“The cloud” has become a popular tech buzzword, particularly as it relates to data storage. But many companies just haven’t leveraged the cloud to its full potential. In fact, some may not even realize you can use cloud-based hosting for mobile apps.
As of 2011, a whopping 9 out of 10 brands had a consumer-facing app, and 91 percent of companies surveyed said they planned to increase app-related spending last year. This means that performance matters even more now because apps have more competition than ever before. The Apple App Store had over 2.2 million apps as of March 2017, while the Google Play Store had more than 2.8 million applications—and these app figures say nothing of the thousands of B2B, enterprise, and private apps in the world.
Cloud computing (and hosting) is widely considered one of the most useful innovations to emerge in the last decade. This versatile and highly scalable form of hosting brings many financial and logistical benefits, particularly for mobile apps. Unlike traditional, in-house hosting, which has anon-site data center where you pay for resources regardless of whether or not you really use that server space, cloud hosting is far more efficient since you only pay for the actual resources utilized. It’s clear that the “old way” of doing things is costly and simply impractical for many companies. The cloud delivers a more cost-efficient and reliable alternative.
Cloud Hosting Offers Improved Performance
Cloud-based app hosting tends to win out over traditional hosting when it comes to server up-times, speed, and connectivity—especially during peak timeframes.
What’s more, the servers that power cloud-based hosting are sprinkled across the globe, so the cloud’s speed and responsiveness far exceed the performance of a traditional server in a single location. This is key for mobile apps, as smartphone users tend to be impatient and in search of instant gratification.
The Cloud Will Reduce Expenditures on Tech Infrastructure and Opex
In-house hosting can be very expensive, as it demands a climate-controlled data center filled with pricey state-of-the-art hardware. Much of the hardware required also needs to be replaced every few years to maintain high performance levels, driving prices even higher. Of course, you’ll need staff to manage your data center, too, creating yet another major recurring expense.
Cloud hosting allows you to side-step these infrastructure-related costs and opex overhead, as you’ll no longer need an, on-site data center. You won’t have to sacrifice performance either. Vendors such as Oracle, Amazon, and IBM provide cutting-edge solutions, giving your tech team the opportunity to configure cloud-based hosting that’s practical and well-suited to your needs.
The Cloud is Highly Scalable
The cloud allows for a unique degree of scalability. The benefits of cloud hosting apply to both small, simple apps —perhaps with just a few dozen users in a focused geographical region — or for a massive, data-hungry app with hundreds of thousands of users across the globe.
Scaling on the cloud is not only cost-effective, but it’s also surprisingly simple compared to the alternative, which is expanding your data center and acquiring new equipment. Oh, and don’t forget the IT professionals and the limitations of the physical structure where those servers are housed.
Mobile Apps Demand Multi-Tenancy Capabilities
“Multi-tenancy” refers to a server’s ability to support multiple clients or users at a given time. Each smartphone, tablet, or other device is considered a client, and the central server is tasked with providing data for these users simultaneously. Just like in a restaurant, service slows to a crawl if you add too many clients to the equation.
Therefore, mobile apps require a server with extreme multi-tenancy capabilities. If your data center’s equipment and software isn’t optimized in this way, you’ll utilize more server nodes and other tech resources as your server attempts to keep pace with the demand. You would encounter an astronomically high price tag if you were to acquire hardware and software that could keep pace with modern cloud servers.
This situation carries a tremendous potential for higher-than-necessary operational costs and poor app performance, particularly as your user base grows. This is where cloud servers have an advantage, as they’re created with multi-tenancy in mind, allowing you to leverage fast, efficient technology that can meet your users’ needs without ever seeing a dip in quality or speed.
Cloud-Based Servers Are More Conducive to Regulation Compliance
One unexpected benefit of cloud hosting is regulation compliance. Each industry is governed by a unique set of regulations and standards, impacting everything from security protocols to confidentiality-related practices, record-keeping, and even your reporting practices. Failure to comply with the established regulations and compliance requirements can lead to huge fines and even a total company shut down. Fortunately, cloud computing’s very nature makes it easier to remain compliant, in an easy, cost-effective manner.
One example surrounds HIPAA patient privacy rules. There are very specific rules and regulations concerning security, confidentiality, and the ability to manage which users and devices can access patients’ medical records and personal information. A cloud-based platform allows you to control and restrict access to this sensitive data, ensuring it remains private and inaccessible to any unauthorized parties.
Cloud servers are equipped with outstanding security capabilities. When combined with a mobile app that features military-grade encryption, the result is an extremely robust and secure interface. Since cloud platforms are also far more reliable and stable, there’s minimal chance of losing the data you need to generate compliance-related reports.
When transitioning to a cloud-based hosting solution for mobile apps, you’ll see benefits like reduced capital expenditures, multi-tenancy, and improved compliance. 7T has partnered with Amazon Web Services to offer cloud hosting services to clients across the globe. We can build your app in a public or private cloud, in addition to migrating existing apps to a cloud-based hosting environment.
Based in the Texas Triangle, 7T specializes in all aspects of app development, including building new applications from the ground-up to app testing, design, analytics, and cloud hosting. If you’d like to build an app or wish to convert an existing one to cloud-based hosting, contact 7T.