What Is The Cloud-First Strategy In Cloud Computing?
A cloud-first strategy is a way of building a business that prioritizes cloud computing over on-premises computing. Although the strategy works for any industry, it is most commonly used by companies in the IT sector.
With a cloud-first strategy, a company will either migrate its existing applications to the cloud or build new applications using cloud-based architecture. The company will then move some or all of its data to the cloud and allow employees to use it through their workstations or mobile devices. The goal is to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve collaboration between employees and teams.
What to expect from a cloud-first strategy
To implement a successful cloud-first strategy, it's essential to understand what it means for your business:
- Choosing flexibility over stability: By moving to the cloud, you may lose some control over how your systems operate and what they do with your data. However, this can be beneficial if you're looking for more agility in developing software solutions or adapting quickly when new technologies arise.
- Owning less infrastructure: Moving from on-premise servers and storage systems toward third-party managed services allows businesses to shed much of their IT infrastructure costs while still getting access to powerful tools like analytics software and data integration techniques.
Components of a cloud-first strategy
Cloud-first involves three main components: automation, agility, and cost-effective solutions.
- Automation refers to the ability of a company's systems to work independently from human intervention—for example, when an application automatically updates its database or sends notifications to users when something happens within the system.
- Agility refers to how quickly companies can react to changes in the market or their business processes.
- Cost-effective solutions refer to the fact that companies don't have to spend money on building their own data centers, so they can focus more on developing new products or services instead of maintaining infrastructure.
The impact of a cloud-first strategy
Cloud-first is a strategy that focuses on using the cloud for all of your company's data storage needs. Instead of keeping your data on your own servers or in your own offices, you'll be storing it in the cloud and accessing it from wherever you are via an internet connection.
Cloud-first strategies in cloud computing can work well in any industry and with any size business. They're especially useful for smaller companies that don't have the resources to keep their own servers running and secure—or even just store all their data offline!
With a cloud-first strategy, you'll be able to access all of your important documents (no matter where they are) anywhere there's an internet connection. Even if something happens with one location (like someone stealing your laptop), you won't lose everything because it is still backed up somewhere else.
How to implement a cloud-first strategy:
- A company may choose to use only cloud solutions for all new projects. Thus, if an existing app needs updating or upgrading, it would not be done on-premise but rather in the cloud.
- Alternatively, a company might choose an "as-a-Service" approach, using some cloud solutions while keeping others on-premises. For example, they might use Office 365 while keeping their email system on-premise to control security settings more easily or because they want access to data stored locally instead of in the cloud, which could become unavailable due to server failure.
- The cloud-first strategy requires an organization to focus on two key areas: adoption and governance.
- The adoption phase involves identifying which services will be consumed, how they will be consumed, and when they will be consumed.
- The governance phase entails developing policies that dictate how these services can be used by employees within the organization.
In order to implement this strategy successfully, companies must:
- Identify which applications or services are most important for the company to have access to at all times.
- Determine what types of data need protection from threats such as malware attacks.
- Create a plan for transitioning from on-premise solutions (like servers) over time.
- Move to an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model.
- Using automation tools like Puppet or Chef to manage infrastructure.
- Create self-service portals for users to provision their own resources.
As part of their strategy, companies will need to decide what kind of cloud services they want to use: public or private? Do they want on-site servers or off-site servers? What about hybrid solutions?
This information will help them determine how much money they need upfront and how much they'll be able to save over time by using cloud services instead of building from scratch or upgrading existing systems.
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