Measuring Progress: Trends in Cloud Native App Platforms Highlight Need for Repeatability

June 13, 2024

By Camille Crowell and Rita Manachi

The complex cloud native application landscape is evolving at an astonishing pace. Seven months after Broadcom's acquisition of VMware, the Tanzu division continues to observe these landscape changes as we aim to gain an understanding of the opportunities for cloud native businesses. What we’ve found is that the cloud native landscape, and the use cases it supports, are nuanced. That’s why, this year, we took a different approach to our annual research on Kubernetes and opted, instead, to broaden our focus to the entire cloud native application platform ecosystem.

The Evolution of Kubernetes: From early adoption to ecosystem expansion

Kubernetes will reach its ten year milestone on June 26th, 2024, which makes this an opportune time to pause and ask—how far have we come? Over the past four years, VMware Tanzu has produced an annual State of Kubernetes report to gain and share insights into how organizations are leveraging Kubernetes. In 2020, we considered Kubernetes to be in its early stages. However, by 2022, Kubernetes had successfully crossed the adoption chasm. Last year, we observed that Kubernetes was creating value beyond IT, extending its impact across various business functions.

This rapid evolution prompted a natural broadening in our research from Kubernetes itself to the broader ecosystem and platforms enabling cloud native applications. As a result, for 2024 VMware Tanzu has evolved the State of Kubernetes report into the State of the Cloud Native Application Platform report.

Broadening the cloud native mindset

The 2024 State of Cloud Native App Platform research reveals some fascinating trends. Notably, 93% or respondents indicated that cloud-native computing is transforming the way their business is operating. This is a significant increase from the 78% of respondents who expressed this sentiment in our previous report.

As we continue to witness the maturing and widespread adoption of cloud-native technologies, it's become increasingly clear that organizations must adopt a cloud-native mindset in order to remain competitive. This means not only embracing Kubernetes and other cloud native tools, but also shifting towards a more agile, container-driven approach to application development and deployment.

Additionally, our research shows that organizations are now looking beyond just cost savings and efficiency gains when it comes to adopting cloud native practices. Instead, they are recognizing the potential for increased innovation and business growth through faster time-to-market and improved customer experiences.

But what is equally interesting is that the definition of cloud native itself is broadening. A significant 40% of respondents now view cloud-native as more of a mindset rather than just a technology. This shift in perspective underscores the importance of fostering agile and innovative thinking within organizations, rather than merely focusing on technological adoption. With this mindset, organizations can fully embrace the potential of cloud native practices and drive real business value.

This evolution in the understanding of cloud native has also led to a shift in priorities. While cost savings and efficiency gains are still important, other factors such as scalability, flexibility, and reliability are now top concerns for organizations considering adopting cloud native practices because. these practices allow for easier scaling and the ability to adapt to  changing business needs, ultimately creating a competitive edge in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

Moreover, the rise of microservices architecture has further propelled the adoption of cloud native practices. By breaking down monolithic applications into smaller, independent services that can be easily managed and scaled, organizations are able to achieve greater agility and innovation. These modern application patterns and architectures are not without their complexity, however the benefits they afford far outweigh the investment.

The need for unifying solutions

One of the most compelling insights from our research is the urgent need for platforms that create repeatable patterns and allow organizations to transcend the complexity of cloud native environments. While a cloud native approach is becoming ubiquitous in organizations, that does not mean that cloud native standardization has been widely adopted. In fact, many organizations still struggle with repeatability and scale because of inconsistent approaches to app development and deployment. 68% of respondents indicate that their cloud native technology is inconsistently implemented.

This is where a defined set of abstractions can help. In fact, when asked directly which platform capabilities would most benefit their organization’s, 55% indicated that adding repeatable routes to production was crucial for cutting through this complexity. Through our research, we’ve recognized four main abstractions that provide a standardized way to manage and integrate cloud native apps and services. With these abstractions, organizations can easily navigate the complexity of different application types while maintaining a unified platform experience that is more easily managed, secured, and customized for development teams’ needs at scale.

Simplifying development, empowering business

In response to the evolving demands of cloud native environments and the clear need for a unified platform experience, we recently announced VMware Tanzu Platform. Tanzu Platform is a composed set of capabilities that offer a streamlined, integrated solution to address the complexities of cloud native development and deployment.

VMware Tanzu Platform embraces a decade of cloud native best practices and insights, and effectively boosts operational efficiency by unifying commands across Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes to build, bind, deploy, and scale applications in a repeatable manner. The ability to increase repeatability increases and cuts down on complexity is one of the major themes 


The initial stage where developers bring their ideas to life. The command ensures that applications can be built consistently across different environments with security built in.


This command seamlessly integrates services, ensuring that applications have the resources they need to function optimally.


A critical stage that simplifies the process of moving applications from development to production, ensuring reliability and efficiency.


Finally, this command ensures that applications can scale according to demand, providing businesses with the flexibility to grow without compromising performance.

Conclusion: Embracing a simplified future

For the 2024 State of Cloud Native App Platform research, it’s clear that the landscape is rapidly maturing. The cloud native mindset is expanding, and the need for a unified experience is more pressing than ever.

For IT leaders and practitioners alike, these insights offer a roadmap to navigate the complexities of cloud native environments. By embracing platforms that support repeatable patterns and streamline the app dev and deployment process, organizations can cut through complexity and focus on delivering business value.

We invite you to join us in exploring these trends further. Join us on Wednesday, July 24 for a live walkthrough of this report and more. And if you have not already, you can download the State of the Cloud Native Application Platform report here.

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