Why a Cloud-Native and Cloud-Agnostic Platform is Key to Your Cloud Strategy

Most organizations have cloud computing adoption on their technology roadmap. This is not surprising due to the multitude of benefits on offer – from scalability, cost-efficiency, and availability, to innovation, business agility, and speed-to-market.

Those benefits attract startups and challengers to adopt a cloud infrastructure right from the beginning. Businesses such as Slack, Stripe, Airbnb, and Revolut have all grown and innovated quickly and seamlessly by embracing the security, agility, and elasticity of the cloud.

A fresh, greenfield technology landscape makes your cloud choice more straightforward because there are fewer considerations to take into account. For companies with a brownfield landscape of on-premises infrastructure and disparate legacy systems, your cloud strategy has a lot more implications. You need:

  • The ability to keep up with technology changes
  • To address and mitigate security risks
  • To embrace technology changes so as to avoid an increase in technical debt

Balancing regulations with your cloud strategy

Leveraging the advantages of cloud computing becomes even more daunting if your organization is in a heavily regulated sector such as pharmaceuticals, financial services, insurance, defense, or utilities.

Complying with regulations regarding data protection and privacy can mean that data must be encrypted in transit and at rest; regular security audits must be carried out; and user data must be easily accessed, corrected, or deleted upon request. Data residency and sovereignty regulations may require data to be stored within specific geographic boundaries.

The impact of such regulations on the technology landscape is that many organizations need to have a hybrid- or multi-cloud strategy in place to be able to leverage cloud computing.

Particular development platforms may be ruled out due to being cloud-only where an on-premises or hybrid solution is required to meet regulations, or it is only available on a specific cloud that is not being used by the organization.

Mendix empowers cloud choice, control, and flexibility

Software developed with Mendix is cloud-native and portable by default. In other words, developers have the freedom and flexibility to deploy and scale anywhere:

With this flexibility, Mendix apps benefit from auto-provisioning, auto-healing, low infrastructure overhead, CI/CD support, and cloud interoperability.

This is a key differentiating factor compared to other leading low-code platforms: Mendix apps are not bound to any particular infrastructure.

Let’s take a deeper look at three areas where those architecture principles can positively impact your cloud strategy.

Same skillset no matter where it’s deployed

The first area where architecture principles affect your cloud strategy is often overlooked. That is the skillset of your development teams.

When developing applications in traditional coding languages (e.g. Java or Python), your team will need to use serverless computing to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing (automatic scaling, stateless functions, event-driven execution, etc.). Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) all provide serverless compute capabilities – AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions respectively – but they are each native to their respective cloud platforms and have different tools, APIs, and integrations.

These different tools and integrations mean that your development teams will need additional time and learning to find out the equivalent in each cloud.

Another example is permissioning – ensuring that users and applications have the appropriate level of access to resources,  as well as maintaining security and compliance. Each cloud platform has permissioning – AWS IAM, Azure AAD, and GCP IAM for example – and each has its specific capabilities and implementation details, reflecting the provider’s different approaches to cloud computing and resource management.

It’s all just more time, time, time for your development team.

The Mendix Runtime is fully optimized to run in a container technology that is compatible with most modern cloud platform offerings like Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. With the same skillset, your team can develop exactly the same way regardless of deployment. That gives your organization flexibility when it comes to resource allocation, and it simplifies training, setting guidelines, and documentation.

Working with data where it resides

Large amounts of data is another area where Mendix’s offering helps. And given how much data organizations can gather, this is important.

For example, it may be more cost effective and performant to deploy an application directly in the SAP Cloud where the relevant data resides, instead of moving terabytes of information to another cloud for analysis.

Or take a hybrid-cloud scenario for instance. Some workloads may need to run in their own on-premises datacenter for compliance reasons. In those scenarios, the flexibility of a cloud-agnostic platform greatly simplifies the required architectural decisions.

The Mendix platform is easy to integrate with existing data sources whether internal or third-party via industry-standard interfaces and protocols such as REST, SOAP, JDBC, and OData. Mendix’s data mapping functionality which automatically maps incoming message structures (such as JSON, WSDL, or XML) in order to create domain models also speeds up this process.

With the Mendix cloud, you can choose the geographical location where your data will reside, addressing potential data sovereignty guidelines or regulations.

Low-code as a subscription to innovation

Your cloud strategy should also focus on innovation – specifically, how to ensure you are not tied to the innovation cycle of a single cloud provider.

Innovations in generative AI have developed at a rapid pace, and previously unknown players have become leaders in the space. But what will the landscape look like two years from now? What is the next disruptive technology and who will be the leader in it?

Those are extremely difficult predictions to make – but if your software can run on any hyperscaler or cloud provider, then the costs to migrate will be reasonable, and you have a subscription to innovation so to speak, potentially giving you that elusive competitive advantage.

In other words, if a provider develops a capability that you want to use, you can take full advantage knowing that the costs and effort to implement will not break the business case. That flexibility to change clouds makes your organization more resilient – both from a business as well as a technical perspective.

Making your cloud strategy a reality

Adopting a cloud-native and cloud-agnostic low-code platform like Mendix is a strategic move for organizations looking to enhance their cloud strategy. In addition to addressing the complexities of working in regulated environments, Mendix provides consistent development environment irrespective of the underlying infrastructure. Such a powerful architecture lets organizations innovate rapidly and make the most out of their cloud investments, ensuring they are not locked into a single vendor’s ecosystem.

This approach, together with scalability, not only future-proofs your technology stack but also significantly reduces the time and resources required for training and development, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market and a stronger competitive edge.

Adopting Mendix as a part of your cloud strategy ensures that your organization is well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the modern cloud landscape while unlocking the full potential of cloud computing.