Differences between Cloud-Hosted and Cloud-Native software.

The cloud has become one of technology’s most important tools. Made possible through always-connected internet technologies, cloud solutions enable individuals and companies to create, access and store information and applications on different devices across a series of networked servers that can be located anywhere on earth.

No longer must productivity solutions, data, or web pages be directly installed onto a desktop computer or a local server. Through cloud technology, an app and its relevant data can be stored remotely, and users can interact with it instantaneously.

Let’s take a closer look at cloud-hosted and cloud-native software, as well as their benefits and disadvantages.

For small and medium-sized businesses that are considering investing in cloud solutions, some of the terminology and features of different cloud offerings can appear confusing. Although servers and shared resources are a key aspect of any cloud solution, cloud-hosted and cloud-native software are different options that serve different purposes. Understanding the differences between these two approaches can help decision-makers find the best possible investments in cloud infrastructure.

Cloud-hosted software

Cloud-hosted applications are designed for businesses to use on-premise, but they can be hosted by public, private, or hybrid cloud providers like Amazon. Users access software and data over the internet. Cloud-hosted applications offer many benefits — including improved data security and lower costs  — but they require more time and money to upgrade or replace in the future.

Cloud-native software

Cloud-native software is designed and developed specifically for the cloud, and it runs from end to end only in the cloud. Built, tested, and deployed in the cloud, it takes full advantage of all the advantages that cloud architecture offers. For example, cloud-native software developers use containers, microservices, and open API to lower costs, ensure minimal business disruptions, and improve the recoverability of data.

What are the benefits of cloud-hosting?

Cloud hosting gives organizations looking to host websites, applications, and computing resources over the internet many benefits, including:


Rather than relying on costly IT infrastructure investments, cloud hosting makes it possible to flexibly scale and adjust computing needs based on demand.

Reliability and Availability

The distributed nature of cloud hosting helps ensure there’s no single point of failure and, when combined with backup and redundancy, helps guarantee that services are available 24/7/365.

Cost efficiency

Unlike traditional hosting models, cloud hosting often means organizations only pay for the resources that end up being used.

What are the benefits of cloud-native software?

Both cloud-hosted and cloud-native software offer advantages:


For small and medium-sized businesses, cloud software makes it easy to add additional users and resources when it’s time to grow, ensuring that software needs don’t hamper production.


Many cloud software solutions feature state-of-the-art security features, such as automatic encryption and role-based access control, ensuring that data and communications are stored as safely as possible.

Ease of access

Because cloud software isn’t stored on a single computer, users can access it through virtually any mobile device or web browser, making it possible for employees to stay productive anytime, anywhere.

What are the key differences between cloud-hosted and cloud-native software?

Deciding whether cloud-hosted or cloud-native software is the best choice for your business depends on a number of factors.  The features of a traditional on-premise software solution might best fit the needs of your company, but you were hoping for the flexibility and reliability of a cloud based program.  Many traditional, on-prem solutions can be hosted giving you the best of both worlds.  Hosting frees you from buying and maintaining servers and you pay for the amount of data you manage and the storage you use.

Cloud-native applications, designed, developed, and deployed for cloud environments provide greater flexibility and future-proofing.  These applications achieve true economy of scale and scope, driving instant elasticity and lowered costs. They’re highly scalable and make it much easier for developers to add new functionalities and modules, lowering the time and cost to develop new applications as your business needs change. Additionally, if a fire or flood strikes, the disruption is minimal to none, ensuring true business continuity.

Finding the right technology partner

The technology experts at DWD Technology Group have been helping businesses throughout the Midwest find and implement the best possible software solutions for more than 30 years. For more information about cloud services, hosting, and technology, contact us today!