A cloud-native infrastructure is the practice of building and running applications that leverage the benefits of cloud computing, like flexibility, scale, resilience, and elasticity.


Table of contents:

As organizations are pressured to deliver more innovative digital products faster to keep up with customers and business demands, they are turning to cloud-native to accelerate their digital transformation efforts, fuel innovation, and, therefore, differentiate themselves and stay competitive.

But adopting a cloud-native infrastructure is a challenging process for most organizations.

In this article, I’ll look at some of those most pressing challenges and how companies can surpass them to successfully become a high-performing organization.

Why is it so difficult to implement a cloud-native infrastructure?

Here are three factors that make implementing a cloud-native infrastructure so difficult:

1. Myriad non-functional requirements

Non-functional requirements. 

Take a minute to think about the following questions:

  • How fast does your application return results?
  • How often does your application experience failures?
  • How much time does it take to fix an issue in your application?
  • How well are your application and its data protected against attacks?
  • How easy is it for a customer to use your application?

If you can’t provide a sufficient answer to any one of these questions, your systems may fail to satisfy business, user, or market needs.

Regulatory or standards agencies could also impose mandatory fulfillment of these requirements. For instance, you should ensure that customer data used within your applications are protected to avoid General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy-related violations.

For that, it’s crucial to implement non-functional requirements that ensure data security.

Moreover, users expect responsive and performant apps, regardless of where the underlying data comes from. They don't want to compromise on their applications’ usability; they want to access their applications anytime, from anywhere.

Consumer applications must be scalable enough to support thousands to millions of simultaneous visits while maintaining optimal performance.

All these complex scenarios inevitably push organizations to puzzle over the implementation of non-functional requirements. It quickly becomes massively complex.

2. Unwieldy tool proliferation

Tool proliferation. 

Meanwhile, there are numerous tools and systems required for in-house cloud-native app development that pile on the costs and complexity. Complexity can also come from the vast amount of cloud services that the organization needs to master – an issue made even more complex in a multi-cloud environment.

As a result of this tool proliferation, developers are now managing 100 times more code than they did back in 2010. This makes it a struggle for businesses to invest in new products and innovation.

Why? They still have to keep the lights on and maintain huge application and system portfolios — as well as legacy applications.

3. Talent costs and shortages

Cloud-native challenges. 

Implementing a cloud-native architecture naturally demands new IT roles for which the company needs to hire, onboard, and retain. This may seem simple enough, but the reality is far more complicated.

To successfully adopt cloud-native application development, your new talent group needs to build the infrastructure. This might require investments in training and re-skilling on the new tools, systems, and application development.

Setting up and adopting cloud-native application development in this way could add up to as high as $5.3 million in the first year, according to a recent study on the total cost of ownership of a cloud-native approach.


Outside of the hiring costs, there is a global tech talent shortage. So, simply finding and retaining the right talent is one of the top challenges for most organizations, regardless of their cloud-native ambitions.

So, how can organizations surpass these challenges?

With all this complexity coming from non-functional requirements, tool proliferation, and a talent shortage, how can companies adopt cloud-native application development?

Industry leaders take two approaches:

  • They hire top talent who can handle the complexity of building a cloud-native infrastructure. These organizations can absorb the costs and growing pains that come with it. They are also able to take on the costs of complexity that surface when they need to implement non-functional requirements.
  • They are also able to overcome the price tag of tool proliferation. This includes the required talent, licensing, and operational costs that come with it.

This is how industry leaders like Netflix, Uber, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are able to do it.

But what if you don’t have the budget to buy their way out of complexity? How can you implement a cloud-native infrastructure without going bankrupt?

Well, for those companies, they should look into technology that allows them to skip the exorbitant costs of implementing a cloud-native infrastructure and allow them to start developing cloud-native apps right away.

Skipping the cloud-native infrastructure costs with OutSystems

With OutSystems low-code platform, you can deploy your applications on-premises, on public, private or hybrid cloud, or as cloud-native.

For the latter, OutSystems offers the OutSystems Developer Cloud (aka ODC) that allows you to start building your apps without worrying about the non-functional requirements since the platform takes care of that for you.

Implementing a cloud-native infrastructure with ODC. 

Using modern continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices, ODC provides a unified developer experience that enables IT to build mission-critical web and mobile apps — no matter the use case or complexity of requirements.

ODC is an always-on and always up-to-date platform with all the non-functional requirements already met – massive scalability, responsiveness, end-to-end security, high availability, and reliability.

Organizations that don’t have unlimited IT resources for their cloud-native initiatives are reaping the benefits: a cloud-native application development that abstracts all the complexity, ramps up the productivity of the existing developer team, and enables IT to build serious mission-critical applications at a fraction of the cost.

Take a look at the video below to learn how ODC works.

All of the availability of cloud-native — none of the hassle

You can learn more about the OutSystems Developer Cloud in our platform page, and by checking the following related resources:

For more information about OutSystems, book a free demo with one of our experts.