The cloud-first strategy has been more than just a trend for quite some time now, and it’s no wonder. A strategic approach that transforms software development and minimizes redundant overhead is really a no-brainer.
So, the short answer to the question from the title is: yes.
But let’s elaborate further and show you why exactly cloud-first strategy is the right solution for your business.
Why Consider Cloud Adoption?
Migrating a significant portion of your infrastructure to cloud computing platforms represents a ground-breaking shift, especially in this new era of increasingly prevalent remote work. Embracing cloud-first solutions enables companies worldwide to experience ultimate scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, thanks to reduced expenses for power and physical space.
Benefits of a Cloud Business Model
Agility is undoubtedly one of the primary benefits of cloud-first architectures. Ready-to-use cloud platforms empower companies to quickly launch new products and updates without the need to construct infrastructure from the ground up. A quick response to market changes is invaluable for any kind of business, and cloud solutions make this possible, supporting both innovation and adaptability.
Cost-reduction is a highly desirable aspect of cloud computing business strategy. Its pay-as-you-go pricing model allows organizations to only pay for the resources they use, swiftly scaling them up or down as needed. This approach is especially effective for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), preserving resources for their core business functions.
Enhanced security is an equally important benefit of cloud computing strategies. Companies can rely on cloud providers’ ongoing dedication to investing in and maintaining advanced security features with high compliance standards. So, not only do cloud solutions protect the infrastructure and customer data, but also align companies with industry standards.
How Does a Cloud-First Strategy Help Clients?
To sum up the gist of what we already mentioned - a cloud-first strategy enables clients to swiftly adapt and respond to market changes and launch new products and updates without delay. Apart from enhancing competitiveness, cloud strategies reduce costs by allowing companies to scale easily, pay only for the resources they need and save on extra costs for physical space and power.
Cloud-First Doesn’t Mean Cloud Only
It’s understandable that “cloud-first” might sound as if there’s a decision of monumental importance to be made, and there’s no way back or no room for anything else. However, cloud-first simply reflects the need to align tech choices with the needs and objectives of your organization. There are massive advantages to the cloud, but certain projects and certain companies might need alternative resources. It’s not either or, but using undoubtable advantages of cloud and benefiting from them while also combining them with additional solutions. That’s why some people call this approach “cloud-smart”, rather than “cloud-first”.
Cloud-First vs Cloud-Native
Cloud-first and cloud-native approach have different objectives and methodologies.
Cloud-first strategy is application-centric and emphasizes migration through methods like lift and shift. This approach usually demands re-architecting and comes with a bit of a learning curve.
On the other hand, a cloud-native strategy is business-centric, prioritizing innovation by building applications for cloud specifically, leveraging cloud services and scalability.
Put simply, the core difference is in their focus and execution. A cloud-first approach is about moving existing apps to the cloud, while a cloud-native approach involves designing apps and other solutions tailored for cloud environments from the outset.
In both cases, integrating internet-based services, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)is key for implementation.
Cloud-First Strategy vs Other Approaches
As we just mentioned, cloud-native builds new customized apps for the cloud, requiring skills for legacy app transformation. Other alternative methods include:
“Lift and shift” - this method, as its name suggests, involves migrating existing applications to the cloud without significant modifications, paying the least attention to cloud optimization.
Hybrid cloud - this strategy combines public and private clouds, somewhat complicating the architecture and governance.
Multi cloud - this approach employs services from several cloud providers, reducing vendor dependence. However, managing multiple clouds has its challenges.
In contrast to all mentioned, cloud-first strategy has a strategic, measured approach: it selectively migrates suitable workloads based on pragmatic reasons and specific business needs.
How to Make Your Cloud-First Strategy a Success
There are a few factors to take into account to make sure your cloud-first strategy is successful.
Vision: Define clear objectives for your business that your cloud-first strategy will bring to reality. This provides a roadmap for strategic direction.
Leadership support: Make sure to have explicit buy-ins, backing and support from the leadership and key executives. This helps resource allocation, decision-making and overcoming potential roadblocks - which is crucial for success.
Structured Processes: Implement clear governance policies, procedures and best practices to align people and technologies and establish clear processes that ensure accountability.
Comprehensive Planning: Take some time to assess workloads, risks, required resources and costs and then proceed to creating an actionable roadmap that includes milestones, timelines and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Ongoing Optimization: After a successful migration continue to optimize: pinpoint room for cost reduction, security enhancement, architecture improvement and strengthening operations.
Skill Development: Prioritize teaching the necessary skills to your staff and continue to improve them. Upskilling your staff in this context might mean training them in cloud-related skills like DevOps or site reliability engineering.
Vendor Selection: Don’t rush while evaluating different cloud providers and what they offer. To find the best fit, concentrate on what your true, unique business needs and priorities are and choose a provider that will prioritize fulfilling them. Even after you’re sure you’ve made the right decision, continue assessing your chosen provider from time to time - the cloud evolves quickly, and so should the vendors.
Final Words: How to Take a Cloud-First Approach in Your Company
For a successful cloud computing business strategy first and foremost it’s important to promote a culture of technology adoption and inspire every employee to be a part of it. Encourage them to ask questions and make sure to inform them each time decisions related to cloud adoption are made. Keep your employees skills sharp by mentoring, as well as enlisting them in formal education programs. Finally, make it clear to your employees which aspects of their work are simplified by migrating to the cloud, and how it enables them to work on more creative things.
The incorporation of cloud infrastructure can be intimidating since it’s usually a great shift in workflow that disrupts roles and shakes up the system from top to bottom. But, if executed properly, this huge change will result with equally massive improvements, to the satisfaction of both employees and executives.
If you’re ready to upgrade your workflow and efficiency to the maximum level, feel free to explore 2am.tech’s cloud computing services. Leverage our decade-long expertise and experience what it’s like to have a true partner that prioritizes your business needs and development. We look forward to meeting you.
1. What are the benefits of a cloud-first approach?
Apart from freeing staff to engage in more creative assignments, agility, cost reduction, flexibility, and enhanced security are among the top benefits of cloud-first approach.
2. What is the cloud migration roadmap?
The cloud migration roadmap is a system of necessary steps for a successful transition to the cloud. It involves defining a long-term vision, securing leadership support, implementing a strategic migration plan, and equipping staff with the necessary skills.
3. What is the difference between cloud-first and cloud-native approach?
The core difference is in focus and execution. A cloud-first approach migrates existing apps to the cloud, while cloud-native approach designs apps and solutions tailored for cloud environments from the outset.