OutSystems has released new research breaking down the costs and staffing challenges of building a cloud-native development infrastructure from the ground up. The research, “Cloud-Native Development Report: The High Cost of Ownership,” found the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a traditionally developed cloud-native approach is, on average, $5.6 million and can take 18 months.

To calculate the TCO of a cloud-native application development infrastructure, OutSystems analyzed the costs accumulated when building and scaling a cloud-native infrastructure and building the first apps on that new platform. The report also includes detailed analysis of building a team with the required cloud-native expertise. The TCO is broken down into two phases:

Phase 1: Infrastructure Environment Costs – On average, businesses will spend $2.7 million standing up their cloud-native infrastructure. These costs include architecting, building, managing, maintaining and scaling a built-from-scratch cloud-native infrastructure. The costs associated with tools and services correspond to 21% of the costs of this phase. Due to the complexity, hiring and onboarding cloud-native experts, such as architects and developers, to the team also contributes to the high cost. This, coupled with the salary cost, equates to 79% of the total cost of this phase.

Phase 2: Application Development Costs – On average, businesses will spend $2.9 million building their first apps on this new infrastructure. These costs account for a 12-month application development timeline – a conservative estimate – and the effort required to build the apps with traditional coding as well as expansion and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure to support those new cloud-native apps. These costs include training and reskilling of in-house developers.

The expensive nature of the first phase of building a cloud-native infrastructure environment partly stems from the hiring and onboarding costs behind building a team with such specialized skills. Kubernetes, microservices, cloud-native services architecture, CI/CD and DevSecOps are among the most difficult skills to hire for and demand the highest salaries. The backend costs of hiring talent, such as seeking out recruiting agencies/professionals and time spent interviewing and supporting new hires, are also contributing to a high total cost of ownership. Accounting for the rest of these Phase 1 costs is the amount of effort – even after a team of experts has been assembled – required to integrate the dozens of new services and technologies together in order to assemble the run-time infrastructure.

Now generally available worldwide, OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC), the newest solution in the OutSystems Platform, is a high-performance low-code solution for building cloud-native applications. It combines the radical productivity of low-code with the essential capabilities required to build strategic, mission-critical, cloud-native apps. With ODC, customers can rapidly and securely build applications that scale to hundreds of millions of users.

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