Cloud-Native vs Cloud-Enabled? Why Cloud-Native Applications are the Future?

Everyone is talking about applications built in cloud-native landscape these days. What exactly is a cloud-native? Why it is so important?

Before we dig deeper, let’s look at an interesting statement – As per IDC, by 2022, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code; 35% of all production apps will be cloud-native.

So, we are ascertained that the future belongs to cloud-native applications. Let us know look at the definition of cloud-native. A cloud-native (or cloud-based) application is the one which is born in the cloud and is built as microservices packaged in containers. These applications are developed in components that can be altered without causing shutdown or downtime to the other components and eventually causing no disruptions to the end user.

The microservices architecture is a modern way of building the functionality of the application in multiple smaller(micro) software services, better known as micro-services. Each microservice is like an independent module that is designed to serve a specific task. All of them communicate with each other to support fully functional software. These are packaged in containers, that is independent of each other and thus can be scaled up further with automation and orchestration processes.

While cloud-native is relatively a newly coined term, enterprises were using cloud-enabled for a long time. Though at times both cloud-native and cloud-enabled are used interchangeably, there is a huge difference between these two terms and their functionality. A cloud-enabled application is the one which is made in a static environment on in-house servers and is merely a traditional enterprise software enabled for the cloud.

Being cloud-native is a different ball game altogether. It is dynamically orchestrated, platform agnostic and supports full scale virtualization, harnessing the true and complete power of a cloud. The emergence of cloud-native applications has led enterprises to tread the path of digital transformation as such applications are scalable, faster, and automatically deployed and support continuous delivery.

On the other hand, a cloud-enabled application is tweaked to work in a cloud atmosphere. They do share a few similar functionalities as that of cloud-native ones, but however, they do lack the flexibility to operate in a full cloud environment. Let’s see the basic difference between these two methodologies and how cloud-native is the way to go for the future.


Key Feature Cloud Native Cloud Enabled
Existence Cloud native applications belong to the cloud. They are born in the cloud, functional in the cloud and deployed in the cloud. Cloud Enabled applications are built on-premises and are generally hosted on the cloud to be made remotely available
Design Designed to hosted as multi-tenant instances No multi-tenant instances
Implementation mplementation is fast and efficient as no hardware and software configurations are required Slower implementation due to server configurations, customizations and software/ hardware set up
Scalability Highly scalable, real-time changes can be made to a microservice without causing disruption to the whole application as per the deemed requirement No scalability, manual upgrades are required resulting in the shutdown of the whole application unless the changes are done
Costing Relatively cost effective and cheaper, as the costs are based on the license and storage required on the cloud for the application. Further, no software/ hardware installations thus providing costs savings Costlier due to infrastructure upgradation from time to time
Maintenance Easily maintained, changes can be applied to microservices without interruptions Updates need to be customized for the specific installation environment


So, there is clear cut advantage cloud-native applications enjoy over the cloud-enabled. It would be right to deduct that these cloud-native applications provide additional superior functionality to make the systems more cohesive and adapt quickly to the changes in a fast-paced environment.

The cloud-native application makes an enterprise-ready to embrace the onset of digital technologies. It provides them an edge to compete in a challenging environment as with a scalable architecture they can focus more on differentiating their underlying business rather than investing in infrastructure. Also, as an added advantage, the quicker implementation and scalability provided by these cloud-based applications provides the enterprise improved time to market and hence more business opportunities to their disposal.

For integration solutions particularly, it is important to have pure cloud-native solutions as they provide business process automation, connection to thousands of applications, devices, and systems hosted on the hybrid environment on a real-time basis. Certain solutions like DXchange Integration Cloud provides a cloud-native hybrid integration platform for connecting and collaborating with any platform, any application, anywhere. It is highly scalable as it is built using microservices architecture and offers operational manageability using a click and configure approach.

Most of the other integrations solutions available in the market are mainly cloud-enabled i.e. they are made using lift and shift methodology wherein solution providers have molded the on-premise made software to fit in the cloud environment. Though they are available remotely, they lack in accessing the true power of cloud-native applications which makes it scalable, lightweight, agile, cost-effective, flexible and responsive in real time basis.

Conclusion –

Undoubtedly, a cloud-native application is game-changing technology. As the world is envisaging digital disruption in day to day life, they would be opting for tailor-made cloud applications to deliver on the business requirements and get an edge from the competitors. The cloud-based architecture is continuously evolving by enabling the enterprises to be adaptive and respond quickly to the business changes, thus making the most out of the available business opportunities.

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