The use of cloud-native technology is on the rise and for many organizations the question isn’t if they’ll take advantage of it – but when and for which use cases.

Though the term “cloud native” implies exclusivity to the cloud, a big part of its growth is being driven by its support for modern applications and services, whether deployed on-premises or in private cloud, multiple public clouds or edge environments. As a result, the reach of cloud native technology and the methodology surrounding it  – including containers, Kubernetes and serverless designs – is becoming so expansive that it is defining a new era in modern software development and IT operations.

Cloud Native Defined

Cloud native refers to “IT infrastructure and applications designed from the ground up to take advantage of cloud architectures and automated environments, as well as other operational functions such as API-driven provisioning, autoscaling and support for distributed applications,” according to the 451 Research Pathfinder Report, “Driving Value from Cloud Native Anywhere,” commissioned by VMware.

Although cloud native offers numerous advantages, such as IT operations efficiency, security and developer speed, organizations that choose to invest in it can face cost and complexity challenges. Taking full advantage of it requires unified, consistent operations and effective leveraging of cloud-native security advantages, such as faster updates.

What CIOs Can Expect

These three key findings4 from the Pathfinder Report offer insight into the potential of cloud native as well as what CIOs can expect as they embark on deployments:

  • Cloud native architectures and operational capabilities such as microservices, autoscaling and API provisioning can help enterprises drive automation, optimization and efficiency.
  • Cloud native is no longer limited to container applications, and enterprises should take advantage of consistently managing VM-based applications with cloud-native platforms and tooling. A common pattern in the enterprise is to make on-premises and private cloud operations more like the public cloud services for consistency and manageability.
  • Broader cloud native benefits beyond speed and efficiency – including better user experiences and business outcomes – are enabled by the automation and abstraction of cloud native technology.This allows teams to focus on new features, applications and innovation. By simplifying and automating provisioning, orchestration, interconnectivity and security, cloud native can help deliver better developer experiences and outcomes.

Three Strategies for Success

As CIOs consider ways to get started with cloud native, here are three simple strategies5 for success from the Pathfinder Report:

  • Start with new applications and initiatives, where less friction will be encountered versus deployment within existing endeavors. Begin adopting cloud native slowly and then scale up over time. Enterprises should seek out approaches and offerings that match their particular infrastructures, needs and roadmaps.
  • Consider the big picture. Containers, microservices, Kubernetes, serverless, service mesh, and other technologies and approaches are not mutually exclusive and are typically deployed concurrently. Because developers, IT operators and combined DevOps teams may want to take advantage of all of these cloud native technologies, it will be important to effectively leverage experience for expanded deployments and look at the big picture as initiatives advance.
  • Centralized management. To get the most out of cloud native technology and methodology, organizations will need to have a single control plane for managing their applications. This is key no matter how the technology is deployed – whether on containers or VMs, modernized or non-modernized, on-premises or in the cloud.

Find out more about how CIOs are deploying cloud native and driving value from it.

Download: Driving Value from Cloud Native Anywhere

1. VMware and 451 Research. “Driving Value from Cloud Native Anywhere.” August 2022.

2. 451 Research. “Voice of the Enterprise: DevOps, Workloads & Key Projects 2022.”

3. 451 Research. “Voice of the Enterprise: DevOps, Workloads & Key Projects 2022.”

4. VMware and 451 Research. “Driving Value from Cloud Native Anywhere.” August 2022.

5. VMware and 451 Research. “Driving Value from Cloud Native Anywhere.” August 2022.