Becoming digital-first is no longer a nice-to-have for companies — it’s a must-have for survival. As customers all over the world become accustomed to immediate, personalized online support, technology and software have grown to support them. In fact, the cloud-native applications industry was valued at roughly $113 billion in 2021 and is estimated to grow to $168 billion by 2025 worldwide.
There are dozens of benefits to moving towards cloud-native applications for your business, chief among them being the improved and more efficient experience for your customers.
What Are Cloud-Native Applications?
Put simply, cloud-native applications are apps purpose-built for the cloud, meaning they’re created and hosted remotely. They are both created in and run within the cloud.
This is a relatively new category. Prior to the last few years, on-premise software and applications were much more common. When the cloud became a possibility, it was simply an offering that on-premise software would provide for customers. Think of companies like Adobe and Microsoft who slowly shifted from on-premise only to digital-only — there was a period in between where they offered each.
Now, cloud-native applications exist with absolutely zero on-premise presence. Every step of the process — from developing, demoing, implementing, and using the software — takes place digitally. These apps are easier to manage, update and scale, and they make tracking employee usage simpler than ever. IT teams and businesses can make smarter budgeting decisions and decide where to best focus their IT efforts.
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How Can Cloud-Native Apps Positively Impact Customer Experience?
It stands to reason that applications helping internal teams will also benefit external customers, and cloud-native apps are an excellent example of this. Here are just a few of the many benefits cloud-native apps provide to the customer experience.
1. Stronger Focus on Feedback and Needed Features
With on-premise software and applications, the feedback loop is slow. Features that customers beg for could take months — even years — to implement in batches. Even if the on-premises application developer is relatively quick about making bug fixes and enhancements, users still have to carve out time to install those software updates on their local computers.
With cloud-native apps, customers can provide feedback directly on the platform, and teams can take that feedback and roll it out immediately. Well-designed cloud-native applications are segmented into microservices that make new features easier to implement. There are more updates and additions spread throughout the year instead of all at once every few years.
2. Everyone Gets Answers and Fixes More Quickly
It’s one thing to acknowledge feedback and a need for help; it’s another thing to provide what customers need. With on-premise software and applications, it could take weeks to properly solve a problem. With cloud-native applications, information can be found and fixes can be made without getting out of your seat. Customers no longer have to wait forever to have their problems addressed and fixed.
3. Personalized Support and Outreach
With all relevant information readily available within the cloud, it’s easier than ever for customer support agents to pull the details they need quickly to properly help solve a customer’s question or problem. It’s also significantly easier to connect cloud-native apps to each other and get the entire picture of the customer in question.
4. More Flexibility and Speed
Cloud-native applications allow IT and development teams to iterate quickly, and customer service teams to provide faster, more agile service. Instead of waiting on slow loading speeds and archaic technology miles away, the cloud is always ready to use and fast to load. There are less often downtimes, as well, and those downtimes last for a shorter period of time than they would with an on-premise solution.
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The Case for Implementing Cloud-Native Applications Today
It can be a daunting challenge to implement new cloud-native applications appropriately, especially if your business is used to on-premises solutions or even paper and pen. If your IT team wants to go it alone, there are hundreds of resources online to help them through; you can also consider taking advantage of the cloud computing consulting services available to you for migration and building out infrastructure.
Regardless of how you do it, cloud-native applications are the way to go for both your company and your customers’ experiences if you’re looking to not only succeed, but grow into the future.
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