Can Cloud Computing actually boost software development?


In terms of technological development, software has always lagged behind hardware when it comes to speed of growth. Simply put, software simply hasn’t progressed at the same rate as that of hardware. Many are anticipating or predicting that cloud computing will have an effect on the rate at which software is to be produced in the near future. The general idea is that cloud apps and/or services can be tapped to help programmers with all manner of tedious task. We’re not talking about a “maybe” or a “possibility” here either, there are a number of (already) identifiable ways in which cloud computing is helping to create a new software revolution.

Let’s take Agile software development for example; the truth is, the cloud is able to cut development and delivery times because it can:

Allow you to create multiple instances of virtually anything
If you’ve ever directly participated in software development before, you already know that things can be chaotic, confusing and very creative. Sometimes, ideas emerge so quickly that they aren’t often captured, explored or implemented due to time constraints or hardware limitations. The great thing about cloud computing is that its elasticity and power can be used to quickly create multiple instances of whatever an individual is working on that can quickly be compared with others (side-by-side). Likewise, if everyone on a development team is utilizing the same cloud, sharing new concepts / builds would also be much easier and practical.

Open the door for simplified device-specific development
One of the so-called “black arts” in software development is the creation of programs for multiple OS’s, browsers or devices. Simply put, you can’t just build something and expect it to easily or flawlessly translate across to anything else (or any other device outside of the development environment). However, cloud computing might very well lower the difficulty associated with this predicament; for instance, automated testing platforms are being deployed as SaaS offerings. This approach allows you to both build things in a specific environment (like Chrome, Windows or iOS) and then carry out testing as well. The benefit here is the ability to rapidly produce highly functional software that is more easily transposed into other formats (as needed).

Offer a staggering, near-infinite number of testing servers
When it comes to software testing, large amounts of computing power and/or time is usually required. Then you have availability issues to contend with (in a non-cloud setting), where many individuals may be attempting to use the same hardware at the same time. Not only does this type of scenario greatly slow down the pace at which work can be completed, it also poses a great risk should a disaster occur, knocking out access. Because cloud computing works through virtualization, you can tap into a near-infinite number of testing servers for your project(s). In other words, if you’re carrying out a barrage of tests on the latest build of some software, you can do it any number of ways in less than half the time spent with non-cloud forms of technology.

Create a more streamlined and organized workplace-friendly platform
Cloud computing is known for being able to create a better virtual work environment in several ways. First off, through the cloud, things tend to be more highly organized (even somewhat ‘standardized” when it comes to certain instances, apps or services). Just think about how important it is for multiple team members to share and use the same data when constructing something. Cloud computing allows team members to not only access the same data in an instantly up-to-date fashion, it also allows for the sharing and use of individual computing / environment setups as well. Basically, the cloud allows for the integration of cutting-edge technologies while at the same time improving inter-office communications and transparency.

However, utilizing the cloud to its fullest potential will require some qualified and certified IT personnel. E-learning is the most obvious and cost-effective solution when it comes to prepping an IT department for use of cloud technologies. Aside from your standard cloud certification programs and foundation training, there’s also specialist instruction for IaaS as well.  

Put it all together and what do you have?  
If you combine all of the aforementioned perks into one list, you’ll see that cloud computing is actually a very powerful collaboration tool for software developers. Whenever the right people have access to newer and better tools, great things tend to transpire. The situation we find ourselves in right now (as far as cloud computing and software creation are concerned) more or less lays the foundation for some truly amazing potentials in the near future. Who’s going to benefit the most from cloud computing in the software development world? Software companies that are united and savvy enough to leverage cloud technology are going to end up pushing basic development into a whole new space.

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