5 Best Cloud Application Development Services in the UK
The growth of cloud-based applications is set to continue as companies look to make their technology as secure, scalable, accessible, and user-friendly as possible.
In a recent survey, 71% of senior IT decision-makers said they expect to deploy cloud-native apps in 2023, representing an 11% increase from 2022.1 Zooming out, it’s predicted that 100 zettabytes of data will be stored in the cloud by 2025 — or roughly half the world’s data.2
Cloud application development can be used to optimise customer experiences and streamline internal processes — and there are many services and solutions to choose from. Custom build solutions, for example, handle the entire development project for you. Meanwhile, most PaaS and SaaS solutions require little to no in-house expertise — but might suffer limited customisability.
The question of power apps vs custom build vs SaaS is complex, and will ultimately depend on your company’s unique goals. The best choice for your business will depend on your:
- Long-term goals
- Project deadlines
- Level of in-house application development expertise
- Current systems
Choosing a cloud application development service can be daunting. There’s a lot on the line, and the outcome of the project will directly affect your business and potentially your customers. But in a subject that’s full of technical jargon and complexity, there are three key factors to look out for: security, scalability, and end-to-end support.
In this article, we’ll look at five of the best cloud application development services of 2023.
Suggested reading: Read our eBook, ‘Legacy Systems Are Costing Your Business Growth’, to discover why cloud solutions are essential for forward-thinking businesses.
Low-code application development
Developed by software leader Microsoft, Power Apps is a platform that allows businesses to quickly build and share applications with little or no code. This makes it appealing for non-technical teams as well as developers.
What does it offer?
Power Apps offers a range of features and benefits that allow you to build low-code applications, including:
- Collaborative development: Designed to be used by everyone from software developers to internal staff — although some technical training may be required.
- Customisable design: Pick and choose the features you want for your app from a pre-existing range, then drag-and-drop elements onto a canvas.
- Simple integration with Microsoft services: Enjoy seamless connection with Office, OneDrive, SharePoint, and other Microsoft tools.
- Free 30-day trial: Get a clear idea of Power Apps’ capabilities before you commit to a paid plan.
Who is it suited to?
With its rapid app-building capabilities and low barrier to entry, Power Apps is well suited to smaller companies that want to build a cloud application relatively quickly and who have some in-house development expertise.
Such companies might not have a clear idea of the features they want and are happy to accept some design and feature limitations as a tradeoff for simplicity and speed.
Power Apps will also work well for companies who only require an application for a short amount of time — for example, for an internal project or one-off product delivery. However, if you are looking for a high security application that will drive continual improvement in the long-term, Power Apps probably isn’t the right solution for you.
Suggested reading: Read our blog to learn more about what implementing cloud innovation involves — and whether it’s the right choice for your organisation.
SaaS product development
Based in the UK, GoodCore is a company that focuses on SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud app development services. Unlike application development, which is an ongoing process that leaves you with ownership over the final application, SaaS provides you with access to an application that you do not own.
This is ideal for companies who want the capabilities of an application without the responsibility of owning it, but it does mean that if they choose to leave their contract, they will lose access to the technology. This is also well-suited to companies that are looking to produce a monetised application, and may not have the expertise or resources to develop software in-house
What do they offer?
GoodCore offers a range of SaaS solutions designed to help businesses monetise their software products, including:
- Bespoke app development: GoodCore helps businesses build custom SaaS apps, covering product development, security design, release planning, and licence management.
- Ongoing management: Because this is a SaaS option, GoodCore handles the subscription management and application management side of things, freeing up your staff to focus on what they do best.
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP): GoodCore specialises in getting products to market as quickly as possible, allowing you to test your ideas in the real world before scaling them.
Who are they suited to?
GoodCore is a solid option for businesses that are looking to implement and use an application, but who don’t want to commit to purchasing one.
This could be because they only require an application for a short period of time, or they simply do not have the need for a custom-built solution. Alternatively, it could be because they are aiming to monestise their application and want to work with a SaaS provider who can provide them with essential infrastructure and expertise.
Application development on-hire
With offices in the UK, India, the USA, and elsewhere, Sapphire is a web and mobile application development services company with a truly global reach.
What do they offer?
Sapphire offers a broad range of app development services that vary widely depending on their customers’ budgets and requirements. Customers are able to hire developers through Sapphire, and so ensure greater security and quality than if they were to employ a freelance developer. Their services include:
- Public, private, and hybrid cloud deployment: Sapphire’s flexible offering is suitable for companies currently working across a range of cloud technologies and systems.
- Multiple vendors: Sapphire works with a number of different vendors, including Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, and Amazon Web Services, giving clients flexibility over what kind of specialist they hire.
- Prototype demos: Sapphire customers can see their app in action before it goes live, allowing them to make any pre–deployment adjustments. That said, they don’t offer any post go-live support.
Who are they suited to?
Sapphire’s ability to deploy apps on public, private, and hybrid clouds makes them a good choice for companies looking for a range of options — particularly small-to-medium-sized businesses without in-house development teams.
Custom application development
Another UK-based company, Ballard Chalmers specialise in mobile application development, offering cloud, hybrid, and on-premises solutions. Ballard Chalmers is part of the Transparity Group, and is an expert in cloud computing.
What do they offer?
A range of mobile app development services for both iOS and Android, including:
- Offline access: Utilising SQLite, Ballard Chalmers develops applications that work even without an internet connection.
- Azure Cloud specialists: Ballard Chalmers are a Microsoft Solutions Partner. This means they are able to develop applications to a high standard, and can build quality Microsoft cloud-native applications.
- Easy communication: Ballard Chalmers’ clients can cut out the middleman and communicate directly with developers, who are like an extension of their team.
Who are they suited to?
Medium-to-large businesses that already have a strong in-house IT team but who need specialist help to quickly establish a long-term cloud application solution — especially those who are confident in managing their application post-go-live.
We’re a UK-based company that helps businesses solve complex problems with innovative cloud applications. As a Microsoft Solution Partner, we are able to provide best-in-class expertise for Azure cloud development and modernisation.
What do we offer?
We offer bespoke, end-to-end cloud application services focused around three core offerings: application innovation, application modernisation, and managed application support. Here are just some of the benefits we offer our customers:
- A highly customised approach: Each business is different. To meet the unique needs of our customers, we offer a highly personalised approach based on their specific needs and goals.
- Collaboration at all stages of development: We work closely with our customers’ internal teams, ensuring that they are involved in all stages of the development process. Our customers enjoy control over their application’s features, design, settings, and customisable assets.
- Microsoft Azure specialists: With over 700 million users worldwide, including 85% of Fortune 500 Companies,3 Azure is the leading application development tool. As a certified Microsoft technology partner, we help our customers unlock the potential of their cloud services.
- Pre-launch product testing: We provide app demonstrations, test reports, and user acceptance testing to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of an app’s capabilities before launch — and make adjustments if needed.
- Managed Application Support: For customers who don’t have an in-house management team, we offer long-term support, ensuring that they get the maximum benefits from their application.
- 30 days of hypercare post-go-live: Application development shouldn’t stop once the app is launched. In fact, this is when some of the biggest challenges may arise. This is why we offer a 30-day period of hypercare to ensure that customers have ongoing support throughout development and beyond.
Who are we suited to?
Talk Think Do is a partner you can trust, offering industry-leading expertise, client communication, and project transparency. While we’re happy to work with any customer looking for innovative cloud-native applications, we’re a great fit for medium-to-large businesses that want custom-built apps designed to meet their unique goals and needs.
For example, Talk Think Do was employed by Explore Learning to develop a custom cloud application during the COVID-19 lockdown. This application facilitated a ‘fearless learning’ programme, that allowed Explore to retain their staff throughout the lockdown, and subsequently expand their offerings to online learning.
Our innovation-driven approach helps our clients to discover new opportunities through the process of building an application, and drive growth in the long-term. We are able to distil complex problems into straightforward solutions, keeping stakeholders and essential third parties informed of project progress.
Suggested reading: Read our case study to discover how our comprehensive solution architecture transformed processes within the Department for Education.
Finding your ‘best fit’
When it comes to cloud application development, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The best fit for you will depend on your business requirements, including your budget, long-term goals, level of in-house expertise, and existing applications. The cloud-development companies we’ve listed in this article are all good options for different reasons.
Talk Think Do: Cloud application innovation specialists
If you’re looking for a cloud application specialist that creates customised, long-term solutions, look no further than Talk Think Do. We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our clients, understanding their unique needs, and delivering bespoke cloud solutions that drive success.
That said, if you are looking for a bespoke application that meets all of your business needs and allows you to scale in the long run, we can help. Book a free consultation today to speak to one of our cloud innovation experts.
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