May 2, 2024 Written by Tamar Barlev

Piercing the Skies: An Actual Explainer for Cloud-Based Custom Software Development

Ah, the cloud. Where is it? Or better yet, what is it? Cloud-based applications are literally everywhere, but also, literally so few people who use them actually know what that means. So, today, we’ll be piercing the skies (read: veil) of cloud-based custom software development. Let’s get started.

The Basics of Cloud-based Custom Software Development:

At its core, cloud-based custom software development refers to the creation of tailor-made software solutions hosted on cloud infrastructure. Unlike off-the-shelf software, custom solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of a business, giving unmatched flexibility and scalability. Think of it as having a software solution that evolves with your business, rather than trying to fit your business into a pre-built solution.

By leveraging the cloud, businesses can scale their operations seamlessly, reduce costs, and access their applications from anywhere with an internet connection. Take, for example, a retail giant that needs a custom inventory management system. With cloud-based custom software development, they can have a solution that not only tracks inventory in real-time but also integrates seamlessly with their existing systems and grows alongside their business.

Okay, but what is “The Cloud”?

“The Cloud” is using remote servers on the internet to store, manage, and process data—this method, as opposed to using a local server or a personal computer. Cloud computing has a bunch of pros, including scalability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility. So much so, in fact, that it’s oftentimes preferred over other ways of storing data (literally—cloud deployments have over a 55% share revenue in the custom software market.)

The Components of Cloud-based Custom Software 

When people talk about “the cloud,” they’re typically referring to a combination of several different components, including:

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): the servers, storage, and networking equipment that make up the physical infrastructure of the cloud. Examples of IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): platforms with which developers create, run, and manage apps without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. Examples of PaaS providers include Heroku, Google App Engine, and Microsoft Azure.

3. Software as a Service (SaaS): allows users to access software apps over the internet (as opposed to installing and running them locally on their own computer.) Examples of SaaS applications include Gmail, Dropbox, and Salesforce.

All of these components work together to provide a seamless, scalable, and flexible computing environment, accessible from anywhere with internet. The cloud is designed to be highly reliable and secure, with built-in redundancy and backup systems to ensure that data is always available and protected.

The Development Process

Now, let’s dive into the development process. It typically starts with thorough planning, where stakeholders define project requirements and goals. Then comes the design phase, where user interfaces are crafted, and the overall architecture is mapped out. Development follows, where skilled engineers bring the design to life, and then, (hopefully) rigorous testing to ensure quality and reliability. Finally, the solution is deployed to the cloud, ready to be accessed by users.

Collaboration is key throughout the process. Close communication between stakeholders, designers, developers, and cloud service providers ensures that the final product meets expectations. Agile methodologies further enhance the process, with iterative development cycles allowing for quick feedback and course corrections.

The Steps of Cloud-based Custom Software Development:

1. Requirements gathering: to kick things off, the stakeholders define the project requirements and goals and distill them into a product strategy. They identify the purpose of the software, its target audience (demographics, psychographics, etc.), and, by combining those two, the features it should have. This phase also includes identifying any constraints or limitations that may impact the project.

2. Design: In this phase, the software’s architecture is mapped out, and the user interface is designed. The design team creates wireframes, prototypes, and mockups to visualize the software’s look and feel. The software’s functionality is also defined in this phase.

3. Development: This is the phase where the software is actually built. The developers write the code using programming languages, frameworks, and libraries to create the software’s functionality. They also integrate the software with any necessary third-party tools or software.

4. Testing: In this phase, the product repeatedly tested to ensure that it meets the functionality and UX requirements and is free of bugs and errors. Testing includes functional testing, performance testing, security testing, and usability testing. The testing phase may include automated testing, manual testing, or a combination of both.

5. Deployment: Once the software has gone through testing and received approval, it is deployed to the cloud. The software is hosted on cloud infrastructure and made available to users over the internet. The deployment phase may also involve configuring and setting up any necessary servers, databases, or other infrastructure.

6. Maintenance: After deployment, the software is maintained to ensure its continued smooth operation. Maintenance includes bug fixes, updates, and enhancements to keep the software up-to-date and relevant to the users’ needs. The maintenance phase may also involve monitoring the software’s performance and making any necessary adjustments.

The Key Considerations

While the benefits of cloud-based custom software development are clear, success hinges on careful consideration of key factors. Security is paramount, with data privacy and compliance regulations requiring meticulous attention. Scalability is another crucial aspect, as solutions must be designed to accommodate future growth without sacrificing future performance. Additionally, integration with existing systems and third-party services can present challenges that must be overcome for seamless operation.

Looking ahead, the future of cloud-based custom software development is bright. Predictive analytics and AI will play an increasingly prominent role, allowing businesses to leverage data insights for informed decision-making and enhanced user experiences. Edge computing will push processing power closer to the source, enabling faster, more efficient operations. And serverless architecture will continue to gain traction, offering a pay-per-use model that maximizes efficiency and cost savings.

To Sum Up Cloud-based Custom Software Development

As we wrap up our exploration of cloud-based custom software development, one thing is clear: the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re a business owner seeking innovative solutions or a developer shaping the digital landscape, embracing this transformative approach can unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation.

Have some questions about cloud-based custom software development and want some answers? Reach out to us—we’re your friendly neighborhood product, software, and app development team 🙂