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Emerging Trends to Accelerate Application Development in Azure

“By 2020, global IT spending is predicted to top $3.8 trillion. This growth is partly due to the increasing volume of ISV products and services sold for and through cloud platforms.” as per research by Alibaba.

For ISVs, the message is clear: the cloud is fast becoming an essential tool for those who wish to remain competitive. To that end, ISVs are looking to various new cloud and platform solutions to transform their application development process.

One platform ISVs are increasingly turning to is Microsoft Azure. Azure has an abundance of features that can help ISVs accelerate their development cycles, with Forrester stating that it “leads the pack with the strongest developer experience and global reach,” and that ISVs who adopt Azure experience 20% – 250% revenue growth within fourteen months after migration.

In this article, we’ll explore four key trends on how ISVs are already leveraging Azure to accelerate their application development cycles.

1-ISVs get agile with Azure DevOps

DevOps is an Agile software development method and platform that champions the integration of development and operation teams to accelerate time-to-market for new applications and application updates. With a cloud platform such as Azure DevOps, feature development, maintenance, testing, governance, and product delivery are combined into a single cohesive platform. Azure DevOps stresses automation, which reduces costs, lowers the risk of human error and security breach, and further speeds production cycles.

When DevOps is embraced and implemented across an organization, the benefits are clear. The Google-sponsored Accelerate State of DevOps 2019 survey found that organizations that have fully adopted a DevOps platform reaped the following results compared to those that had not:

  • 208 times more frequent code deployments
  • 106 times faster lead time from committing to deploy
  • 2604 times faster time to recovery from incidents
  • 7 times lower change failure rate

These results can have profound implications for an organization. In as little as a few months, time to deployment can be cut by 60%, with IT costs reduced by 50%.

2-ISVs achieve scalability and are reinvesting into innovation

With Azure, ISVs can easily create applications that run reliably and scale seamlessly from ten users to ten million without additional code. This is done through the use of Azure Storage, which enables secure, performance-efficient cloud storage.

Once the application is created, ISVs can assign the number of processors it should use. Need to scale up? No problem – changing the processors the application uses can be done with a few clicks in the settings tab. The pay-as-you-go model lets ISVs bring applications to new markets as soon as they’re ready, without having to risk paying for unnecessary infrastructure or holding off on infrastructure investment and finding themselves unable to meet demand.

Azure lets ISVs decrease application development costs typically accrued by building and expanding on-premises resources. Additionally, IT administration costs are reduced because hardware management is completely taken care of by Microsoft. And as mentioned previously, ISVs that use Azure only pay for the storage space and computer processing time they need at a given time, significantly reducing overall costs.

3-Simple, more intuitive developer experiences speed time-to-deployment

With Git and GitHub, developers are transforming how they write software. The Azure team understands this, which is why they’ve worked to make it easier to see how code integrates with a microservices infrastructure. Using Dev Spaces with GitHub Actions PR flow in Azure Kubernetes Service, review versions of pull requests are automatically deployed to a sandbox environment where testing and changes to pull request branches can be performed.

Doing this lets teams quickly and confidently ensure new changes won’t negatively impact the application, allowing them to approve pull requests quickly and with confidence.

4-Security and governance are managed by Microsoft, letting ISVs focus on development rather than maintenance

ISVs deal with businesses that often trust them with access to sensitive, critical information, bringing larger accountability on ISVs for security and governance. Additionally, the fact that ISVs store sensitive data makes them a target for cyberattacks. Therefore, ISVs need to ensure that their cloud provider enables best-in-class security.

Security in the cloud is not always easy: cloud-native models and Kubernetes can be tough to govern and secure – especially when you account for container images and new classes of library and operating system vulnerabilities.

Thankfully, Azure Security Center can be used to detect vulnerabilities in container images that are stored in Azure Container Registry. It scans container registries to provide recommendations for addressing specific issues.

Azure Security Center can also discover AKS clusters in your cloud deployment, provide the next steps for complying with security best practices, as well as threat detection based on cluster and host analytics.

Microsoft also offers a robust identity and access management tools. These include multi-factor authentication, role-based access control, and integrated identity management that enables security over cross-platform single sign-on systems. Specifically, Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) can be used to protect the entire Microsoft ecosystem, from Office 365 to Azure AD, and leverages encryption, identity, and authorization policies to keep data safe.

With decades of experience and billions of dollars funneled into security innovation, companies like Microsoft can provide a security level that is impossible for most businesses to match.

Hanu specializes in helping ISVs to realize their cloud needs, help generate demand, and accelerate their time to market through Microsoft’s platforms, services, and programs.

Have more questions about accelerating your application development in the cloud? Contact the experts at Hanu today – we’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding your specific development requirements.