Cloud-First Strategy: What It Is and Why You Need It

Publication date: Oct 28, 2022

Last Published: Oct 28, 2022

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The cloud is one of the most transformative technologies available to modern organizations, capable of saving large sums of money while improving efficiency. Making the most of the cloud requires organizations to go all in with a cloud-first business strategy, and we explain what it is and how it can benefit you in this article.

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What Is a Cloud-First Strategy?

A cloud-first business strategy prioritizes cloud-based services over their on-premises alternatives. According to Gartner, this strategy will be employed by more than 85 percent of organizations by 2025.

“We know of no vendor or service provider today whose business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies in organizations,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner.

The proponents of the cloud-first approach believe that the benefits offered by cloud-based services (more about them soon) greatly outweigh those associated with traditional on-premises solutions that require organizations to build and manage their own tech stack.

Of course, a cloud-first organization may still rely on some in-house infrastructure. It does, however, use a combination of the following three main types of cloud computing services whenever possible:

Main types of cloud computing

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Cloud-hosted software applications that are delivered over the internet and typically licensed on a subscription basis. Example: Microsoft 365
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Development and deployment environments in the cloud that can be used to build applications at speed unmatched by on-premise solutions. Example: Azure App Service
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Virtualized compute, storage, and networking resources available on demand over the internet. Example: Microsoft Azure

By opting for cloud-based services first, organizations can keep the footprint of their physical IT infrastructure small (or even go completely serverless) while still being able to acquire any IT capabilities they need to grow and thrive.

What Are the Benefits of a Cloud-First Strategy?

There are many reasons to implement a cloud-first strategy, and they affect all areas of business:

  • Cost savings: Cloud services eliminate the need to purchase and maintain in-house equipment, dramatically reducing both CAPEX costs and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). It’s up to the cloud service provider to invest in hardware, facilities, and the people who maintain them. Even if a disaster strikes and forces the provider to suddenly replace a hundred servers, its customers won’t be financially affected.
  • Scalability: Opportunities come and go, and organizations need to be agile and scalable to seize them before they disappear. Cloud services providers always have a lot of extra capacity, which they are happy to sell to their customers. They also don’t have any issues with customers scaling down their usage to cope with temporary lulls in demand.
  • Security: It takes a lot of skills and effort to properly secure an IT system, as recent data breach statistics illustrate. For cloud service providers, security is one of the main selling points, and they implement advanced solutions to keep their customers’ data private and safe. While that doesn’t make cloud-first organizations completely immune to cyber attacks, it greatly decreases the likelihood of a catastrophic cyber event.
  • Disaster recovery: Because leading cloud services use geographically-redundant physical server infrastructures that may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your location, their availability isn’t affected by local natural disasters and regional outages.
  • Collaboration: Cloud services are delivered over the internet, so they can be accessed from any place with an internet connection. The importance of this benefit was demonstrated during the early months of the pandemic, when cloud-first organizations effortlessly switched to the hybrid or even fully remote work model, whereas organizations that hadn’t embraced the cloud struggled to remain operational with their offices closed.

Implement a Cloud-First Strategy

What’s great about the cloud-first model is that any organization can implement it with little effort required. Indeed, the adoption of the cloud-first mindset is often the most difficult step, and the rest is relatively easy, especially with an experienced IT partner.

We can help you choose the cloud services that best align with your business objectives and ensure their secure implementation to help you unlock the benefits described in this article. Reach out to us today to get started!

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