Succeeding in the cloud-native application economy - Image by Peter from Pixabay OutSystems head of portfolio marketing Prakash Vyas explains how high-performance application platform technologies have now enabled a new efficiency zone for the cloud-native application to operate and flourish.

Progression to the cloud has been an undeniably gradual process for many firms. That progression – and let’s call it by its proper name, “migration” – has been a process of prototyping, testing and, in some cases, experimentation that has spanned many of the post-millennial years that we have all now lived through.

Many of the early stage elements of cloud have completely evolved from their early beginnings. We can now reap the benefits and exploit the new opportunities that the service-based model of cloud can give us.

This is the cloud-native application economy. So how does the central technology proposition in this new arena work? What should firms do to get the most out of how they compute today?

Cloud 1.0 was an IT play

We must remember that cloud has been around with us for quite a while now. However, this was and still is a cloud-as-a-platform that can deliver the increasingly high-performance related needs of the IT department. At the same level, the IT function wants to depend upon the cloud for flexibility, scalability, and security. It also offers the chance to gain a global reach from the massively connected datacentre systems that form the planet’s cloud backbone.

The more modern notion of cloud – or more specifically cloud-native – is really about unlocking the cloud’s true value at the application level.

Cloud-native applications, by their very nature, are composable.  By that we mean that they can be formed from a selection of best-of-breed components. They should bring together an interwoven fabric of combined services and functions in the most efficient mix at the most relevant time and at the most pertinent point of delivery, depending upon an application’s intended use case.

The modular and changeable nature of cloud-native applications means they can be rapidly changed at high velocity and at massive scale when needed. To illustrate this, think about the disruptive effects of the pandemic many businesses – from local taxi firms to large-scale drinks manufacturers – added to their core offering to provide food delivery services or canister production services.

Cloud-native application backbones were, in many cases, core to these businesses having the ability to exhibit true flexibility in order to innovate in times of need; whether that need was born out of crisis, or business opportunity.

Cloud for the customers

If cloud era 1.0 was there for the IT function, then cloud 2.0 started a move towards the hybrid-multi-cloud mix that we now accept as normal today. This all paved the way to cloud 3.0 (there could be more stages by differently graded definitions, but you get the point), which is all about experience, users and customer service.

At one level, the cloud now works to provide application services for customers. But equally and at the same time, employees have now rightly come to expect the same level of cloud-native application economy services themselves in the workplace. It’s a natural extension and it’s a reality that forward-looking organisations should be aware of from the start.

Front, middle, back-office cloud

When we look at experience, we need to think about front office (customers), middle office (the organisation itself) and back office (the IT function). They all need to work in concert to provide the same level of consistency throughout. Services emanating from the cloud-native application economy need to scale to the market’s demands without users (inside or outside the organisation) noticing any degradation of performance at any level.

Directly stemming from these cloud-native fundamentals is personalisation power and the ability to now deliver granular adjustments for each user in an agile and adaptable way. Being able to capture the exact segment of the customer market that an organisation wants to target, was simply not possible at the granular level that it is today before the personalisation control offered by the cloud.

IT from cost to profit centre

Looking forward, a new level of business ambition is emerging. Previously, IT was always relegated to being a cost centre and was often regarded as a loss on the balance sheet.

Today we work at a time when we see software and the business define each other. Software defines the business and business defines the enterprise software stack that we build, deploy, operate, manage and maintain. IT has evolved to the point of being a profit centre, or at least it can be if organisations embrace the power they can wield inside the new cloud-native application economy.

The cloud-native foundation for responding to an ever-changing world

With all these thoughts on board, we can now create new go-to-market strategies that innovate in critically new ways. We can think about the agility and adaptability that some companies were able to champion and exhibit through the pandemic. We should hold onto that energy and now create a more flexible future form of trade inside the cloud-native application economy without compromise. But perhaps most importantly, we should act on the opportunity business has to embrace cloud-native applications in order for them to transform and pivot better. That is difficult with traditional IT, but high-performance low code offers a true alternative in making this a reality – and at the pace that business requires.

OutSystemsOutSystems was founded in 2001 with the mission to give every organisation the power to innovate through software. The OutSystems low-code application platform’s high productivity, connected, and AI-assisted tools help developers rapidly build and deploy a full range of applications anywhere the organisation requires. With over 584,000 community members, approximately 1,600 employees, more than 400 partners, and active customers in 87 countries and across 22 industries, OutSystems is recognised globally for helping organisations change the way they develop applications. Visit us at or follow us on Twitter @OutSystems or LinkedIn at


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