Cloud Application Development Guide

The cloud is changing the way applications are developed. And it is giving organizations the agility they need to be competitive. But what does this mean, exactly?

In this guide, you’ll find answers to that question and all the others you have about cloud computing. You’ll also get all the details on cloud-native. Plus, you’ll learn how you can successfully embrace the cloud and cloud-native development as part of your digital transformation.

Cloud-Native Development and Low-Code

“Cloud-native leaders see low-code platforms as winning partners in their cloud-native journeys, with 60% saying low-code platforms are “very good” or “excellent” tools for cloud-native implementation.”

Cloud-Native Development: Ready or Not? 

Cloud-Native Development Challenges

In a rapidly changing digital world, cloud empowers organizations to be enablers and more agile. But developing for the cloud requires IT organizations to adjust their development processes. Here are a few challenges they need to consider:

  • High cost: It can take many months and millions of dollars to implement a cloud-native infrastructure, and that only gets a customer to the starting point of building an app.
  • Skills shortage: To successfully embrace a cloud-native approach, organizations need a variety of skills, from cloud and database architects to security architects with experience in the cloud universe. But these skills are not only scarce but almost impossible to recruit as they’re usually absorbed by elite software companies, like Apple or Amazon.
  • Web services growth: The number of web services is growing at a rapid pace. Azure, for example, has over 290k platform combinations, making it harder for software developers to know which ones to choose, or even where to start.
  • Larger enterprise portfolios: With the availability of cloud services and the speed they allow developers to deliver applications, the enterprise's app portfolio is a spider web of complexity for developers to manage. Just to have an idea, organizations today have an average of 250 applications in their portfolios!

Overcoming Cloud Development Challenges with a Low-Code Cloud Platform

“By 2023, 60% of net-new applications will be developed with no-code/low-code platforms, up from 30% from today.”

— IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2022 Predictions

Low-Code Platforms Explained

Low-code platforms enable the visual development of applications through modeling and a graphical interface. It empowers developers to deliver applications much faster by abstracting the complexity that comes with hand-coding. This doesn’t mean the complexity disappears, it just becomes much more approachable allowing developers to be more efficient.

How Does Low-Code Support a Cloud-Native Program?

Cloud-native is a paradigm shift where organizations need to readjust their architecture patterns but also dev teams' way of working to be able to deliver faster and continuously. But one of the biggest bottlenecks to moving quickly is hand-coding. By reducing hand-coding organizations are able to speed up their dev and delivery processes, and that’s why low-code plays such an important part of the cloud-native story.

It reduces hand-coding while improving collaboration across different parts of the organization, bringing developers, designers, and business stakeholders on the same page.


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But one of the biggest bottlenecks to moving quickly is hand-coding. By reducing hand-coding organizations are able to speed up their dev and delivery processes, and that’s why low-code plays such an important part of the cloud-native story.

Given the complex interrelationships among microservices in the typical cloud-native app, a low-code approach can facilitate any required changes while maintaining the appropriate coordination across the entire application.

In fact, according to IDC, the higher the cloud maturity level, the higher the number of net-new apps done in low-code.


The reason for that has to do with the fact that leading low-code development outperforms traditional development in many of the critical capabilities required in modern software engineering and especially in the overarching goals of software delivery performance metrics.

Cloud-Native Low-Code Dev vs. Traditional Development For Cloud-Native Apps

Software Dev Areas Cloud Dev Maturity
Traditional Dev Cloud-Native Low-code Dev

Dev Automation (CI/CD)


Need to orchestrate separate tools and coding handovers among them.


SDLC workflow; automation is built-in to the platform - 1 click deploy.

User Experience (DesignOps)


Designers and front-end engineers use separate tools and dev cycles, delaying a critical creation phase.
Total freedom to adapt interface.


Both designers and front-end engineers collaborate in real time, reusing assets and tools; WYSIWYG changes.

Development Productivity


Slow due to heavy lifting; developers need to waste much of their time in low-value coding like UI, extra security hardening or test automation.


High-performance software delivery with leading platforms due to abstraction, automation, repos, and AI inside the platform.

Process automation


Typically handled in some BPM tools, but lacking pixel-perfect UX or deep data sources integration.


Provide built-in BPM features inside the platform and changes with consistency to UX and integration.

Catalogs of APIs and web services


Growing number of web services at a rapid pace. Plus, vendor APIs vary significantly, which means there are many considerations for the developers tasked with using them.


APIs are encapsulated in a function that can be reused in any app with security and governance best-practices built-in, meaning you don’t have to reinvent it across teams.



Risk of human error is high; the person building the app - being it the developer or business user, is responsible for ensuring the app follows security best practices.


Security is embedded in the app generation process; for OutSystems, source code may be scanned unlike interpreted/Saas+ platforms.

Talent Pool Size


Many developers but few available to organizations with the skills they need, representing < 1% of a typical company.


Expanding globally as it is easier to learn and companies are able to convert non-engineers into digital creators.
Talent pool may be 30% of the organization.



Very high as cost of changes in the long run is prohibitive.


Change is cheap with automation, modular reusability, app templates, and AI.

Why OutSystems Low-Code Platform for Your Cloud Development Journey?

OutSystems is a low-code platform designed to empower pro-developers to build any kind of application in a much more efficient and productive way.

With OutSystems, developers can take advantage of over 50 million application patterns, and AI algorithms that accelerate the most repetitive and boring tasks of development, so that dev teams can focus on delivering innovation.

Here’s OutSystems offer to support your cloud program.


Developer Productivity: An OutSystems Obsession

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OutSystems 11

OutSystems 11 is our flagship product that was designed to help organizations deliver any kind of application, from customer and employee-facing solutions, to process automation and extending legacy applications.


With OutSystems 11, companies can build strategic applications efficiently that run both on-premises as well as in multiple public clouds.

OutSystems 11 includes everything organizations need to build modern, future-proof applications:

  • Embedded CI/CD tool that allow you to manage every stage of the app lifecycle, from deployment to monitoring;
  • Integrated platforms services for things like security, reliability, scalability, and dependency checks. So when you change one component, our AI capabilities make sure that those changes don’t break anything in your portfolio;
  • Integration layer where you can integrate your apps with any third-party database, a system of record, or even SaaS.

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OutSystems Developer Cloud

OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC) is a new high-performance low-code platform from OutSystems.

It combines state-of-the-art, cloud-native architecture and the next generation of visual, model-driven professional development tools with elite-level CI/CD practices. ODC can turn you and your team into a world-class, cloud-native innovation factory.

ODC dramatically reduces the complexity of building cloud-native applications with containers, Kubernetes clusters, serverless functions, and a variety of other modern technologies.


Instead of spending months and hundreds of thousands of dollars architecting and configuring your cloud runtime and integrating the dozens of necessary cloud services, ODC pre-packages all this work and integrates it all into the platform so developers can focus on implementing the application logic.

So, you skip not only the technical challenges of setting up your cloud infrastructure but also the human and financial challenges of finding a myriad of cloud experts, as the heavy-lifting of setting up your cloud platform is entirely done by OutSystems.

This way, any organization, no matter its size, has the power to innovate through software and perform as any Silicon Valley giant.


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