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New Report From OutSystems Reveals the High Cost of Cloud-Native Development

Directly tackling the soaring cost of cloud-native, OutSystems announces global availability of ODC, the first cloud-native high-performance low-code platform

OutSystems, a global leader in high-performance application development, today 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.

“Cloud-native applications have the clear advantage over legacy software. There’s no debate that cloud-native applications respond to the market faster, offer better user experience and provide superior scalability and resilience,” said Patrick Jean, CTO of OutSystems. “But this shift also represents an overhaul of the traditional software development process – one that most companies are not equipped to handle. High-performance low-code offers a way to dramatically accelerate the entire process as well as reduce the strain on developers and minimize the overall total cost of ownership.”

OutSystems Developer Cloud Reduces Overall Cost and Time-to-Market for Cloud Native

Now generally available worldwide, OutSystems Developer Cloud (ODC), the newest solution in the OutSystems Platform, is the first 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. ODC is built on state-of-the-art architecture that includes Kubernetes, Linux containers, microservices, serverless and AWS native cloud services to tackle everything from data and computing to security and networking. With ODC, customers can rapidly and securely build applications that scale to hundreds of millions of users.

The complexity and exploding diversity of cloud services means it can take months to years and millions of dollars to implement a typical cloud-native infrastructure from the ground up — all before developers can even begin building their first application. High-performance low-code for a cloud-native world helps organizations significantly ramp up developer productivity and avoid spending the millions of dollars it would take to build cloud-native applications from scratch.

To learn more about how to bring down the total cost of ownership for cloud-native deployment visit the OutSystems Developer Cloud page.

Read the full OutSystems total cost of ownership report for cloud-native application development.


The report analyzes the resources needed to integrate Kubernetes, cloud-native tools and microservices, and determines the true cost of the special skills and infrastructure needed to achieve cloud-native status. Both the infrastructure environment and application development costs are covered in determining the total cost of ownership (TCO). The report considers variables such as company size, in-house skills, country where teams are hired, team operating models and the complexity of the app portfolio to be modernized.

Overall, the TCO model, the infrastructure tools and services, the required resources for each phase and associated costs were designed and calculated by internal experts and validated by industry analysts and several customers that went through the process of adopting cloud-native development.

About OutSystems

OutSystems was founded in 2001 with the mission to give every organization the power to innovate through software. The OutSystems high-performance low-code platform gives technology leaders and developers the tools to rapidly build and deploy their own business-critical applications. The company’s network spans more than 600,000 community members, 400+ partners, and active customers in 87 countries across 22 industries. OutSystems is “The #1 Low-Code Platform®” and a recognized leader by analysts, IT executives, business leaders, and developers around the world. Some of the most well-known brands use OutSystems to turn their big ideas into software that moves their business, people, and the world forward. Learn more at


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