Though the concept of “cloud” is not new, it has gained more traction in recent years. I can’t think of a CIO meeting happening today in an organization without this word being “uttered”. Yes, cloud today is not classified just as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). It continues to grow to deliver everything as a service, from computing power to business processes to personal interactions. The future of cloud platform will be to provide “Everything as a Service”. Hence having a cloud-first strategy makes perfect sense!
What is Cloud?
Cloud is making all the right noises in today’s IT landscape across all the sectors. It won’t be incorrect to say that cloud technologies have transformed the way we have been using computing power. Rather than purchasing licenses or hardware, we may now obtain computing power as a service. Buying only as much as we need, and only when we need it. Isn’t it nice!!! This new business model has brought vast efficiency and cost advantages to an individual as well as giant corporates. There are numerous benefits of cloud computing. From winning over many adopters to generating significant cost savings, efficiencies, flexibility, innovation, and new market opportunities.
Why a Cloud-First Strategy?
We all by now know the power and flexibility (of choice) cloud computing has brought to the table.
In late 2010, the U.S. federal government announced its “Cloud-First” policy. A policy intended to ensure that the power of cloud computing is unleashed in as many federal agencies as possible. It has now been followed by the UK government as well with the announcement of the G-Cloud program. The ideation was good, the implementation not so. For various reasons like the scale of the Federal IT landscape, decision making just to name a few. But we can definitely take a cue from their vision. The “Cloud-First” strategy is an avenue to break out of your current restrictive procurement and development practices and embrace the cloud with a clear vision and at an accelerated pace.
We all agree that Cloud will be the future (if it isn’t already). So, why not plan towards the same from a perspective of leading from the front and come first (and not second)
So what do we do??
Cloud-First strategy to me is doing the following.
- Choose the cloud as your first choice “whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists.”
- Be it procurement of infrastructure, development and design decisions, keeping the cloud in focus will have far-reaching advantages and benefits
- Choose a standardized approach which should keep you at par with both cloud and on-premise platforms
- Opt for hybrid cloud environments in case a complete shift to a public cloud isn’t possible at the initial stage
- Have a fail-over plan in-case a back out is imminent
- Not trying to suggest that you should just scrap of existing on-premise deployments in favor of cloud subscription-based options. It’s not an either-or proposition. The whole idea is to keep the cloud into perspective and make a conscious effort towards its adoption