Mastering the Art of Cloud Based Application Development: A Practical Guide

Updated 10 Oct 2023

21 Min



The number of mobile apps that migrate to the cloud is growing extremely fast. Cloud software is beneficial for businesses. It leads to a cost reduction on equipment and performance. The business systems are also well-scalable in clouds, so companies have more opportunities to grow.

For you to understand what a cloud-based app is and how to use its advantages in developing applications for the cloud, we’ve prepared this guide.

What Is Cloud Application Development?

Cloud application development is the process of creating cloud-based software apps specifically designed to run on cloud computing platforms and leverage the advantages of cloud infrastructure and services. These applications are hosted, deployed, and accessed over the Internet, as opposed to being installed on individual devices or on-premises servers.

Cloud based applications are software products distributing the processing logic and data storage on a gadget between the client side (visible for a user and accessible to interact with) and the server side (responsible for processing data).

Cloud-based apps can be characterized as follows:

  • The app’s data is stored in a cloud infrastructure. So, there are minimum requirements for devices to run the application.
  • It’s possible to store the data on the device. It lets the application work offline with an opportunity to be automatically updated when the gadget is online again.
  • Customers may use the app on any Internet-connected device. All data is saved in the cloud, allowing users to work wherever needed.

Common types of cloud-based apps

In order to give you a proper understanding of how cloud apps work, we’ll look at the most popular types of cloud-based solutions split by the cloud service models as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

Developing a cloud based application: common types of cloud-based solutions

Developing a cloud based application: common types of cloud-based solutions

Software as a Service or SaaS. SaaS stands for developing cloud based applications used via mobile apps and web browsers. This service lets customers apply the app online without installing and configuring it from any device.

SaaS may be used for various things, including providing email tools, auditing features, automating product and service sign-ups, managing documents, and file sharing and collaboration. Moreover, they are utilized to share calendars by the entire organization to plan events and organize CRM (customer relationship management) systems — databases of client and prospect data.

Companies are interested in SaaS app development. Google Apps, Zendesk, Salesforce, AWS, etc., are well-known SaaS services.

Platform as a Service or PaaS. PaaS offers to rent everything you need to develop an app, relying on a cloud provider for development tools, infrastructure, and operating systems. Such vendors provide software and hardware resources to make application development on the cloud easier.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions may comprise:

  • Building tools
  • Middleware
  • Operating systems
  • Database running infrastructure

PaaS cloud computing platforms include Windows Azure, Heroku, and OpenShift.

Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS. IaaS service provider manages your business's infrastructure — servers, network, visualization, and storage via a public or private cloud. In addition to the infrastructure elements, IaaS companies provide a variety of services. They contain resiliency tools (including backup replication and recovery), security instruments (e.g. data encryption standards, PCI-DSS compliance, etc.), detailed invoicing, log access, tracking, clustering, load balancing.

You can use an API or an admin panel as a business owner to use the cloud infrastructure services. Furthermore, you may handle operating systems and programs, while providers (such as Microsoft Azure or DigitalOcean) offer resources for cloud development. The above models and tools are implemented during the development process of such currently popular cloud apps as Slack, PayPal, Zoom, Vimeo, etc.

Looking to build a cloud app?

Our AWS-certified experts will provide you with a comprehensive consultation as to development, deployment, and management of the cloud app

The Successful Examples of Cloud Applications

We’ve prepared examples of successful and well-known cloud applications for you to inspire while thinking out a cloud application development for your own business.


Salesforce is the largest single player in the CRM market with 150,000 businesses using their product worldwide, according to Backlinko’s data. It offers customers a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) SaaS application working by subscription-based model. This platform encompasses sales, customer service, and marketing and extends to analytics and AI-driven insights. It functions as a centralized hub, enabling businesses to monitor customer interactions, gather valuable data, and leverage automation to nurture and personalize customer relationships.

The platform also offers extensive customization options, allowing businesses to tailor their CRM to suit their specific processes and workflows. This ensures that businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, can find immense value in the platform. Due to all these functions, Salesforce’ s revenue grows, being more than $31 billion for 2023.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity applications offering their tools by subscription-based model as well, with $69 billion in revenue in 2023. It encompasses a wide array of indispensable tools, including Word for document processing, Excel for data analysis and visualization, PowerPoint for dynamic presentations, and Outlook for efficient email management. Beyond these core applications, it also integrates various other powerful tools like OneDrive for secure file storage and sharing, Teams for team collaboration, SharePoint for content management, and several others.

Office 365 also serves as a hub for effective communication. With features like instant messaging, video conferencing, and calendar integration, it streamlines communication within teams and across the organization. The suite is used by 145,844 clients only in the US, according to Statista’s estimates.


Netflix is a world-known video streaming service based on cloud computing with $31,6 billion of revenue in 2022 and more than 221.64 million customers globally. They offer subscription plans to their customers as a payment model to collaborate with.

The heart of Netflix's cloud-based platform is its highly sophisticated content delivery network (CDN), strategically distributing content across numerous AWS data centers worldwide. This minimizes latency and optimizes bandwidth, guaranteeing viewers a consistently high-quality streaming experience, irrespective of location or device.

Netflix's cloud-based architecture also enables the platform to dynamically scale its resources in real-time, responding to fluctuations in demand. This means the system effortlessly adapts to maintain a seamless streaming experience, whether there are thousands or millions of concurrent viewers. The platform's continuous integration and deployment practices, supported by AWS's DevOps capabilities, allow for rapid updates and enhancements. This ensures that subscribers consistently enjoy the latest features and improvements in content delivery.


Slack is a cloud-based collaboration platform offering both free and subscription models and combining communication, file sharing, and workflow integration. It provides a centralized hub for teams to collaborate, reducing email overload and streamlining project management.

Slack allows for streamlined task management, document collaboration, and more, directly within Slack. Moreover, Slack empowers teams to automate routine tasks and workflows through its Workflow Builder, enabling teams to work more efficiently and accurately.

At the beginning of 2023, the revenue of Slack turned out to be $1.5 billion with 32.3 million users in 2023.

Cloud Apps Development: Steps to Follow

Cloud application development varies from web development services or mobile development services in that your staff should create cloud solutions based on the service provider you've chosen. Before you begin the development process, you must first have a better knowledge of your customers: identify their pains and consider how your product may solve them. That is the only way to compete in the market successfully.

Step 1. Market and requirements analysis

You should first analyze application market requirements to understand what apps are suitable to be transferred to the clouds and define the most effective cloud deployment model for your business. While researching, pay attention to the goals of your business and the vital factors for its proper functioning (such as time, funds, etc.).

Conduct market research to understand your future users’ pain points. Dealing with it, you’ll create a valuable business solution capable of fulfilling people’s needs. You can also research competitors of the chosen domain, feature sets, and business models to form the product requirements and create a unique and competitive end product that is attractive to your core audience.

Step 2. Development team hiring

Cloud based application development requires an experienced and talented team. So, the question arises — where to hire cloud app developers? There are three widespread options to hire cloud application developers: cooperate with freelancers, create an in-house team, or find a reliable vendor.

Cloud app developers to hire

Cloud app developers: Hiring options

Freelance developers

These days, the option of employing freelancers is prevalent. However, cloud application development necessitates long-term collaboration, whereas freelancers can move away without a word — for example, because of lack of interest in your project.

In-house developers

You may manage the development process if you have an in-house development team. On the other hand, this is the most costly choice. You should remember that rent, hardware, software, taxes, and other expenses must all be paid in addition to in-house staff salaries.

Outsourced team

It’s crucial to realize that cloud-based solutions shouldn’t be just coded. Their architecture needs to be carefully designed and properly implemented into the current business processes. That’s why you need cooperation with a software development vendor competent in application development in cloud computing for your chosen domain.

If you want to cooperate with such a partner without overpayments, you should select outsource app development as a cost-effective alternative. The outsourcing vendor's professionals will carefully guide you through the cloud software development process starting from consulting on how much does it cost to build a SaaS product and ending up with its maintenance.

Outsourcing is becoming more common due to the low costs and high quality of the end output. For example, Cleveroad as an outsourcing cloud development vendor, can offer you a dedicated development team to hire for your project, which is also a popular collaboration model for today.

Step 3. Thinking out the architecture and features

To make the application development cloud computing process efficient and optimize its work, you need to think out the aspects such as app architecture, service model, and cloud migration. These options would impact your product’s performance. So it would be better to discuss it with the vendor’s experts, who will consult you and offer the best alternatives matching your business.


Businesses may safely create apps and employ cloud solutions based upon customer requirements due to the proper cloud architecture model. These days, the specialists recommend drawing attention to advanced architecture based on microservices. Classic solutions tend to be monolithic, so all the changes require the system rearrangement. As it's a complicated and expensive process, the advantages of a microservices architecture are commonly used for cloud-based apps.

Service model

We've already covered the categories of cloud-based solutions: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. The choice of a certain model is required to build an app that fully meets the business needs of your company and can react to the changeable requirements of the app users.

Cloud migration

In case you have already got a functioning business, it can be optimized with the help of cloud migration. It means the company’s data would move to the remote cloud server (provided by such service vendors as Azure or AWS) and function on it.

You should seek advice from professionals while selecting tools for cloud app development. The experts will look at your needs, features, and design to determine which tech stack is best for your product. They’ll also build the upcoming product’s wireframes and create a project specification for you to approve. Here's a Salesforce technology stack to give you a clue:

Salesforce tech stack

Application and dataUtilitiesDevOpsBusiness tools




Google Analytics










New Relic


Puppet Labs

Cloud9 IDE

Sauce Labs



G Suite


Salesforce Sales Cloud




Step 4. Designing the app

After all the things are agreed upon, the UI/UX design process keeps going. The designers will prepare a user-friendly interface, facilitating end users’ interaction with the system. The clients can view the changes and preparations (for instance, through Figma), comment on them, or offer improvements during the process. Then, the designers prepare estimates for the work completed.

Step 5. Developing and testing the product

The developers as well start building a top-notch product according to your requirements. As usual, cloud solutions are developed in accordance with Agile/Scrum methodologies. The building process is split into sprints (1 sprint = 10 working days), beginning with planning, in which the team discusses the workload they’ll deal with.

To prevent problems, your development team must test the product before releasing it. At this point, you must confirm that your application functions properly and provides the desired user experience.

Keep in mind that cloud native development is very important in creating such solutions. So, it’s highly preferable to collaborate with one vendor at all the building steps because only the team capable of imagining the broad picture can properly customize your product.

Step 6. App deployment and placing in stores

The final step is the app’s deployment. If the app needs to be published on one of the marketplaces, you need to work with the App Store (for iOS) and Google Play (for Android apps).

To accelerate the process, Google Play applies automated testing. However, it might be difficult to understand why an app has been rejected. The App Store entrusts app review to real people. If there are any bugs, they will demand their fixing.

The placing process includes the next stages:

  • Make sure the application follows App Store or Google Play guidelines
  • Fill in the data you want to add
  • Submit the app to review
  • Wait for the reply. The store’s team will test the app against the guidelines, ascertain that the app works without failure
  • Your app will be approved or declined in 2-3 days

Why Invest in Application Development for Cloud Computing: Useful Stats

Cloud apps development is a competitive and fast-growing industry. Let's verify the numbers in support of these words.

As to Leftronic statistics aggregator, cloud technology serves 60% of businesses worldwide to store private information. One app, or leastwise a part of it, is on the cloud for 77% of companies. According to the PluralSight education platform’s report, businesses worldwide use cloud providers to build apps satisfying their company needs. It reflects on the market share of the last ones: the top three leading cloud providers for companies are AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

The predictions for cloud apps are also optimistic: Precedence Research predicts that the global cloud app market value will grow at about $560 billion till the end of 2023, $652.03 billion in 2024 and $760.92 billion by the end of 2025.

Cloud app market value prediction

Cloud app market value prediction (Source: Precedence Research)

The most active cloud users by the end of 2023 are planned to be the companies specializing in such domains as insurance and telecommunications (11.4 cloud solutions from various providers), retail (11 clouds), and banking (10.9). Such a rating is not surprising because the listed industries need to process and store a large bulk of data securely, so cloud services are essential for them.

The growth of the cloud app development market is driven by the benefits this technology brings to businesses. We’ve gathered the most essential ones that will help you see how your business will take advantage of cloud computing if build cloud-based app for company needs.

Benefits of using cloud-based solutions

Cloud based development is profitable since most data storage exists on a remote server. It has many undeniable advantages that help businesses effectively achieve planned aims.

Cost reduction. Deploying application development in the cloud, you’ll have quick access to all required information and save resources for a cloud-based app launch. Moreover, you won’t have to pay for unnecessary cloud space or a feature set because most cloud services can be charged as far as they are used.

Data coherence. Cloud-based systems allow entrepreneurs to save all data in a similar place and format. This way, all the updates made will be accessible to everybody in the certain cloud space, helping them avoid human mistakes and maintain information coherence.

Flexibility. Compared to local server hosting, the cloud provides organizations with greater freedom. Furthermore, if you need more bandwidth, a cloud-based service may be able to supply it instantly rather than requiring a sophisticated (and expensive) upgrade to your IT infrastructure. This enhanced independence and flexibility can have a significant influence on the overall capacity of your business.

High scalability. The сloud based applications development will give you the required scalability as soon as possible, easily adjusting to the current business conditions and needs. Scalability enables you to regularly manage a larger number of consumers, resulting in a greater profit margin for your company.

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Cloud-Based Application: Average Prices

The average custom cloud applications development price is about $20,000-$100,000+ depending on the solution’s complexity, feature list, integrations, scalability requirements, types of cloud apps, and so on. We’ve decided to split cloud solutions into their major types, and analyze their price-building factors and average costs.

Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS delivers ready-to-use applications over the Internet. Users access software through a web browser without the need for installation or maintenance. SaaS pricing varies widely depending on the application: as an example, a basic G Suite subscription starts at around $6 per user per month. Price for SaaS solutions typically ranges from $50,000 to $300,000+.

Discover in detail how to build a SaaS product: cost, steps, and benefits!

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It provides virtualized computing resources such as servers, storage, and networking on-demand. Users manage the operating system and applications. IaaS pricing varies based on resource usage. For instance, AWS EC2 instances can start at a few cents per hour. The price for IaaS solution may start from $500+ a year.

Platform as a Service (PaaS). It offers a platform and environment for developers to build, deploy, and manage applications. Pricing is typically based on the resources used, with costs varying between providers. Azure App Service, for instance, may charge based on the number of app instances. The costs for PaaS solutions start from $600+ yearly.

Function as a Service (FaaS). FaaS allows developers to run code responding to events without managing server infrastructure. Pricing is typically based on the number of executions and resource usage. Costs vary by provider and the complexity of functions. AWS Lambda offers a free tier with $0.20 per 1 million requests and $0.00001667 for GB-seconds of compute.

Database as a Service (DBaaS). DBaaS offers managed database solutions, handling tasks like backups, scaling, and maintenance. Users focus on data and queries. Pricing depends on the database type and usage. For instance, AWS RDS offers different pricing tiers, starting at a few dollars per month.

Container as a Service (CaaS). CaaS provides a platform for deploying and managing containers, such as Docker. It simplifies container orchestration. Costs depend on factors like container usage and storage, but pricing for services such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) differs.

Storage as a Service delivers cloud-based storage solutions, including object storage and file storage. Prices differ between providers and storage types. For example, AWS S3 charges vary based on storage class and usage, starting at a few cents per GB per month.

Please note that these are average pricing ranges, and actual costs can vary significantly depending on factors like usage, location, and the specific service features chosen. Always refer to the respective cloud provider's pricing documentation for precise cost details.

Cleveroad may eagerly help you estimate the cloud app development costs to wisely distribute your project budget experience. Typically, we make two kinds of cloud app development estimates – rough (which is a ballpark figure and used only for information) and detailed (based on different factors, such as cloud solution’s feature list, integrations, app type, etc.).

Learn the price of your cloud app

Contact our experts and get all the information to start developing a cloud-based solution along with solution cost estimation

What are Cloud Based Applications’ Tech Challenges to Pay Attention to?

Cloud-based product development is a technically demanding thing. That’s why, when you decide about developing cloud applications, you should know all the issues to understand how to organize application development using cloud computing for your business appropriately.


A large amount of private data is stored and handled by cloud-based solutions. As a result, every business that employs such technologies is vulnerable to cloud security risks. Thus, enterprises must solve security problems, ensuring that clients' data is safe. To improve the security of your cloud-based software, you should use SSL protocols and different encryption standards (such as Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)) to protect the stored or applied information. You can also implement a cryptography approach when the data encrypted is divided into two parts and stored in different clouds.

In case your cloud app would provide card payments, you must become PCI compliant. This standard helps provide card holders’ data security and is required for the cloud service vendor.


You must select a trustworthy cloud framework for your cloud app to run smoothly and without mistakes, analyzing your cloud vendor's degree of security and making sure it matches your company's requirements. AWS services are frequently used for cloud application development as one of the most reliable cloud frameworks. AWS allows baking up all the data securely and brings developers a vast pool of other tech features to work with.

You can also monitor cloud service usage, productivity, robustness, and learn SLAs, making sure that your apps are available at any time.


The app's performance is critical for a positive customer experience: the client's satisfaction will suffer if your solution needs more than 3 seconds to load. Global providers place their servers to offer users the same page loading speed despite their location. It's also common to use content delivery networks (CDN) to speed up content distribution. They're frequently used in cloud app infrastructure.

Furthermore, you should research your cloud vendor's infrastructure to guarantee that your apps' performance will be stable in the long run. Determine if apps can be securely moved to the cloud and monitor their performance regularly. You should create a new integration scenario whenever your business apps start interacting with additional cloud services.


If you want to apply to a cloud app scalability benefit, you should care beforehand about its technical realization. While all cloud vendors promise to provide it without a problem, only a few can achieve it. If the popularity of your app rises, be sure your backend can handle the extra data flow.

To obtain the scalability you need, go with a hybrid cloud architecture. A hybrid cloud model can scale up and down as required. Don't apply to a predefined software that offers scalability services for two bucks, but first, discuss it with your software development service provider.

So, let’s sum things up. Due to cloud based applications development, you can empower your business with many opportunities and advantages like the following ones:

  • Cloud app development offers unparalleled scalability, enabling you to expand business operations seamlessly and meet growing demands without traditional infrastructure constraints.
  • It fosters cost-efficiency through a pay-as-you-go model, allowing your company to optimize budget and allocate resources strategically.
  • Data-driven decision-making is empowered by cloud app development, as it provides deep insights into app performance and user behavior, guiding strategic decisions for your particular business.
  • Cloud app development ensures business continuity through robust disaster recovery options, safeguarding operations against unexpected disruptions.

You can gain these benefits for your business by appealing to a skilled cloud app development vendor like Cleveroad. The vendor’s specialists will carefully guide you through the cloud computing application development starting from consultations as well as project cost estimates and ending in robust cloud-based solution delivery.

Success Stories: Cleveroad Experience in Сloud Based Application Development

We’d like to share some cloud-based solution development cases from our portfolio.

Retail and ecommerce SaaS solution

Our client, an eCommerce company based in the US, required a SaaS solution to assist retailers with their sales operations, including warehouse management, inventory management, and receiving tools.

Our team developed a retail operations platform based on the SaaS business model, which includes modules necessary for managing retail business operations, including tools for Marketplace Integration, Purchasing (POM), Distributed Order Management (DOM), Catalogue/Product Management and Photography (PIM), Warehouse/Inventory Management (WMS).

As a consequence, the client received a SaaS retail system that enabled the enterprise to streamline workflows and minimize paperwork. Additionally, potential new clients could be attracted through the company's mobile app, allowing them to access company services at their convenience.

RetailOps SaaS system created by Cleveroad

RetailOps SaaS system created by Cleveroad

Broker research SaaS platform

Our customer, an American financial consulting, research and analytics company, needed a cloud-based solution for tracking and evaluating broker services. They searched for a skilled cloud app vendor to accomplish this task.

Our team made a UI/UX design and created a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) functionality for the client’s platform. Moreover, the team created a solution to assist the client in selling SaaS services to asset managers, brokers, and hedge fund managers. We also increased the platform’s capabilities and enriched the broker SaaS platform’s MVP.

As a result, the client obtained the SaaS platform for monitoring and evaluating broker services quickly and within the budget. The company could also seamlessly receive profit offering usage-based services to their clients.

Broker research platform developed by Cleveroad

Broker research platform developed by Cleveroad

Now, let us tell you more about our company. Cleveroad is a software development company that provides cloud software solutions to clients across different industries, such as Logistics, Healthcare, Ecommerce, FinTech, and Education, regardless of the size of their company. Our experts have the necessary expertise to deploy cloud-based projects of any complexity, with over 11 years of being in the market of IT services.

Working with us, you are ensured with a range of benefits:

  • Hands-on expertise in developing cloud apps for different domains (e.g., CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software, SaaS e-commerce solutions, Learning Management Systems, etc.)
  • AWS-certified software experts skilled in developing and deploying cloud-based digital solutions based on AWS technologies and security tools
  • Robust quality and security control, confirmed by ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certificates
  • A team of agile-minded IT professionals with expertise in dealing with cloud services (e.g., Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure)
  • Flexible collaboration models that can be chosen according to your business peculiarities: dedicated team, time and material, staff capacity expansion, etc.
  • Cloud-based product quality assurance at every step of its development

Cloud solutions offer a wide range of abilities that can help your company gain results impossible in the near past but true for the present and future. To obtain a modern and flexible cloud-based application for your business, you can submit an application on our website, that will contain brief project details, and we will eagerly consult you.

Build robust cloud app with expert team

Since 2011, our team assists businesses in creating a new cloud app or migrating the existing solution to the cloud safely. Contact us now and get full-cycle cloud app development services

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloud apps development is a creation of a software solution distributing the processing logic and data storage on a gadget between the client-side (visible for a user and accessible to interact with) and the server-side (responsible for processing data).

There are six steps to a successful cloud development process.

  • Step 1. Market and requirements analysis
  • Step 2. Development team hiring
  • Step 3. Thinking out the architecture and features
  • Step 4. Designing the application
  • Step 5. Development and testing of your product
  • Step 6. App deployment and placement in stores

There are three main types of cloud-based apps: Software as a Service or SaaS, Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS, and Platform as a Service or PaaS.

SaaS stands for developing cloud based applications used via mobile apps and web browsers. Such a service lets customers apply the app online without installing and configuring from any device.

PaaS allows you to rent everything you need for building an app, including development tools, infrastructure, and operating systems, from a cloud provider. Because backend maintenance is handled behind the scenes, Platform as a Service tends to ease the development process.

IaaS refers to a service provider managing your company's infrastructure — servers, networks, visualization, and storage — through a public or private cloud.

The average custom cloud app creation price is about $20,000-$100,000+ depending on the types of cloud apps, solution’s complexity, feature list, integrations, scalability requirements, and so on.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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08.08.2023 at 11:10

Great Article!

01.05.2021 at 05:14

Thanks, very informative

Jana Dubois
24.12.2020 at 08:11

This blog is extremely useful. I found a lot of interesting information about various fields. I'm interested in cloud app development. Thanks for sharing challenges I can face!

Julian Gimenez
01.12.2020 at 06:26


Bariş Krans
01.11.2020 at 15:40

Your test consists of a bunch of details I tried to find. You've covered the Cloud app development topic and even offered a tech stack. Thanks for your deep topic research.

Ella Dumas
04.10.2020 at 01:02

Liked your tech expertise.

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