The mobile market is rapidly evolving. With smartphones becoming increasingly popular, businesses are now forced to create mobile-first applications to tap this huge market. Mobile apps help businesses to maintain seamless communication with customers, quickly tap into new markets and increase revenues. Before developing a mobile app, it is important to consider these top 10 aspects.
1) Identify your Target Audience
Before jumping onto the development phase, it is important to identify your target audience. Without knowing who will use it, you can’t design the features and functionalities of the mobile application. For instance, if you are creating an app for senior citizens, you should ensure that buttons, fonts and other user interface elements are large enough to be visible to all users. Once you identify your target audience, you can then ask questions about what features and functionalities they require and how the app can add value to their lives as well as to the business.
2) Perform Market Research
Before creating a mobile app, perform market research to identify customer requirements, market trends and popular niches etc. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel when there are multiple options available in the market. Think out of the box and create something unique to stand out from the crowd. In case you want to create a similar app, consider what unique features you can incorporate into the app and how it can be better than the available ones.
3) Choose the Target Platform
4) Native Vs Hybrid App
Another important aspect to consider is choosing between native and hybrid app development models. A native app is created for a specific platform while a hybrid app works on both platforms. Native apps offer more speed and performance while delivering a great user experience. However, it takes more time to create a native app. The development costs are comparatively more as well. On the other hand, hybrid apps are easy and quick to build but might not offer the same speed, performance and user experience compared to native apps.
5) Prepare your Budgets
Before launching the development cycle, make sure to come up with a budget for the entire product lifecycle. Consider the target audience, the features and functionalities required, platform/OS and the type of app development model to choose, technology stack and professionals etc. Don’t forget to add the maintenance costs as well. Once you have a budget plan, you can optimize the development process to create a cost-effective app.
6) Create an App Development Strategy
Developing a mobile app is not an easy task. Right from product design, architecture and development to testing and launching the app, there are multiple stages of the development lifecycle involved. As such, it is important to understand the entire process before beginning the project. The job doesn’t end with releasing the app. You should also consider maintenances, updates and releases.
7) Build an MVP First
Before releasing your app into the market, it is important to test it on target devices. You can do so by creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that contains important features of the app. By testing the MVP, you can understand whether the app can solve the intended problems, how is the performance of the app, what features can be improved etc.
8) User Experience is Important
In addition to features and performance, user experience is the key to the success of your business. The ease of navigation, color scheme, fonts and the aesthetic display is what captures the interest of your users. It also gives them an impression of your business. When customers encounter a bad experience while using the app, they might look out for other options.
9) App Security is Important
For any software product, security is undoubtedly the most important aspect. When it comes to mobile apps, security becomes even more important. Similarly, data security and integrity has to be taken care of as well. If you are building an app without a data protection plan, you are actually creating a disaster.
10) Choose the right mobile development company
It is important to understand that your mobile app is the gateway for your customers to reach out to you. So, you can’t keep any stone unturned. To develop a high-performing mobile app that delivers value to users, choose an experienced mobile app development company. Before finalizing one, check out the reputation of the company, customer reviews, case studies etc. Similarly, find out the technologies they use and the coding skills they possess. User experience is a key aspect as well.
CloudTern is a leader in the mobile app development segment. Whether you want to build a custom iOS/Android App or a hybrid solution, CloudTern is here to help.
Contact us right now to stay ahead of your competition!
There are 6.37 billion smartphone users across the globe as of 2021 and this number is increasing at a rapid pace, reports Statista. For this reason, organizations are increasing building mobile applications to fully leverage this mobile revolution. Mobile apps allow organizations to proactively send push notifications to customers and keep them always connected with the company. Similarly, customers can access information about products and services in real-time. While businesses are aggressively building mobile apps, there are several misconceptions about developing them. Here are the most common myths about mobile app development in 2021.
1) Mobile App Development is Inexpensive
The most common misconception about a mobile app is that it is cheaper when compared with regular software products. The reason for this myth is that mobile apps look smaller in size. However, it is important to understand that a mobile application goes through all the regular processes such as design, development, testing, production and maintenance and involves designers, developers, testers, analysts, network and operations professionals etc.
The cost of the app is based on the platform, supported languages, supported OS, security level, device types, number of screens, custom controls, and special functionalities such as in-app purchases etc. According to BusinessofApps, the cost of a basic app falls between $40,000-60,000 while a complex app costs more than $120,000. Similarly, the maintenance cost of the app would be 15%-20% of the actual development cost.
2) Mobile App Development is Easy
Another myth about mobile app development is that it is simple, easy and quick to build a mobile app considering the size and nature of a smartphone. However, it is not true. Whether you build a desktop application or a mobile app, every software project goes through the regular product development lifecycle comprising design, development, testing, marketing strategy, AppStore optimization, maintenance etc. Normally, it takes 3-6 months to build a minimal app while other apps that involve complex procedures take 1-2 years to be completed.
3) Mobile App development is just about Coding
When you think about a mobile application, the code comes first to mind. While coding is important for any software product, there are many more aspects involved in a mobile app development project. You need to create a mobile app strategy, marketing strategy, and a development plan that involves a number of stakeholders across the organization. Similarly, you can’t rewrite the code of an Android app and launch it iOS. The technology stack is completely different for both platforms which mean you need to begin it from scratch.
4) More Features make it a great App
One of the biggest misconceptions about mobile apps is that the more features you add to them, the better they become. However, the performance of the app doesn’t make it greater but the purpose it solves is what makes sense. Moreover, by stuffing multiple features into the app, you are actually increasing the complexity for users. The speed and performance of the app get affected as well. One of the important aspects to consider is the user interface. A good UI/UX design is sure to attract visitors.
5) A single App created by cross-platform frameworks serves all platforms
Today, there are multiple cross-platform frameworks available in the market that helps you to create cross-platform apps that run on both iOS and Android platforms. As such, there is a common myth that you can easily create an app using these frameworks and release it on both platforms. While it is true to some extent, applications that are built using cross-platform frameworks doesn’t automatically allow you to share code between Android and iOS platforms.
In today’s highly competitive world, businesses should always be in touch with customers, keep them updated with the latest happenings with regard to the company while being quick to tap new opportunities. Mobile apps provide the right platform to do so. However, choosing the right mobile app development strategy is the key here.
Contact CloudTern right now to build high-quality, high-performing Apps!
Mobile apps are increasingly being developed in recent times. The reason is simple. There are 4.4 billion mobile users globally as reported by DealSunny. Each hour people make 68 million Google searches generating $3 million revenues, 8 million purchases on Paypal, open 2 billion emails, send 768 million text messages and 1 billion WhatsApp messages. As such, businesses are quickly leveraging this mobile revolution to stay ahead of the competition. Companies build mobile apps to provide a superior customer experience, tap into new markets, engage with customers, boost sales and be competitive.
One of the important challenges while building a mobile is choosing between native and hybrid app development models. While both app types come with pros and cons, your product goals and business objectives should decide the type of app best suited for your organization. Here is a comparison of two mobile app types.
Native App Vs Hybrid App: Overview
Native App Vs Hybrid: Development
Native App Vs Hybrid: Performance
When it comes to performance, Native apps have an edge as they are built specifically for the platform. They are easy to use and deliver faster performance. They seamlessly integrate with the native environment to access tools such as camera, mic, calendar, clock etc. to deliver superior performance. The native platform gives assurance of the quality, security and compatibility with the platform of the native apps. On the other hand, hybrid apps are not built for a specific OS which means they are slow. The speed and performance of a hybrid app depend on the speed of the internet connection of the user’s web browser. It means the performance cannot beat native apps.
Native App Vs Hybrid: User Experience
When it comes to user experience, Native apps deliver a great user experience as they perfectly blend with the branding and interface of the platform. Developers get the luxury of designing an app that fully matches the interface of the platform following specific UI guidelines and standards. They can run offline and online. On the other hand, hybrid apps are not optimized for UI/UX designs as they don’t target a specific OS, platform or group of users.
Native App Vs Hybrid APP: Cost
Another challenge is that you require diverse skillsets to build and manage multiple versions of the same app. For instance, Swift developers might not have the same level of expertise with Kotlin. You have to hire more developers for the job. All these aspects add up to development time, costs and complexities. Hybrid apps are quick to build and deploy and are cost-effective. Maintenance is easy as well. However, compatibility issues between the device and the OS might creep up in the long run.
Native App Vs Hybrid App: Which one to choose?
Hybrid apps are easy to build and manage while being cost-effective. If you have less time to market, you can quickly build a hybrid app. With customer experience becoming important for businesses in recent times, delivering a superior user experience is always recommended. As such, user experience should be the primary aspect while choosing an app development model. Native apps help you to deliver great UI/UX designs.
The entire business world is going through a digital transformation. While organizations that were encouraged by the benefits offered by digital technologies embarked on this journey first, others were forced to move digital, owing to the pandemic that brought the unexpected lockdown. While the healthcare segment was slow to adopt digital technologies owing to the lack of expertise to decide on where to invest and how to invest, the recent trends reveal that healthcare institutions are now aggressively embracing digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation in Healthcare?
Digital transformation in healthcare is about implementing digital technologies to improve healthcare operations, increase patient experience while making healthcare cost-effective and accessible to everywhere, on-demand. Right from online appointments to managing EHRs and medicine reports to integrating various departments for seamless coordination, digital transformation makes healthcare services efficient, easy to use and accessible everywhere.
According to Global Market Insights, the global digital healthcare market was valued at $141.8 billion in 2020. This value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% between 2021 and 2028. Similarly, Grand View Research reports that the global healthcare market earned a revenue of $96.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% during the period 2021-2028. These numbers speak volumes of the growing popularity of digital transformation in recent times.
How Digital Transformation Helps Healthcare?
Digital transformation is not a silver bullet that can simply transform existing healthcare institutions. It requires proper planning and implementation. Organizations that have rightly implemented digital technologies are reaping the following benefits:
Centralized Data Management Systems
Gone are the days when patients had to wait in long queues to meet a doctor, undergo tests/scans and return to join the long queues for treatment. With digital technologies incorporated across the organization, patients can now schedule an appointment from the comfort of their homes and get treatment at their convenience. With a single digital ID, doctors can pull out the records of the patient and check out the illness history. Similarly, the diagnostics department staff can retrieve the patient details and update them with the test reports so that the doctor can prescribe the right medicine which is then passed on to the pharmacy wing. With a centralized data management system, concerned people across the healthcare can access the required patient information and deliver quality care. Patient care becomes quick, easy and accessible for everyone.
A patient portal is an intuitive online healthcare platform that enables patients to access their medical records, communicate with healthcare professionals, receive telemedicine etc. It enables them to access the data from anywhere, any location on-demand and share the test reports and case histories with multiple healthcare providers, gaining better control over the treatment.
Virtual Treatment / Video Call
Today, patients don’t have to visit a healthcare professional for regular sicknesses. Instead, they can contact a medical practitioner via a video call and get their illness treated over the phone. Whether you are in the office, at home or on the road, it is a breeze to search for a healthcare professional and communicate with them on a video call. It is especially useful in rural areas wherein healthcare services are scarce. It means digital transformation extends healthcare to most rural parts of the country. Virtual treatment has helped several patients during the time of Covid. While these options don’t negate direct visitations, they help you in times of health emergencies.
Wearable medical devices are on the rise in recent times. With the help of wearable devices, patients can keep track of high-risk conditions and prevent a health upset. For instance, you can monitor heartbeats, sweat, pulse rate, oxygen levels etc. using a wearable device and instantly contact emergency support in case of an emergency. The device can automatically send alerts to your prescribed contacts in case of unusual health metrics. Not only does it prevent a health event but it also saves high medical expenses.
Healthcare / Wellness Apps
Using digital technologies, healthcare professionals can design healthcare or wellness apps that enable patients to track and manage their health from the comfort of their homes. For instance, you can use a wellness app to receive recommendations on food and nutrition. Similarly, you can get mental health counselling from trained and experienced professionals on-demand. There are beauty care apps that can help you to manage your skin for acne, allergy or other issues. Similarly, some apps track your sugar levels, eye health etc.
As healthcare is aggressively moving towards digital transformation, designing the right digital strategy with the right technology stack is the key to fully leveraging this revolution.
Contact CloudTern right now to embark on the digital transformation journey!
Here is a popular joke about the increasing popularity of cloud computing technologies in recent times.
Today, cloud computing has become so popular that almost every IT resource is being moved to the cloud and delivered over the Internet via a pay-per-use model.
However, cloud computing is not a silver bullet. You can’t just click a button to make everything cloud-enabled.
To fully leverage the cloud revolution, it is important to identify your cloud computing needs and design the right cloud strategy. Choosing the right cloud computing provider is the key here.
Here are the top 10 questions to ask your cloud computing provider before hiring one.
1) Services Portfolio
Before moving to the cloud, organizations should identify their cloud computing needs and document the requirements. Once you have this document ready, the first and foremost question to ask your cloud provider is about their portfolio offerings. What are the cloud services they offer? If they don’t offer the services required by your company, there is no point in further negotiations with the company. You can delete it and move with other companies in the list.
2) Subscription Models
Another important question to ask your cloud service provider is about how they charge for the services offered and how flexible is their payment structure. The cheapest services should not be the first choice. While the price is an important factor, align it with the services to make a decision. While most cloud services are normally offered via a pay-per-use model, the charges differ based on the instances, servers, users, groups, regions etc. In addition, check out the payment period – monthly, quarterly, annually etc.
3) Cloud Security
One of the main barriers to cloud adoption for many organizations is data security. As such, check out the security policies and cyber security measures implemented by the company. Multi-factor authenticating (MFA) is not an option anymore. So, check out if they offer a multi-factor authentication system? In addition, intrusion detection, data encryption, incident prevention mechanism, firewalls and visibility into network security are some of the key requirements to consider.
4) Data Storage Location
The location of the datacenter can affect the performance and reliability of your applications. Choosing a datacenter closer to your business operations will give you an added advantage. As such, ask the cloud provider about where they store your data and what security policies they have in place.
Does it have a fall-back center to handle natural and accidental disasters? Another reason to know the datacenter location is that companies are required to comply with data regulations of their regions. So, it is important to know the data storage location for audit and compliance purposes too.
5) Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
Before subscribing to a cloud service provider, it is important to define your expectations related to their services. So, check out how they measure the services and how they compensate for service outages. Going through their SLA agreement will help you in this regard.
6) Flexibility in Services
One of the biggest advantages of cloud solutions is the flexibility it offers in adding or terminating services on-demand. So, check out with the provider if you can instantly add or modify services on the go and how easy it is to make changes to your services. For instance, short-term projects require short-term resources on-demand. It will help your team to experiment with new ideas. In addition, check out if you can scale up and scale out resources without downtimes. If an autoscaling feature is available, that would be great.
7) Customer Support 24/7
Regardless of how good a cloud company is, there will be times you might experience a service outage or other technical issues. In such instances, you need a support system that can instantly resolve your issue. So, check out with the cloud provider if they offer customer support that is available 24/7/365 as you need the support service on holidays and weekends as well. In addition, find out the available support options such as phone support, chatbot service, email etc.
8) The History of Downtimes
While no cloud company can guarantee 100% uptime, the best cloud provider should be able to quickly resolve technical issues and minimize downtimes. So, check out the downtime history of the company and what steps they have taken to get things back on track. You can also check out these details on their website and review sites to assess the availability of their services. You don’t want to join hands with a company that has frequent outages.
9) Data Control
While using a cloud service, the cloud provider takes care of the infrastructure while you focus on your business operations. However, it is important to know how the data is handled and what type of control you have over the data. Would you be able to retrieve all your data without the assistance of the provider in case you want to change the provider or terminate the services? In addition, it is important to know how long they will store the data after the service agreement comes to an end. What type of data formats are available is another aspect to check out.
10) Does the company make timely backups?
Data backup and recovery is key to safeguarding your business information. So, check out if the company performs timely backups so that you can restore a recent backup when the data is lost or erased. In addition, check out their disaster recovery plan. Do you have recovery measures in place to instantly recover data or prevent a disaster to happen? A cloud computing company without a DR plan cannot be trusted.
The cloud market is flooded with multiple cloud service providers. So, it is important to eliminate companies that are inefficient, incompatible and unreliable. In addition to asking the above questions, you need to check out the reputation of the company, their references, feedback on review sites and social media platforms etc. Taking time for these tasks will save your business from incurring huge losses in the long run.
5G is the new global wireless standard that has succeeded the 4G network. 5G, also called the 5th generation mobile network, is designed to bring devices, machines and objects into connectivity, delivering massive network capacity, high-speed, low latency and high availability networks. According to Grand View Research, the global 5G infrastructure was valued at $41.48 billion in 2020. This value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 46.2% between 2021 and 2028. ResearchandMarkets opines that the global 5G infrastructure market will touch $80.5 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 49.8% between 2021 and 2028.
The Evolution of 5G
The 1st generation network (1G) that was introduced in the 1980s used analog technology to provide mobile communications. It was succeeded by the 2nd generation network called 2G in the 1990s and used digital systems to offer voice data and SMS services. The 3rd generation mobile network 3G introduced GSM networks. The advent of 4G network revolutionized this space with LTE and LTE-Advanced capabilities for high-speed networks. The 5th generation network 5G takes it to the next level bringing New Radio (NR) and LTE-Advance Pro technologies into foray to facilitate ultra-low latency and high-speed networks.
Launched in 1979 and was released in 1983 in the US.
Analog technology, 800 MHz Spectrum
Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT), Radiocom 2000, Advanced Mobile Phone Systems (AMPS)
Digital technology, 1.9 GHz Spectrum
Voice, SMS, MMS, Data via CDMAOne, GSM/GPRS
Introduced by Verizon in 2001 in Japan and 2002 in the US
Multi-Input, Multi-Output (MIMO), 2.1 GHz Spectrum, 40Mbps speed
CDMA2000, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, IMT-2000, image sharing, web browsing and location tracking
LTE, LTE-Advanced, 2.5 GHz spectrum, 400 Mbps speed
High-speed data, advanced radio interface, IoT, Rail & ITS Transport, Critical Communications, video gaming, video streaming, video conferencing
New Radio, Orthogonal Frequency-division Multiplexing (OFDM), LTE-Advanced Pro, operates across three bands (mmWave-high band, mid-band, low-band), 4 Gbps-20 Gbps speed
Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communication (URLLC), Vehicle to Everything (V2X) Phase 3, Network slicing capability, high-speed networks, smart cities, Intelligent Traffic management systems
5G is not developed by a single company but receives contributions from multiple companies in the form of foundational technologies and global specifications. The 5G ecosystem includes mobile network operators, infrastructure vendors, device manufacturers etc. 3rd Generation Partner Project (3GPP) is an important organization that is instrumental in designing the service layer, air interface and global specifications for 5G.
The 5G technology uses the Orthogonal Frequency-division Multiplexing technology that divides signals across multiple channels to minimize interference. New Radio (NR) is another underlying technology of 5G that enhances OFDM principles to bring high scalability and flexibility to network operations. 5G operates across millimetre wave (mmWave) high-band, low-band and mid-band, delivering speeds between 4 Gbps and 20 Gbps. With high speeds and low latency, 5G supports mission-critical communications and massive IoT networks.
Benefits of 5G
5G offers amazing benefits for organizations and individuals. The high-speed network enables you to download an HD movie on your mobile in seconds. During a sporting event in a stadium, 5G facilitates reliable connectivity for thousands of concurrent users. Sports broadcasting becomes easy and efficient as well. Sports clubs are now planning to deliver game insights in real-time to enhance user experience. For sports clubs, it facilitates better crowd management. Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies take advantage of 5G to deliver an immersive experience in games, apps as well as in virtual meetings.
The ultra-low latency of 5G enables authorities to build safe and sustainable smart cities with autonomous vehicle systems and intelligent traffic management systems. Thousands of vehicles can communicate with each other and share data to reduce accidents. Emergency services can be deployed faster too. Natural disasters can be quickly detected using sensors.
5G brings innovation into industrial production as well. It helps companies in securely combining people and robots to smartly work together without getting cobbled with cords and machines. Businesses can run predictive and prescriptive analytics in real-time. With IoT networks, businesses can monitor and improve performance, production and logistics.
There has been a buzz around the negative impact of 5G on the environment which turns out to be far from true. 5G technology is safe and sustainable and businesses are already embracing it to surge ahead of the competition.
Is your business 5G-ready? Contact CloudTern right now to leverage this amazing revolution!
The buzz around the introduction of 5G technology, its pros and cons and the effect on the environment has finally taken the backstage as businesses are now slowly deploying 5G networks across the globe. According to MarketsandResearch, the 5G market is expected to touch $80.5 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 49.8% during 2021 and 2028. As 5G deployments are increasing, the technology is expanding into various verticals.
5G applications and use cases can be broadly classified into three categories:
1) Machine type communications / IoT Use Cases
The 5G technology has significantly augmented IoT networks. Leveraging the speed, reliability and coverage, businesses are now able to set up operations in remote locations while being able to sync with central systems in real-time. For instance, 5G facilitates smart factories wherein robots and humans work together in a wireless environment, eliminating cords and cables that hamper the speed and smoothness of operations. In addition, 5G provides the required range and mobility while significantly improving the quality of service.
With the implementation of Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR) technologies, businesses enable workers to interactively operate complex machinery. In the sporting environment, AR/VR offers an immersive experience with its high speed and low latency. When it comes to delivering goods, companies like Amazon have already started using drones. The 5G technology enables companies to extend operations to remote locations with good quality of service.
The wearable technology segment hugely benefits from 5G. In today’s technology world, every household uses a myriad of gadgets, right from mobiles, tablets and laptops to wearables and trackers. The traditional cellular network won’t be able to deliver a comprehensive and connected experience. With 5G, all your devices can be connected to the network and can talk to each other in real-time.
2) High-Speed Mobile Broadband Use Cases
When it comes to streaming content on mobile devices, the introduction of 4G has significantly improved the customer experience. However, it only facilitated SD quality and HD to some extent. As the MPEG AVC codec is 1.5 M/s, 4G served the purpose. However, 5G brings 4K and 8K HD streaming into the picture, making it easy to stream high-quality bandwidth-intensive content to multiple users at the same time. While the mid-band deployments deliver up to 200 Mbps which is ten times the speed offered by 4G, high-frequency bands deliver connectivity of 1 Gbps. So, you can scale UHD video delivery. As of now, scaling video for live mobile applications is a challenge. With 5G, this option is expected to become a reality in 2-3 years.
3) Low Latency Use Cases
When it comes to running applications that demand low latency, 5G offers a good bet. For instance, smart city infrastructure is being implemented in many cities wherein vehicles are connected via a smart transport system and can communicate with other vehicles as well as with the infrastructure. With 5G implemented in this system, communication becomes effective and reliable.
Similarly, autonomous vehicle technology is a new trend that is quickly catching up. Machine learning, real-time data communication and network speed are key requirements for this system and vehicles should be able to communicate with the system in real-time, learn through live data and make decisions accordingly, 5G helps here as the connectivity speed increases by 10-100 times. As such, vehicles can instantly send information and receive instructions within milliseconds and quickly respond to changes happening around them. This difference in latency can make a difference in life and death. Similarly, edge computing networks become efficient and reliable as systems can quickly process more data without the need to access centralized systems that are located miles away.
As 5G technology takes the center stage, more and more applications are benefitting from the high speed, low latency and mobility solutions offered by the network. The advent of 5G is already disrupting the technology space. Businesses that take advantage of this trend at the earliest are sure to surge ahead.
DevOps was introduced between 2007 and 2008 as a revolutionary methodology that would be disrupting the IT development landscape. While DevOps was successful in changing the way how IT thinks and operates, it took a long time for companies to adopt this methodology. The reason for this slow adoption was because businesses took time to understand how DevOps works. While organizations are aggressively embracing this methodology in recent times, there are still some misconceptions that are acting as a barrier to DevOps implementation. Here are the top 10 myths about DevOps development.
1) DevOps is a Tool
The most popular myth about DevOps is that it is a tool or a product which is not true. DevOps is not a tool or a technology that can be purchased or subscribed to. It is a methodology that integrates development, operations, QA and security teams into a cross-functional team to seamlessly collaborate and work on software development projects. The system uses tools, processes and people to achieve this. For instance, continuous integration is achieved using CI servers such as Bamboo, Jenkins, Gitlab etc. while Docker and Kubernetes help in automatic deployment and management of the infrastructure.
2) DevOps is for the Web
DevOps became popular with SaaS-based organizations such as Netflix and Etsy creating an impression that DevOps is only for web companies. While it is true that DevOps favours web platforms, it is equally effective for all types of modern software delivery. While continuous delivery helps web companies to always offer up-to-date software, the same applies to native and non-web software too.
3) DevOps means CI/CD
While DevOps helps organizations achieve continuous delivery by building CI/CD pipelines, it is only a part of the DevOps methodology. DevOps is not confined to CI/CD but deals with the organization more comprehensively. In addition to tools and processes, DevOps brings a cultural shift across the organization by creating cross-functional teams that seamlessly collaborate and communicate across the product lifecycle. To fully leverage DevOps, businesses should equally focus on people, tools and processes.
4) DevOps Solves all Problems
It is a common misconception that when you use DevOps to build continuous delivery pipelines and automate processes, the system will take care of everything without any issues. First of all, you need to design the right DevOps strategy with the right tools for the right processes that are managed by the right people. In addition, to automating processes, you need to set up continuous feedback loops, analyse metrics and constantly update things. DevOps is not a magic wand that automatically sets everything right.
5) DevOps is for Developers and Operations Teams
DevOps stands for Development and Operations. While it started off a system that integrated these two teams to collaboratively work on a software development project, it has greatly evolved now. Today, DevOps cross-functional teams include people from QA, security, administrators, data engineers, analytics engineers and business management. It is interesting to note that members from sales, marketing, and tech support and customer service are also being incorporated into cross-functional teams as and where applicable.
6) DevOps is the End of Operations Teams
In an automated DevOps environment, developers can automatically deploy software to production environments using tools such as Jenkins, TeamCity, Docker, Kubernetes etc. However, it doesn’t mean that it is the end of the road for operations professionals. Actually, Ops teams can take advantage of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools to efficiently manage the infrastructure via code. DevOps teams are accountable for the entire lifecycle of the product and Ops teams have an important role to play here.
7) Operations Professionals Should Learn Programming
With infrastructure as code taking the center stage of the infrastructure management landscape, there is a misconception that operations professionals should learn programming languages. While it is true that you need a basic idea of scripting, you don’t need to have expert knowledge of programming languages such as Java or C#. For instance, Ruby is a popular IaC language that is easy to learn. So, Ops teams with basic scripting knowledge can easily pick up this system.
8) DevOps is only for Non-Regulated Industries
Often, people think that DevOps doesn’t work well with highly regulated industries, owing to strict compliance and security policies. DevOps serves a great purpose for regulated industries as well. With DevOps, compliance becomes easy as you can store audit trails of all automated processes. It means business processes are always audit-ready.
9) DevOps is Cloud-based
Often, people believe that DevOps is always deployed in the cloud and some people use the term ‘cloud’ interchangeably with DevOps. DevOps indeed brings dynamic infrastructure resources into the picture. However, it doesn’t mean that DevOps always requires a cloud infrastructure. If you can dynamically test and deploy code, then DevOps works for you.
10) DevOps replaces Agile
A popular myth about DevOps is that it replaces agile which is not true. In fact, DevOps enables agile practices by incorporating continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment and continuous monitoring. So, it actually complements agile software development.
The key to fully leveraging DevOps is choosing the right DevOps strategy. CloudTern is here to help!
DevOps started off as a methodology that integrates Developers and Operations teams to work in tandem in software development projects. It facilitates seamless coordination and communication between teams, reduces time from idea to market and significantly improves operational efficiencies while optimizing costs. Today, DevOps has rapidly evolved to include several other entities of IT systems. A new addition is Business intelligence.
DevOps jelled well with Big Data as both methodologies are contemporary and complement each other in managing of massive volumes of live data moving between development and production that is maintained relevant via seamless coordination between teams. When it comes to business intelligence, data warehousing and analytics are two important components that need to be managed. As BI deals with batches of data, it doesn’t easily integrate with the DevOps environment by default.
Managing Data Warehousing with DevOps
A data warehouse is a central data repository that collects data from various disparate data sources in and outside the organization and hosts them in a central location allowing authorized people and reporting and analytics tools to access it from any location. Managing a robust and sophisticated data warehouse is a challenge as multiple stakeholders are involved in making a change which makes deployments rather slow and time-consuming. Implementing DevOps here can be a revolutionary thing as you can combine data administration teams and data engineering teams to collaborate on data projects. While a data engineer informs potential features that are being introduced to the system, the data administrator can envisage production challenges and make changes accordingly. With cross-functional teams and automated testing in place, production issues can be eliminated. Together, they can build a powerful automation pipeline that comprises data source analysis, testing, documentation, deployment etc.
However, introducing DevOps for data warehouse management is not a cakewalk. For instance, you cannot simply backup data and revert to the backup as and when required. When you revert to a last week’s backup, what about the changes made to the data by several applications?
DevOps for Analytics
The analytics industry is going through a transformation as well. Contrary to the traditional analytics environment that uses a single business intelligence solution for all IT needs, modern businesses implement multiple BI tools for different analytical purposes. The complexity is that all these BI tools share data between them and there is no central management of BI tools. Another issue is that data scientists design models and algorithms for specific data sets to gain deeper insights and offer predictions. However, when these data sets are deployed to the production environment, they serve a temporary purpose. As data sets outgrow, they become irrelevant which means continuous monitoring and improvement is required. The rate at which the data drifting happens is enormous and traditional analytics solutions are inefficient to manage this speed and diversity. This is where DevOps comes to the rescue.
DevOps helps businesses integrate data flow designs and operations to automate and monitor data enabling them to deliver better applications faster. Automation enables organizations to build high performing and reliable build-deploy iterative data pipelines for improving data quality, accelerate delivery and reduce labor and operational costs. Monitoring data for health, speed and consumption-ready status enable organizations to reduce blindness and eliminate performance issues. It means a reliable feedback loop is created that covers data health, privacy and data delivery for ensuring smooth flow of operations for planned as well as unexpected changes.
The Bottom Line
Bringing DevOps into the BI realm is not an easy task as BI environments are not suitably designed for DevOps. However, businesses are now exploring this option. Bringing DevOps into the BI segment gives situational awareness to businesses as they can make informed decisions when they gain insights into relevant data added from multiple sources. Moreover, it brings great collaboration between teams, allows better integration between different application layers while helping businesses to explore and quickly tap into new markets. Most importantly, it makes your business future-proof.
As businesses are aggressively moving workloads to cloud environments, containerization is turning out to be a necessity for every business in recent times.
Containerization enables organizations to virtualize the operating system and deploy applications in isolated spaces called containers packed with all libraries, dependencies, configuration files etc.
The container market is rapidly evolving. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global application containerization market earned a revenue of $1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to touch $4.98 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 32.9% during 2018 and 2023.
The Dominance of Docker
The containerization market is dominated by Docker. In fact, it was Docker that made the containerization concept popular. According to Docker, the company hosts 7 million+ applications with 13 billion+ monthly image downloads and 11 million+ developers involved in the process. Adobe, Netflix, PayPal, Splunk, Verizon are some of the enterprises that use Docker.
Virtual Machine Vs Docker
Docker Engine layer
Unused memory can be reallocated to other containers
As virtual machines increase, the performance decreases
As Docker uses a single engine, the performance is high, regardless of the increase in containers
Virtual machines depend on the Host OS, libraries and dependencies. So, portability is a challenge
Docker is highly portable
VMs take time to boot
Docker containers take milliseconds to boot on.
Here are the top 5 benefits of using Docker:
1) Consistent Environment
Consistency is a key benefit of Docker wherein developers run an application in a consistent environment right from design and development to production and maintenance. As such, the application behaves the same way in different environments, eliminating production issues. With predictable environments in place, your developers spend more time on introducing quality features to the application instead of debugging errors and resolving configuration/compatibility issues.
2) Speed and Agility
Speed and agility is another key benefit of Docker. It allows you to instantly create containers for every process and deploy them in seconds. As you don’t have to boot the OS, the process is done lightning fast. Moreover, you can instantly create, destroy, stop or start a container with ease. By simply creating a configuration file using YAML, you can automate deployment and scale the infrastructure at ease.
Docker increases the speed and efficiency of your CI/CD pipeline as you can create a container image and use it across the pipeline while running non-dependant tasks in parallel. It brings faster time to market and increases productivity as well. The ability to commit changes and version-control Docker images enable you to instantly roll back to an earlier version in case a new change breaks the environment.
3) Efficiently Management of Multi-Cloud Environments
Multi-cloud environments are gaining popularity in recent times. In a multi-cloud environment, each cloud comes with different configurations, policies and processes and are managed using different infrastructure management tools. However, Docker containers can be moved across any environment. For instance, you can run a container in an AWS EC2 instance and then seamlessly move it to a Google Cloud Platform environment with ease. However, keep in mind that data inside the container is permanently destroyed once the container is destroyed. So, ensure that you back up the required data.
Docker environments are highly secure. Applications that are running in Docker containers are isolated from each other wherein one container cannot check the processes running in another container. Similarly, each container possesses its own resources and doesn’t interact with the resources of other containers. They use the resources allocated to them. As such, you gain more control over the traffic flow. When the application reaches its end of life, you can simply delete its container, making a clean app removal.
5) Optimized Costs
While features and performance are key considerations of any IT product, Return on Investment (ROI) cannot be ignored. The good thing with Docker is that it enables you to significantly reduce infrastructure costs. Right from employee strength to server costs, Docker enables you to run applications at minimal costs when compared with VMs and other technologies. With smaller engineering teams and reduced infrastructure costs, you can significantly save on operational costs and increase your ROI.