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

18 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 architecture of a cloud-based application is divided into a front-end and back-end.

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 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.

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


Monolith apps


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

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? (2020 Cost Calculation)?

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

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

You can develop a cloud-based application in six steps:

  • 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:





Programming languages

Swift, Objective-C

Java, Kotlin


Apple Xcode

Android Studio, Android Developer Tools


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

There are a number of cloud-based solutions that you can build. Let’s review each type of take a look at the most famous examples.

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 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?

A cloud application is a software that is deployed in a cloud environment. Instead of being hosted on a local machine or server, such solutions rely on on-demand computing services that ensure its reliability, performance, and scalability.

💻 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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