Does in it mean cloud ‘only’ or is it referring to a planning and organizational mindset, contextualizes decisions to broaden the adoption of cloud over time? It will not surprising it means many things to many organizations. Some things to consider when planning a cloud first strategy are migrations from on-premise to the cloud and general cloud adoption
Cloud First’ is indeed a mindset, or a decision making framework to guide investments towards cloud. This does not mean it is ‘cloud only’, or a reckless pursuit of low cost infrastructure. ‘Cloud First’ is an infusion of strategy designed to further organizations’ ability to modernize. This is a preference to develop directly on cloud platforms, as opposed to developing on prem and migrating later. The focus is on acceleration and permanent reductions in cost overhead and, ultimately satisfying the business. Organizations have made the conscious decision to move to a ‘Cloud First’ migration strategy. However, those who embrace cloud-first, do not consider this just as a technology choice, it is about transformation in all aspects of technology and business.
‘Cloud First’ means focusing on achieving the advantages and benefits on an ongoing basis. Technology organizations have come to accept that in order to meet business needs, they require flexibility, low cost, access to modern skill sets and resources, cost effective upgrades & maintenance, expert support, quick releases, acceleration and collaboration. To do this, building a ‘Cloud First’ culture is paramount. Business support from the top down, business context and support are key drivers. In addition, a well thought out employee engagement and educational initiative can underpin cloud cultural changes, helping employees understand how the technology works and the impact it has on their jobs.
In conjunction with cloud culture, planning and road mapping your ‘Cloud First’ strategy is vital for success. These will likely include a step-by-step process of adopting cloud infrastructure, software development platforms, cloud architecture and agile organizations. It will also include a detailed roadmap for migrating legacy applications, data migrations and retirement of legacy infrastructure. It is important to note, mining cost savings from legacy systems enables a self-funding source for investment into ‘Cloud First’
‘Cloud First’ strategy should also consider risk management. For the business to truly buy into and support, your ‘Cloud First’ strategy, risk management needs to be deeply entrenched. This speaks to the real world challenges of cyber security, systems resilience and recovery, reliability and performance. ‘Cloud First’ is not just about leveraging the cloud, it is about adopting a
complex eco-system of modern technology, organization and resources. Risk management has to be a foundational component of your cloud systems, leverging modern risk management systems, techniques, tools and surveillance. The key element here is that the cloud not only provides these features and services, but is the best technology available.
Finally, having the determination and resolution to adopt a ‘Cloud First’ strategy is not without problems. The concept is one of significant organizational change, which can cause fear and resistance. However, while some of the organizational changes may appear daunting, they are worth it as the benefits far outweigh the risks. It is important to realize that ‘Cloud-First’ cannot be achieved in half measures. The value of such strategy is in its all-encompassing nature or ‘all in’ mindset – end to end, including technology, culture, agile organization, business and commitment.
Next Pathway is the Automated Cloud Migration company. Powered by the SHIFT™ Migration Suite, Next Pathway automates the end-to-end challenges companies experience when migrating applications to the cloud. For more information, please visit nextpathway.com.