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Building Scalable Business Applications: Best Practices and Strategies

Cloud-native architectures, AI advancements, IoT devices, and edge computing are some of the technologies driving this immense market. The best business applications can provide enterprises with significant competitive advantages. But what separates top-of-the-line applications from mediocre applications? The answer is scalability.

Scalability is among the most important attributes a business application needs. Scalability measures how an application can withstand increased or decreased workloads, users, and processing demands. Businesses experience rapid growth fluctuations in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. Their applications need to scale up or down rapidly, cost-effectively, and safely.

Scalable business applications can make or break organizations. Therefore, companies must diligently follow a series of best practices for building scalable applications. Innovative and intelligent strategies for scalable application development provide companies with a significant boost.

Scalability in software development is a crucial artistry that the best companies in the world need to master. Companies must have a high-performance application development environment and culture to build the world’s best cloud-based business applications. The advantages can metamorphose good businesses into world-class businesses.    

This article explores the best practices of building scalable business applications in 2023.


Top 8 Best Practices for Building Scalable Business Applications

1. Define Scalability Objectives

Development teams must thoroughly research and define an application’s scalability capabilities and requirements before development begins. Developers need to have this information at the very start of the process. This is because scalability is rarely an add-on attribute. It’s important to build applications with purpose and business logic.

Building scalable applications is highly strategic. Businesses need to have a set of metrics and KPIs to frame and measure application scalability. Some critical parameters that companies should address in their objectives include application latency, security, resiliency, throughput, and workload concurrency.

Business-specific projections like potential traffic, queries per second, daily transactions, ideal response times, probable errors, and likely downtime, and the need for granular upscaling or downscaling will typically influence this.

2. Carefully Choose Between Horizontal vs. Vertical Scaling

An organization needs to choose from two primary types of scalable architecture models. Both have advantages and disadvantages; therefore, the decision boils down to the intricate needs of a specific business.

Horizontal scaling involves adding more servers to an application development environment, which enhances elasticity. Vertical scaling involves adding extra computing power to existing servers.

Horizontal scaling is a common choice for building scalable business applications. It’s not the easiest type of scaling to initiate, but long-term benefits like reliability are significant.

Vertical scaling is typically cheaper and easier to run. The benefits of vertical scaling are cost-savings and easy implementation. However, there are scaling limits with vertical models, hardware expenses may eventually rise, and there’s a risk of database vendor lock-ins.

While building scalable applications, it’s essential that businesses carefully consider both options, have the utmost clarity on the challenges and benefits of both, and pick an avenue that suits their requirements.

3. Determine The Optimal Tech Stack

A tech stack is the foundation of business application development. It comprises all the technologies and tools required to develop scalable applications. This includes frontend interfaces, backend infrastructure, databases, programming languages, APIs, servers, frameworks, third-party add-ons, monitoring, reporting, and business intelligence tools. Choosing an optimal tech stack should be a priority when building scalable applications.  

Common tech stacks for scalable applications include LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), .NET (Microsoft’s cross-platform and open-source application development platform), and MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js). The most widely used programming languages for business applications include Python, Java, and C++. Enterprises can commission traditional tech stacks or customize their own to meet specific needs.

4. Prioritize Load Balancing

Load balancing is essentially the distribution of workloads across resources and infrastructure in an even and efficient manner to prevent overload and system failures. Enterprises should prioritize load balancing for scalable applications to avoid disruptions and downtime. Downtime is a non-option for companies in today’s unforgiving market. Load balancing helps companies ensure that there is no single point of failure in their application.

The perfect solutions for load balancing include pinpointing dependencies that affect scalability and employing GSLB (global server load balancing) to evenly distribute workloads across a global network of connected servers. Standard load balancing methods and algorithms include least response time, round robin, and source IP hash. Each of these methods has unique capabilities and use cases. Selecting the right load-balancing algorithm is critical.   

5. Offload Applications Servers

Offloading application servers to auxiliary infrastructure and platforms is an excellent method of keeping servers lightweight and enabling higher safety and efficiency. Typically offloaded functions include SSL (Security Socket Layer) encryptions, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) optimizations, cookie management, URL redirections, data encryption, data transformation, and compression tasks.

Companies should focus on shifting server-side rendering to customer-side rendering. Server-side rendering is essentially the transformation of HTTP files to displayable application content. Moving to a customer-side model of rendering lightweight HTTP files in a browser via JavaScript is a great solution to reduce server-side loads and make an application lean and muscular.

6. Bring Security to the Forefront

We often discuss scalability in relation to maximizing business potential. However, in security terms, application scalability means that there’s an expansion of the attack surface. It opens up new entryways for malicious hackers and can potentially place a company’s data and high-value assets in harm’s way.

Developers should employ the principles of least privilege and zero trust in application development to ensure maximum security. They should use standardized and industry-specific coding practices, diligently meet the regulatory requirements of relevant governing bodies, test and re-test their application to find vulnerabilities, commission internal and external audits, and set in place a series of robust WAAP (Web Application and API Protection) mechanisms. 

7. Optimize Networks for Performance

Internalized antipatterns and hidden bottlenecks are the enemies of performance and efficiency. It’s integral for businesses to optimize their networks and enhance performance. Solutions boosting network optimization include QoS (quality-of-service) measurements, frameworks, tools, HTTP and web accelerators, and SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) approaches.

Companies should choose the most suitable memory database and caching systems to enable increased performance and reduce lags. Examples of such systems include Memcached and Redis, both open-source tools businesses can use to cache and distribute data across nodes to strengthen performance. Tools like these can help clear up bottlenecks and reduce stale data, which is a significant cybersecurity risk.

8. Meticulously Test and Re-Test

Testing for scalability has specific requirements and parameters. Fundamentally, a scalability test involves putting an application under increasing workload pressure until it stops scaling. The point where the application collapses or stops scaling under high traffic, and loads is its capacity limit. During tests, if the capacity limits are lower than expected, companies need to dig deep, understand what caused the failure, and innovate anew.

There are distinctive sub-attributes under the umbrella of scalability that need to be tested. They include throughput, response time, user capacity, bandwidth usage, CPU power consumption, and threshold loads. Scalability testing isn’t just about finding the breaking point of an application. It’s about discovering exactly why the application stops scaling at a certain load.

All the hard work of building scalable applications can come undone with substandard testing. Businesses must treat testing (and re-testing) as a vital part of their development process, not just a formality before deployment.


The global enterprise application market is booming. Enterprises from all corners of the world are developing robust cloud-based applications. The most important attribute of modern business applications is scalability.

Building scalable business applications is a complex process that can be made easier by following certain best practices and strategies:

  • Companies need to clearly define scalability objectives before beginning development.
  • They must choose whether their application should feature a horizontal or vertical scaling model.
  • The above decisions will provide insights into the kind of tech stack that needs to be compiled and commissioned to build the application.
  • Businesses must prioritize load balancing and offloading application servers to keep their application lightweight, bottleneck-free, secure, and highly efficient.
  • Conduct further network optimizations to iron out antipatterns and identify hidden bottlenecks.
  • Businesses must be alert to the growing horde of cybersecurity threats and elevate security to the forefront of all application development plans.
  • Relentless testing needs to take place to evaluate the capacity and capabilities of an application, after which further optimization and testing procedures should be executed to ensure scalability and performance.


At, we are highly experienced in business application development. Core services include software product design, product engineering, QA and testing, and technology consulting.

We have a powerful delivery system across Europe and North America, 4 ISO certifications, and demonstrated success in building hundreds of complex applications with grace, finesse, expertise, and efficiency. There’s no one better to partner with when building scalable business applications. 

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