In modernizing government legacy applications, architecture design is the critical stepping stone to maximizing cloud computing’s advantages. One resulting benefit is cloud-native development, which significantly accelerates app deployments with frequent, incremental deliveries.
Cloud-native development facilitates all the modern techniques of app deployment: agile methodologies, containerized microservices, DevSecOps automation, continuous integration/continuous delivery, and more. After re-engineering apps to cloud-based architectures, government agencies can take advantage of the enormous infrastructure and resources, platform-as-a-service capabilities, and managed services established by cloud service providers (CSPs) for rapid development.
Cloud platforms such as AWS, VMware, and Microsoft Azure take away most development burdens because they have in place mechanisms to package up apps with compute, storage, and networking resources and deploy them in automated fashion—within seconds. Agencies can just concentrate on the code that will give users the functions to execute desired business outcomes. This encourages development of microservices apps.
App build-outs via cloud-native development are akin to assembling LEGO blocks. There are open-source repositories containing libraries of secure code for managed services, such as user authentication, mobile notifications, etc, which can be plucked for routine functions. Composed of modular code pieces, microservices apps are simply loose collections of autonomous functions put in the right order.
What does all this mean for agencies? It’s like running your own power plant to generate electricity for your business when the power company with economies of scale can give it to you efficiently and cheaply. CSP resources are well engineered and there to be leveraged for cloud-native development.
It also means that it’s neither necessary nor strategic to spend months or years developing and deploying apps with 300 functions and features. Releasing apps as individual microservices shrinks schedules and allows prioritization and agile pivots to user needs and enterprise changes.