Unpacking the state of cloud-native applications

Unpacking the state of cloud-native applications

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The evolution of cloud-native applications has become a topic of great significance to enterprises.

The transition toward these applications, their deployment strategies and the choices organizations make regarding modernization are key factors shaping the digital landscape in a recent discussion I had with Paul Nashawaty, principal analyst from Enterprise Strategy Group, a TechTarget company. Paul and I have been around the cloud as practitioners and analysts for many years.

Here we start to explore the current state of cloud-native applications. This article delves into our conversation, outlining the trends, challenges and opportunities that cloud-native applications present to modern businesses.

The state of cloud-native applications

The significance of cloud-native applications can not be overstated. But equally daunting are their deployment, operation and supportability strategies. We will highlight the relevance of modernization in the context of digital transformation, noting the exciting nature of this technological evolution.

The microservices approach and application modernization

Microservices are a fundamental component of cloud-native applications. Paul’s research at ESG reveals that 64% of organizations intend to develop and deploy cloud-native applications based on microservices architecture. Paul also emphasizes the narrative of the past, present and future of application modernization, depicting the shift from traditional applications to today’s containerization, microservices and orchestration.

The research also indicates that while a significant portion of organizations is embracing microservices, a notable percentage still employs multitier or traditional cloud-native approaches because of legacy or siloed applications.

Multicloud strategy and portability

The complexity of multicloud strategies acknowledges that organizations increasingly diversify their cloud providers. Organizations are not merely confined to using a single cloud provider but are venturing into multicloud landscapes to avoid vendor lock-in. This also brings up the notion of repatriation — moving applications from the cloud back to on-premises infrastructure.

According to Nashawaty, although a significant portion of organizations currently deploys cloud-native applications in public clouds, there is a projected increase in the number of applications hosted on-premises in the next two years. This shift suggests that businesses are assessing the optimal environment for their applications based on various factors, including compliance, regulations, latency and performance.

Open source and supportability

What will the role of open source in the cloud native ecosystem be? We both agree on the prevalence of open-source technologies and their role in shaping the landscape. Organizations opt for open source for reasons such as community support, well-rounded testing and cost efficiency.

Nashawaty points out the diversity in approaches to open source support. Organizations rely on their internal teams, opt for paid enterprise-level support, leverage a mix of paid and nonpaid community support, or adopt a pay-as-you-go model. He emphasizes that while the approach may vary, businesses are ultimately investing in support in one form or another to ensure the stability and performance of their cloud-native applications.


This discussion illuminates the complex and rapidly evolving landscape of cloud-native applications. As businesses navigate the challenges of modernization, deployment strategies and multicloud environments, they are making crucial decisions that impact their technological trajectory. For more insights, check out the full video Analyst ANGLE below.

We look to continue to shed light on the intricate considerations and trends that define the state of cloud-native applications. As organizations move forward, understanding these dynamics will be essential for driving successful digital transformation initiatives and harnessing the full potential of cloud-native technologies.

Here’s the video of our full conversation:

Image: geralt/Pixabay; charts: Enterprise Strategy Group’s Research Report: Distributed Cloud Series: The Mainstreaming of Cloud-native Apps and Methodologies Jul 21, 2023

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