Is a `Cloud First’ Strategy Right for Your Business? – Part 1

Stephen Mulligan
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On: 5 Oct 2017
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As more Irish businesses adopt cloud computing as part of their growth strategy, business leaders are beginning to look beyond using cloud to solve a single problem and are exploring the true potential of a `cloud first’ approach.

More and more businesses are leveraging all that cloud has to offer. But is a `cloud first’ approach – one where a cloud solution is your first port of call for all new or replacement services – right for your business?

Cloud as a Method, Not a Location

Public, private and hybrid cloud platforms offer access to a range of solutions that allow any size business to experiment, innovate and transform, usually with minimal risk and little or no upfront investment. However, the cloud is more than a new location to work from; it’s a new method to work with. From communications to storage and collaboration to IoT connectivity, cloud offers an agile, scalable and flexible solution for a wealth of business operations. Never before has it been so easy and cost effective to benefit from the latest technology, experiment with new ideas and to discover ways to innovate that will give you the edge over your rivals.

By adopting a cloud first strategy, businesses no longer need to wait to innovate. New ideas can be trialled at the touch of a button and rolled out or back just as easily.

Despite its depth of functionality and rate of uptake, the benefits of the cloud still remain elusive to many. More importantly, many businesses are missing out on how using a variety of cloud technologies together can help them to drive economic growth.

Instant Innovation Across the Enterprise

By adopting a cloud first strategy, businesses no longer need to wait to innovate. New ideas can be trialled at the touch of a button and rolled out or back just as easily. Such low risk and flexible working has empowered businesses and made them more trusting of the cloud. Improved connectivity in the form of 4G, vDSL, fibre and wireless leased lines ensure confidence in connectivity like never before. Resilient and redundant connectivity options and high quality service level agreements have fortified this trust further, and put the longevity of on-premise solutions in serious doubt.

Cloud Services on Tap

Another huge benefit of adopting a ‘cloud first’ approach for as many services as possible is that you get to tap into the flexibility and scalability of utility computing whenever you need to. This allows you to treat your IT as you would your electricity or water supply, paying for what you use from an unlimited supply when and where you need it. Whether you need to expand your operations to facilitate rapid growth, or you need to move legacy systems to a more agile platform, cloud offers a wealth of possibilities for all businesses and organisations.

Long-term success in the cloud requires a detailed analysis of the entire infrastructure to determine which areas are suitable for cloud migration now and which may be suitable later down the line.

What’s more, this approach immediately exposes the true cost of IT and allows you to pay for what you use at the point of consumption. In one fell swoop you lose the cost, complexity and uncertainty that software licensing and hardware maintenance contracts previously brought to your door. This allows you to explore alternative ways to do business without high costs or the complex migrations.

Is `Cloud First’ Right For Your Business?

While a cloud first strategy can significantly reduce costs compared to managing an on-premise infrastructure, every use case should be analysed thoroughly on its own merit. For established businesses, there may be instances where moving some services off-premise could present challenges and obstacles. Concerns over security or a loss of control are often areas that can thwart the change management process, as can fears of migrating complex legacy estates.

Long-term success in the cloud requires a detailed analysis of the entire infrastructure to determine which areas are suitable for cloud migration now and which may be suitable later down the line. By taking this approach you can avoid moving to cloud for cloud’s sake, avoid an inefficient patchwork of systems and take the right path for your business.

To find out more, call our Business Advice team on 1800 200 017 or get a call back.