks are distributed around the world. If one data center does down, it won’t impact the operation of your application.
  • Security – cloud service providers take care of data protection so that you don’t need to worry about data loss or hacker attacks.

Higher quality – since you don’t have to take care of the infrastructure management, you can concentrate on other tasks, such as building business logic, creating a great user experience, etc.

Want to know how much it will cost you to create an app?

Our team prepared an article explaining key cost-forming factors. Check it out:

How Much Does It Cost to Build an App? (2021 Cost Calculation)?

How to Make a Cloud-Based Application: Step-by-Step Action Plan

How to Make a Cloud-Based Application: Step-by-Step

Today, cloud integration services have become the backbone of every enterprise that actively transforms and differentiates instances. Many established platforms are focusing on the cloud approach to draw attention to the advancement of cloud services in their business. It is often argued that if you have not used a cloud first strategy for your business, then your business is more likely to lag behind the competition. It is important to keep these steps in mind when building, developing, and implementing cloud management strategies.

Let’s walk you through them:

  • Conduct a market research
  • Hire a development team
  • Decide on functionality
  • Choose a tech stack
  • Choose a monetization model
  • Design and develop an app
  • Test and launch

Let’s explore each step of cloud-based application development in more detail.

Step 1: Market Research

The first step of the cloud application development process is studying the market landscape and your competition. Analyzing competitors is one of the best ways to validate a project idea since they are a valuable source of real-world evidence.

Study the market trends and your potential users. Identify what app you are going to develop and who will be interested in using it.

If you want to develop a cloud-based app for internal purposes, market research will provide you with insights into a possible set of features and technologies that can be used for development purposes.

Step 2: Hire a Development Team

Cloud-based application development is a complex process that requires the involvement of highly experienced technical specialists.

When it comes to hiring a cloud application development companies, you have a few options:

Places to Hire Cloud Application Development Companies
  • Freelance developers – they are not expensive but might not be the best option since they usually work on short-time projects.
  • In-house developers – provides the fullest control over the development team but might be expensive in terms of the hiring process, office rent, taxes, purchasing of software, hardware, etc.
  • Outsource company – provides the best price and quality ratio and allows to hire  and scale a development team on short notice.

The last two options are the best for businesses working on cloud-based applications with a long-term perspective.

Interested in software development outsourcing?

Lean how to make it right and avoid pitfalls in our article covering each step of software outsourcing in details:

Outsource App Development and Make It Work for Your Business

Step 3: Decide on Functionality

Depending on the purpose of cloud-based application development, you will need to decide on the app’s functionality. Usually, this stage is performed together with your development company and specialists that can assist you in coming up with the needed functionality for your solution.

Step 4: Choose a Tech Stack

Choosing the technology to develop a cloud-based app needs to be performed together with professionals who have deep technical knowledge.

For example, if you are interested in cloud-native application development, you might need to use the following technologies:

  iOS Android
Programming languages Swift, Objective-C Java, Kotlin
Toolkit Apple Xcode Android Studio, Android Developer Tools
SDK Android SDK iOS SDK, Cocoa Touch

You will also need to choose cloud application development platforms, additional integrations and third-party services that will form the main functionality of your application. The most popular cloud application development platforms include the following names:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Heroku
  • Oracle
  • Cloud Foundry (for Ruby)
  • Xen Cloud Platform
  • Apache Cloudstack (free)

Step 5: Choose a Monetization Model

If you are going to release your solution to the wide public, you will need to decide on the monetization strategy. For example, if you build a SaaS, the following pricing models are available:

  • Subscription – paying monthly or yearly sum for an app.
  • Freemium – limited functionality available for free. Full access to features is paid.
  • Advertising – placement of ads inside your app to cover the expenses.

You can charge users for additional features, such as syncing information between different devices. One of the possible ways is to combine a few such monetization strategies.

Want to know how you can make money with your app?

Check the article explaining key monetization strategies for free apps:

How do Free Apps Make Money? [Best Strategies]

Step 5: Design & Develop Your App

This stage of cloud-based application development is dedicated to creating a user interface and coding of the functionality. Don’t try to copycat an already existing application. Try to come up with a unique design and don’t sacrifice user experience for a good image.

After the design is ready, your development team will move on to coding the apps’ functionality, implementing its front-end and back-end logic.

Step 6: Test & Launch

The final stage of cloud-based application development is app testing. QA engineers conduct different types of tests to ensure that an app doesn’t have any bugs, security and performance issues.

When done with testing, it’s time to launch your application to the market. If we are talking about mobile apps, the development vendor can also help you with submitting apps to app stores and meeting all requirements.

Types of Cloud-Based Applications

Examples of Cloud-Based Solutions by Type

Let’s look at the types of cloud services, consider each type and the most famous examples.

  1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
  2. PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  3. SaaS (Software as a Service)
  4. CaaS (Communications as a Service)
  5. CaaS (Container as a Service)
  6. DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)
  7. BaaS (Backup as a Service)
  8. BaaS (Backend as a Service)
  9. DBaaS (Data Base as a Service)
  10. MaaS (Monitoring as a Service)
  11. DaaS (Desktop as a Service)
  12. STaaS (Storage as a Service)
  13. NaaS (Network as a Service)

All of these cloud services are united by the fact that they remove a number of tasks for organizing certain solutions from the shoulders of customers and allow them to focus on their work.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is the most popular type of cloud application. Such solutions can be used via mobile or browser without installing and configuring an app. Since such apps don’t overuse the device’s resources, users can use such apps on any device. They don’t also need to purchase the software and pay for each released update.

SaaS Examples: GSuite, Slack, Dropbox

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Such platforms are designed to simplify the development process and offer all the necessary means for developing applications. PaaS provides different development tools, middleware, operating systems, database management and infrastructure.

PaaS Examples: Apache Stratos, Windows Azure, Heroku, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, OpenShift

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS allows building products without developing basic components from scratch. Providers of IaaS solutions provide businesses with servers, network, visualization and storage. Business owners need to create middleware (API) for an application to interact with its operating system.

IaaS Examples: Google Compute Engine, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean

This animation video explains what is cloud native

5 Key Considerations of Cloud-Based App Development

The development of cloud-based solutions is a technically complex process that creates a lot of challenges and pitfalls for businesses.

There are a number of challenges that you will have to face while developing cloud-based applications.

  • Interoperability – cloud solutions must be interoperable, meaning they should easily run on different devices and integrate with other cloud services. 
  • Reliability – choosing a reliable cloud framework is key to providing a reliable service that will work without errors or delays.
  • Performance – choose a provider of cloud resources with servers distributed across countries. You might also need to use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve the speed of content delivery to clients.
  • Security – a huge number of APIs and integrations undermine the security of cloud applications. You need to use strong data encryption, SSL, reverse proxy, and other solutions that will ensure the safety of data processed and stored by your cloud solution.
  • Scalability – you need to ensure the high scalability of your product. Most server providers offer auto-scaling features, allocating additional resources at traffic surges.

How much does it cost to build a cloud?

To show you the approximate cost of applications, we have identified three conditional groups of projects based on the number of hours required to develop them, and calculated the approximate cost of the project for each group.

  • A simple app with basic features and functions can cost anywhere from 10,000 – $25,000 range.
  • An average application can cost from $25,000 – $70,000 or more.
  • A sophisticated app with high-end features and functions can cost over $ 70,000.
  • You must also maintain user support from SAAS service providers, which can cost you about $ 90,000 per year.

The cost of developing a cloud application can be very intimidating for a business or new entrepreneur entering the market. It can only be solved by hiring the best SAAS development service companies available in the market through extensive market research. Because the best development service can provide the best product and customer service at reasonable prices.

How Addevice Can Help with Cloud-Based Application Development

Addevice is a company with over 6 years of experience in the development of complex software products. 

For one of our clients, Stonestep, we created a project based on cloud technologies and Artificial Intelligence. The created platform analyzes information about users’ behavior to predict potential accidents. 

This solution helps insurance companies make data-driven predictions  and mitigate potential risks by collecting information about a person’s speed, movements and daily habits. 

Artificial Intelligence analyzes the routes the person takes every day, how many hours the user spends on the roads driving, and overall driving behavior. The derived data allows making predictions about potential accidents that might happen in the future and the chances of such accidents based on the person’s behavior.

Do you want to develop a cloud-based app?

Get in touch with our team for an initial project discussion. We’ll provide you with a free preliminary project estimate and timeline aligned with your business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

⚙ How do cloud-based applications work?

Cloud technologies are technologies for distributed processing of digital data, with the help of which computer resources are provided to the Internet user as an online service. The programs run and display the results in a web browser window on the local PC.

💻 How can I develop a cloud-based mobile application?

You can develop a cloud-based application by following a step-by-step plan:

  • Conduct a market research
  • Hire a development team
  • Decide on functionality
  • Choose a tech stack
  • Choose a monetization model
  • Design and develop an app
  • Test and launch
🆚 What are the types of cloud applications?

There are a number of cloud-based app types on the market: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

🔧 What are the pitfalls of cloud-based application development?

During cloud-based application development you might need to face the following challenges, which can be sidestepped if you decide to work with experts:

  • Interoperability 
  • Reliability
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Scalability
🚀 What are some famous examples of cloud-based solutions?

Cloud-based applications examples are numerous and include such famous solutions as GSuite, Slack, Dropbox, Evernote, and many others.

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