The only way to guarantee business longevity and growth into the future is to create a forward-looking plan—one that invests in people and technologies to keep up with future business advances. Organizations which have famously failed to advance at the rate of their competition have been overtaken and eventually crowded out of the marketplace altogether. Cloud-first technology considerations are your business’s number one defense against a continually advancing business landscape.
Cloud-first strategies define a business mindset that prioritizes leaning on cloud services whenever feasible. It is a strategy designed to reap the benefits of cloud services where they can be most practically and easily applied. The cost savings, security improvements, and scalability brought by cloud solutions make considering a cloud option first a worthwhile time investment.
Cloud-First vs Cloud-Only
Many firms mistake a cloud-first approach with a cloud-only business plan. While seeking out the benefits of migrating apps to the cloud, businesses often implement a cloud-at-all-costs plan that mandates that every service is run through the cloud. Cloud-only strategies can begin work to the detriment of a business, creating counter-productive practices that negate the inherent advantages of cloud technologies.
Cloud-first is a technology concept that has been around for almost a decade. It simply asks that IT departments consider where and when cloud services can be employed to solve business challenges in the most practical and efficient way possible.
As organizations and departments gain greater and greater understanding of the cloud and how to use it, cloud-first becomes a consistently evolving strategy that improves over time. Detailed knowledge of each of the top cloud providers and the tiers of service they offer enables smarter decisions about how the organization interacts with services on the cloud.
Cloud service levels available to migrate apps to the cloud:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Includes everything you need to get up and running on the cloud from the hardware up
- Platform as a service (PaaS): The tools and services required to deploy applications over the cloud in a safe and easy away
- Software as a service (SaaS): Applications and software designed for end-users delivered through a cloud computing platform
Navigating Your Organization to the Cloud
Making the most out of your organization’s resources will inevitably mean migrating apps to the cloud as part of a carefully planned assessment of the costs and benefits brought through cloud resources. Migrating each service in turn takes careful review and evaluation in a number of steps.
Creating a proof of concept enables a ‘bedding-in’ of the strategy in order to gather support and familiarity with the idea among internal staff. A pilot run of cloud-first decision making allows complete visibility and thorough review of the way the idea is deployed in the organization.
When cloud strategies are implemented and a decision on storage solutions made, data migration can begin to move your data into cloud space. Decisions about data centers, delivery points, compliance, and security are critical to successful and satisfactory migration.
Application migration takes place shortly after. Whether moving all related and dependent applications to the cloud wholesale or employing a hybrid strategy with ‘local’ servers, support, recovery, and delivery are key to successful app migration.
Azure app and database migrations create cloud configurations that work for your business. With critical migrations out of the way and initial decisions about platform and scale made, your organization is ready to begin leveraging the cloud at scale for its business resources.
Modern cloud technologies, coupled with intelligent business processes and cloud strategies, mean your organization can be ready to make efficient, scalable, and secure use of its resources in almost an instant.