Introduction to the Cloud Development Life Cycle®


The cloud is not a move-it and forget-it deployment model. Cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are continually innovating and improving their services. In order to fully realize the benefits of the cloud, applications must be continually optimized for the environment. For that reason, at RightBrain Networks we adhere to a process that emphasizes continual improvement and innovation. We call this the Cloud Development Life Cycle® (CDLC®).

The CDLC is similar to the software development life cycle (SDLC) in that it’s intended to help organizations build and maintain high quality cloud applications that are cost-efficient and that meet business needs. Just as software requires maintenance and upgrades, so too do cloud applications. The CDLC facilitates continual improvement to ensure that the cloud app is always optimized for the environment.

Cloud service providers like AWS and Azure are continually releasing new tools and services that enable their customers to innovate. At re:Invent 2015, for example, Amazon announced over 20 new services and features in a range of categories including Internet of Things, analytics, mobile services, security and identity, and management. These services and features only bring value if organizations have a plan to leverage them. That’s what the CDLC provides.

Here’s a closer look at the CDLC:


The CDLC begins with education, assessment and strategy. Every organization and every application is different. It is important to fully assess the application portfolio to determine what can best be achieved in the cloud. Once we understand your business and IT objectives, we identify the best cloud platform for your application(s) and create a strategy for moving to the cloud.


The next step is to make that move. Depending on the agreed upon plan, this can mean one of several things: a lift-and-shift of an on-premises application to the cloud, optimizing an application currently running in the cloud or building a cloud-native application that takes full advantage of the cloud provider’s services and features. Either way, our DevOps team works to ensure that the application architecture is customized to maximize the benefits of the cloud.

Cloud Success

The last phase of the CDLC establishes a framework for continuing innovation in the cloud. Our team of AWS and Azure experts stay abreast of new cloud developments and meet with clients monthly to discuss how their applications can best be optimized for the cloud as well as evolving business needs. The use of agile development practices ensures that applications are rapidly developed and deployed.

The CDLC can be challenging, as it requires skills and resources that most IT organizations lack. Building and managing a cloud-based application is not the same as a building and managing an application that will run on-premises. IT organizations must be on top of their cloud providers’ latest services and features, understand what value they would bring and how to use them. This in itself can be a full time job.

At RightBrain Networks, that is our job. We were born in the cloud and functioned as a DevOps organization from day one. That means our clients benefit from the latest innovations, rapid development, and continuous integration and deployment. We meet clients at any point in journey to the cloud, whether that’s understanding how to get started, re-architecting a legacy application to run in AWS or Azure, building a cloud-native application from scratch, or optimizing an existing application to reduce operational costs. As your cloud advisor, we are there every step of the way to ensure your success.