Organisations are in the midst of an application explosion. Irrespective of sector or audience, they are being defined by how fast they can deliver modernised apps and services that differentiate their business and enhance the user experience. As such, it is predicted that the number of applications created by 2023 will be greater than the amount built in the previous four decades.
To handle all of this, here’s a closer look at the six ways enterprises should build, run, manage and intrinsically protect apps.
- Completely secure – no matter where an application is deployed, whether public, private or on-premises, it has to be secure and protected, intrinsically. In a world where applications and data exist as much outside the corporate network as they do within it, that means a new approach to security, one where it is intrinsically built-in and not bolted on. Modern-day security requires an investment shift away from trying to prevent breaches at all costs and towards building intrinsic security into everything – the application, the network, essentially everything that connects and carries data. This is only possible through software. Where actually the focus isn’t on applications – it’s on the policies that govern them. With every part of the application, network and data adhering to the policy, all it takes is one change to ensure everything is compliant and updated – a vast improvement on having to adjust every single application within the estate.
- Consistent management of applications, regardless of where they’re deployed. To remove the need for specific skills, IT needs to be able to manage applications across different types of cloud, from data centre to public, to the edge. This needs to be agile, efficient and automated to ensure that IT teams can run applications and their environments in a consistent manner. Having this ability means having the visibility, operations, automation, security and governance to manage and operate their systems and apps, even across multiple cloud environments. It is only in doing so that enterprises can start migrating applications as required to meet business objectives, rather than as capabilities dictate.
- Ensure applications are portable from cloud to cloud without refactoring. There are multiple ways to move applications across developer platforms, without costly refactoring – from re-platforming to adopting a multi-tier approach, which sees the application split (for instance, with a front-end in a public cloud, and the data kept on-premises), to building cloud-native applications from scratch, or deploying a software-as-a-service version. The key to all of these, however, is having consistency across operations and infrastructure.
- One set of tools, for one set of environments – dovetailing with consistent management, having one set of tools, on a common platform, to build and manage the entire application portfolio across all environments removes the need for vendor or cloud-specific teams, reduces complexity – and provides the necessary visibility required across multiple environments.
- Promoting collaboration between developers and operations – Developers need access to the tools and environments that are going to help them do their jobs. Operations teams are looking for a straightforward way to manage – continual changes are the stuff of operations nightmares. The risk is that if operations and developers cannot collaborate, then the latter will acquire their resources outside of the enterprise IT structure, leading to potential security risks. This has always been an issue; however, with applications so critical to business success, getting developers and operations on the same page is now an absolute imperative. Enterprises need to give developers what they need, while still ensuring that operations can manage it all effectively within the confines of corporate governance and regulation.
- Empower developers to build and deploy applications to any public cloud – the days of taking six months to build and test an application are gone. Users want experiences rapidly, and the delivery of the applications and services providing those interactions needs to match that pace. To deliver that, developers need a common platform that means they can build applications anywhere and then deploy them in any environments, with the only consideration being how it meets the end objective. Containers are the future of app development as they both improve IT and developer efficiency, and speed development and deployment to meet business needs.
By Mark Reynolds, Commercial Business Executive at VMware
Follow IT News Africa on Twitter