A cloud-first policy is an organizational strategy that prioritizes using cloud computing services and platforms over on-premises infrastructure. A cloud-first policy aims to enable an organization to be more agile, efficient, and innovative.
A cloud-first policy can achieve several benefits, such as reduced costs, increased scalability, and improved disaster recovery. A cloud-first policy opposes the traditional “on-premises first” approach. The on-premises first approach assumes that all IT services are deployed and managed internally without public cloud services.
It is one of the most significant trends in technology for a reason. So let’s look at what drives the cloud-first policies implemented in public and private organisations.
Putting cloud computing at the forefront of your business strategy can pay off in a big way. Here are four surefire benefits of adopting a cloud-first mentality.
1. Optimal Resource Utilization
Servers and networking equipment is expensive and take up much space! One of the cloud’s biggest selling points is providing on-demand access to servers, storage, and other infrastructure resources. All this, without eating up physical space in your data centre. Moreover, if you ever need to scale down, the cloud is flexible enough to do this easily.
2. Hassle-free Administration
The cloud makes it easy to pass the maintenance burden on to the service provider. That means you never have to change a hard drive or perform a single software update. As a result, your staff can devote their time to other projects that help move the business forward. This shift in responsibility is especially beneficial for organizations with smaller IT teams.
3. Enhanced Mobility
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has more organisations welcoming the idea of mobile devices in the workplace. This integration can be a significant productivity booster in a tightly controlled environment. Most vendors offer cross-platform applications that can seamlessly connect works to IT resources from any device. Employees can work on the go from anywhere.
4. Stronger Security
Security remains one of the biggest barriers to cloud adoption. However, if you think about it, most firms will benefit from much better security than they could implement in-house. You may have recruited some of the brightest experts in the field. However, chances are your staff pales compared to the IT security teams at Amazon and Google, working around the clock.
Moreover, for the times when Amazon and Google do not have you covered, you can get an inexpensive failover plan.
Impact of Cloud First Policy on Organisational Innovation
By embracing cloud technology, organizations can unlock a wealth of new possibilities. Cloud-based solutions offer greater flexibility and scalability, allowing companies to experiment with new ideas and solutions without having to invest heavily in hardware or infrastructure. This, in turn, can encourage employees to think more creatively and take risks in their work.
A cloud-first policy can also enable organizations to move faster and more efficiently. By leveraging cloud-based solutions, teams can work collaboratively from anywhere worldwide. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with remote or distributed teams. With cloud-based collaboration tools, employees can work together seamlessly, regardless of location.
Cloud technology also enables organizations to collect and analyze data more efficiently. By leveraging cloud-based data analytics tools, companies can gain insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and other valuable data points. This, in turn, can help organizations make better-informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
Finally, a cloud-first policy can drive innovation by enabling organizations to experiment with emerging technologies. Cloud-based solutions make it easier for businesses to adopt new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT). By experimenting with these technologies, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and develop new products and services that meet evolving customer needs.
Cloud-First Risks and Concerns
Fully embracing new technology can be a gift and a curse. By adopting the cloud, you can make your infrastructure run more efficiently. However, research suggests that organisations are still unprepared about cloud security.
According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2016 Global Cloud Data Security Study, some organisations are still struggling with cloud-first policies:
- 65 per cent of respondents believe their organisations are dedicated to protecting sensitive data in the cloud;
- 54 per cent of respondents did not feel their organisations are being proactive enough to comply with data protection regulations and manage cloud security;
- Another 64 said their companies lack policies requiring encryption and other safeguards when deploying cloud applications.
Among the many benefits touted by cloud proponents is the potential for substantial cost savings. Hosting your data and resources across a cluster of remote internet servers can help you save much money. It could be a viable alternative to investing in data centres for government agencies and large private companies.