If you asked 100 people what the definition of cloud native was, you just might get 100 different answers. Why are there so many different answers? To start with, cloud computing itself is still evolving every day, so the definitions offered a few years ago are quite possibly not fully up to date with the current state of the cloud. Secondly, cloud native architectures are a completely new paradigm that use new methods to solve business problems that can typically only be achieved at the scale of cloud computing. Finally, depending on the role of the person being asked, the definition is very different, whether they be an architect, developer, administrator, or decision maker. So, what exactly is the definition of cloud native?
"Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing."
Therefore, at its most basic form, cloud native means to embrace cloud computing services to design the solution; however, that only covers part of what is required to become cloud native. There is a lot more than just using the underlying cloud infrastructure, even if it's the most mature service available.
Automation and application design play significant roles in this process as well. The cloud, with its API-driven design, allows for extreme automation at scale to not only create instances or specific systems, but to also completely roll out an entire corporate landscape with no human interaction. Finally, a critical component in creating a cloud native architecture is the approach used to design a specific application. Systems designed with the best cloud services, and deployed with extreme automation, can still fail to achieve desired results if the logic of the application does not take into consideration the new scale at which it can operate.