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News | 18 Oct 2022
How clouds diminish time-to-market for IT products
Przemysław Pala
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A pattern says you will gather more profits in your business if you release your planned mobile app for the audience on time. Some research state that those who postpone launching their apps, no matter the actual reasons, don’t achieve their goals as a result. 

 

time to market

 

TTM (Time-to-market) affects the business negatively. It’s the time needed from the concept phase to implement the product to the market officially. Another definition claims it’s the time from the beginning of the work till the first selling of a product. Anyway, you need to succeed. 

This article will consider cloud technologies as a solution to reduce time to market in releasing IT products. We will use some actual companies as examples to make it more reliable. Let’s go!

 

The automated development of IT products with cloud service

 

DevOps is a word you will need in your professional vocabulary to automate your workflows. 

 

“The combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools increases an organization's ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.” 

Amazon

 

We could call them a single multifunctional formation working together on the product. It’s a chain of cooperation between developers, programmers, and testers who pass the code within the project. It is vital for reacting to unwanted blockades or chokepoints during work. 

How clouds diminish time-to-market for IT products04

What’s important is that a high number of companies with experienced DevOps are using a cloud-native approach for development. Such an option is prevalent and desired nowadays. It happens thanks to pre-configured development tools, be it: continuous integration, delivery solutions, or testing environments. What advantage does it give precisely? Well, the development team doesn’t have to build all the processes from scratch. All they need to settle is customizing the tools for particular requirements. 

 

As we wrote above, many IT companies use cloud tools for development processes. Here are some promised and real examples from this business area:

  1. Cometrica creates innovative IT products for businesses and government agencies, providing development, implementation, and support. On some projects, the company is fully responsible for the development and operation of the solution. On others, it transfers the finished application to the client. Customers have different infrastructure and security requirements, but everyone wants development to be fast and predictable. Cometrica uses a DevOps approach and cloud solutions to standardize processes and minimize routine operations. Standard pipelines appeared for many processes, which allowed to speed up Time-to-Market by seven times.

  2. X5 Retail Group decided to accelerate the release of IT products. It was necessary to allocate IT capacity to development teams. The company deployed a private cloud with experts from Mail.ru Cloud Solutions. Thanks to this, internal teams gained access to PaaS services. All this helped speed up Time-to-Market.

  3. Good (HR-tech) is a platform with a set of tools for businesses with a high proportion of mass personnel. Using solutions from Good, companies form work schedules, implement motivation programs, and check whether all employees have gone to work. Good initially built an infrastructure for development in the cloud and tried to make the most of ready-made platform services (PaaS). They help accelerate the release of products. Thanks to cloud tools, the company expects to rebuild the application's architecture and reduce the time for rolling out updates from 1-2 weeks to a couple of days.

  4. Lorus is a logistics service provider with its own development department. The company develops solutions for automating logistics operations to process cargo faster and minimize human errors. Lorus uses a microservice approach when the application is divided into many small parts and packed into containers. Thanks to this, different application parts can be separately refined and rolled out into production. Now the company is switching to Kubernetes as a Service. It’s a cloud solution for container management, which will help to test and update IT products faster.

 

Clouds taking the IT sky over

You can quickly launch a startup or pilot project in the clouds at no extra cost. If you are launching a project on your own infrastructure, then you order equipment and wait for deliveries, and the start of the project is postponed. On the contrary, by using cloud solutions, you can start developing immediately. You do not need to wait for suppliers then.

For this reason, clouds are becoming more popular. So, in 2021, the cost of public clouds increased by 47% and bypassed the classical infrastructure for the first time.

 

There are also platform services (PaaS) in the cloud with ready tools: databases, container orchestration systems (Kubernetes as a Service), and machine learning environments. The advantages of the platform approach are that the company's specialists save time. For example, they don't need to build a database from scratch. They take a ready-made one and customize it for themselves. There is also no need to take care of the application containerization platform: its work is provided by the provider, and the developers and administrators of the company are engaged only in their application.

Cloud solutions were used at the launch of "Look Mail.ru " - service Mail.ru Group, working on the principle of a personal TV channel. To launch the service, a repository was needed to place content archives in it and process it: download and edit with transcoding for subsequent video download. In "Look Mail.ru " cloud object S3 storage is used for this. Video files are uploaded to it from HDD or FTP, then the transcoding process is started in a unique system — the video is cut in several formats. In parallel, images are sliced: the images needed for the site are selected and stored in the same storage. The use of cloud solutions allowed us to launch "Look Mail.ru "in a short time.

 

Clouds for the digital services 

To run a project on your own infrastructure, you need to connect and configure equipment and then constantly maintain and administer the infrastructure. All this requires hiring additional specialists. For example, system administrators are needed to connect, configure and maintain equipment. And their number grows as your infrastructure increases.

In the cloud, a significant part of administration and infrastructure management work can be shifted to a cloud provider and done with a minimum of full-time employees.

 

To do this, there is a service for full administration outsourcing. The provider's employees monitor the operation of the infrastructure, monitor security, and set up backups. Many companies delegate the management and administration of infrastructure to providers.

"Russia is a Land of Opportunities" is a non—profit organization that supports social and educational initiatives. Now the NGO has several sites for different projects and competitions that need to be maintained. The management of the NGO wanted to ensure the stable operation of the sites with minimal investment. Therefore, the management and administration of the infrastructure was delegated to a cloud provider. Everything works like this: when a website is needed for a new social project, NGOs determine resources, workload, and budget. Then the provider and its partners implement the project, and the NGO accepts the work. After the project is created, the provider's experts fully manage it, providing technical support and promptly eliminating errors.

At Burger King, app downloads increase dramatically on Black Friday, when customers can expect considerable discounts. Previously, the company's IT infrastructure could hardly withstand the load and sometimes malfunctioned on such days. For stable operation, it was necessary to transfer power to the cloud. Still, the Burger King team did not have the required experience — previously, the company worked only on its own hardware. To avoid diving from scratch into a new sphere, the restaurant decided to attract a partner — a cloud provider. He was given the infrastructure's administration and ensured the application's stability. As a result, the loading time of the menu in the application has been reduced by four times, orders from customers are accepted twice as fast, and the application works flawlessly under increased loads.

 

Clouds as a necessary capacity when the project grows

At the start of a new project, it is unclear how many people will want to use your application. Perhaps it will quickly become successful, and the load will increase dramatically. 

 

For example, Instagram became popular immediately after its launch in 2010: by the end of the first day, 25,000 people used the app, and by the end of the first week — 100,000. At the same time, the application was launched on only one server, and the team had to rent server space urgently.

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On a traditional infrastructure, instant growth is impossible — you must wait for equipment deliveries, connect and configure it. There are no such problems in the cloud: it grows with the project.

 

You can connect an additional virtual machine, add another database, or expand the storage capacity at any time.

For projects with unpredictable loads in the cloud, you can use the autoscaling function in Kubernetes aaS. The service constantly monitors the load on the application and, if necessary, allocates additional capacity for it. And then, it turns off the extra resources so that the company does not overpay for what it does not use. For example, on the day of the sale, a lot of customers come into the application, and the load increases. The cloud allocates additional capacity to the project. By the evening, the sale ends — additional resources are turned off. At the same time, you pay only for the capacity actually used and do not incur unnecessary costs. The solution is beneficial for companies whose demand changes seasonally or depends on sales. 

 

Are clouds the new light?

Many companies regularly miss the chance to overpass the rivalry in the market for various reasons. Innovative solutions like clouds could be the answer. Procrastinating, in that case, may have disastrous effects on your business. No one wants such a scenario to happen, right?

Cloud development can be a game changer for your projects and products. Time reduction is what everybody is looking for, so it’s no longer a “maybe.” Read also our article about entering the world of big data to widen your knowledge on cloud sphere. 

 

 

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