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What is the Cloud-Native Maturity Model? 

June 2, 2022 / by Frederid Palacios

Businesses globally are utilizing cloud computing and reaping the benefits. With enhanced flexibility, scalability, and security, it’s easy to see why the cloud is so popular. Still, organizations are looking to take their cloud models one step further, and many are using the cloud-native maturity model to do so. To help businesses maximize the value of their cloud environment, we will discuss the steps of this model and exactly how they can benefit from it. 

Businessman hand working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new computer interface as concept-3

The Cloud-Native Maturity Model


Often when organizations start to adopt cloud services, they expect immediate results. While a cloud migration is highly advantageous, if an organization doesn’t use the right applications, it could run into some unexpected hurdles. For this reason, more organizations are putting consideration into the cloud applications they utilize, and many are discovering the benefits of a cloud-native application. 

The cloud-native concept may not be commonplace now, but it is quickly growing in popularity. This concept refers to the building and running of applications to utilize the computing offered by a cloud delivery model. Essentially, cloud-native technologies help users maximize the flexibility, scalability, and resiliency of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. 

So, where does the cloud-native maturity model come in? The cloud native-maturity model helps facilitate the exploitation of the cloud-native concept, essentially serving as a roadmap to adopting cloud-native applications. This means that organizations can maximize the value of their preexisting investments in cloud technologies while reaping the same benefits. 

If organizations are interested in adopting the cloud-native concept, a good starting point is the cloud native-maturity model. The cloud native-maturity model helps businesses navigate this transition while making decisions that will best help them achieve the speed, scalability, and agility they need. 


1. On-Premise


It’s important to start at ground zero when beginning the cloud-native maturity model. For most companies, ground zero is their on-premise computing software. Up until recently, most companies housed their applications internally or in off-site locations. 

While this was a fine solution in the past, it has grown inadequate with the developments of the cloud. Today, as service providers can now offer bandwidths that meet internal network needs, organizations migrate to the cloud and utilize external databases. Once organizations migrate from on-premise databases to the cloud, they are ready for the first step of the cloud-native maturity model. 


2. Cloud-Enabled


The most simple form of cloud-based applications are cloud-enabled applications. These applications are built to run on a specific operating system within a specific environment but can be easily moved to the cloud. Once these are migrated, they can be integrated with basic cloud features. This step is relatively straightforward as the applications can take advantage of the cloud’s amenities while still being originally designed for an on-premise database. 

The two main characteristics of cloud-enabled applications are density and cost reduction. As these applications do not require their own set of hardware, they can be built on top of one another while still living in the same hardware. Essentially, they can be densely packed for convenience. Cloud-enabled applications, once migrated, are also very beneficial in helping businesses to reduce expenses in regards to hardware, support, and maintenance costs. 


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3. Cloud-Optimized


Whereas cloud-enabled applications are the simplest applications, cloud-optimized applications get a bit more complex. These applications optimize cloud applications, providing them access to more cloud features without needing redevelopment. They basically serve as a hybrid of applications that were moved to the cloud, such as cloud-enabled, and ones that were built for the cloud, such as cloud-native. 

A defining characteristic of a cloud-optimized application is its continuous delivery, resulting from its ability to be easily replicated. As a result, users can create more efficient deployment workflows and create redundant access to applications. In addition, cloud-optimized applications are highly scalable, allowing users to conveniently scale up or down, and vertically or horizontally, based upon their changing needs. 

The majority of an organization’s applications will fall under this category, but it does limit the advantages they can reap from their cloud environment. While cloud-optimized applications are definitely a step in the right direction, organizations need to better understand their business needs and how fully cloud-native applications can help achieve them to truly maximize the benefits of the cloud. 


4. Cloud-Native


Finally, we have reached the end goal of the cloud-native maturity model: cloud-native applications. This form of application is designed specifically for the cloud with the intention of incorporating the best possible practices for availability, efficiency, and delivery. By utilizing cloud-native applications, users can operate consistently across all devices, ensuring consistency and accuracy. 

There are six defining benefits of a cloud-native application, including:

  • Agility. Hand-in-hand with flexibility, cloud-native applications enable agile deployment options. As these are easier to develop and deploy, they can be quickly and efficiently deployed, providing organizations with a higher level of agility. 
  • Automation. Cloud-native applications are instrumental in enabling automated and continuous delivery and deployment of regular software changes, drastically increasing speed and accuracy. 
  • Eliminate downtime. With speed and agility, cloud-native applications completely eliminate downtime, saving organizations time and money. 
  • Independence. Applications can be built independently of one another, meaning they can be managed and deployed individually as well. 
  • Resiliency. In the event of an infrastructure outage or breakdown, a cloud-native application can stay online and recover faster than other applications. 
  • Standards-based. As cloud-native applications are based on standards-based technology, they are interoperable with increased portability.


Roadmap to Cloud Optimization


Cloud-native applications offer organizations with such tremendous benefits that it’s a wonder why so many companies have yet to make the transition. One reason may be the fear of cloud migration. Migrating to the cloud, while highly advantageous, can seem daunting to many organizations. Doing so can be time-consuming and expensive, and not every organization has the skills or resources to facilitate such an undertaking successfully. 

Ensuring that your cloud migration is performed carefully is critical because if not, you could accidentally lose or compromise your data. After all, one of the most significant cybersecurity threats is cloud misconfiguration, which typically occurs due to user error during migration. 

Fortunately, there is a way for organizations to ensure an efficient and successful migration. By outsourcing their cloud migration to an MSP, companies can leave migration to the experts. As a result, they not only save themselves time and money, but also reduce the risk of human error, saving them from cloud misconfigurations in the future. 

MSPs can support organizations through the journey of the cloud-native maturity model. From adapting applications to migrating data, and countless other cloud-based services, every step of the maturity model will be handled efficiently. As a result, organizations will benefit from everything that cloud-native applications have to offer, including flexibility, scalability, and more.


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Tags: Cloud Migration

Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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