Cloud-first is a terminology used for companies and businesses that look up to the cloud before anything else whenever they are faced with a problem, challenge, or obstacle. The IT teams and officials are able to deliver services that are top-tier with the help of the insights that the cloud offers. The scalability, innovation, and flexibility capabilities of cloud technology empower businesses to take on their operations much more easily and efficiently. For these reasons and much more, more and more organizations are looking to implement a cloud-first policy within their workplaces. Before we move on to learning the best practices to become cloud-first, let us take a look at what cloud-first is to better understand what the terminology exactly represents. Here are the 5 Best Practices to Become Cloud-First:
What is Cloud-First?
The term cloud-first refers to a policy or a set of regulations that require a business to move towards IT modernization using commercial cloud technology services, like AWS, as the enabler. This makes them resort to the cloud for seeking solutions to all the business problems, as well as for growing or expanding their organization through digitization and innovation. The benefits of going cloud-first are aplenty, including cost-savings, the efficiency of operations, agility, etc.
Companies can allocate the saved costs and IT budgets on value-adding operating expenses, enhancing their productivity as well as profitability. They will also have on-demand access to IT services and products that are supported by cloud technology and are leading edge. Not only that, but a cloud-first policy that is intelligently designed and effectively implemented can render the confidential data and information of a business and its customers more secure. Businesses can also augment their efforts for transparency and development of the workforce, along with adjusting their usage as per their requirements.
Once you have made the decision, here are the best practices to become cloud-first.
1. Commit to Becoming Cloud-First
Committing to becoming cloud-first refers to moving all your apps to the cloud. For this purpose, you can opt for a private or a public cloud. A business has to prioritize the strategy of going cloud-first with complete dedication in order to extract the full potential that cloud technology has to offer. This requires appropriate and adequate resources to be dedicated to the changes by the organization. It may also require the company to assign teams that are dedicated to the cloud program. The IT team should start working on activities that are related to the cloud and not only take on a pilot program or work on a proof-of-concept.
2. Understand the Cloud Economics
It is true that adopting the cloud does not require a business to ponder much, but it should at least determine its case to move to the cloud. By doing so, a company understands cloud economics better and gains insights that prove to be valuable in the long run. The economics can be divided into two different components, the soft benefits, including agility, and the analysis of the total cost of ownership, including savings pertaining to hard cost.
When a business determines its current costs, it should take into account not just comparisons that are server-for-server but the complete package. Here are the aspects that should be included in the cost considerations:
- Physical security costs
- Bug fixes
- Application enhancement
- Quality testing
- Requirements analysis
- Selecting vendor software
- Operational support
- Agreement policies that are service-level
- Business continuity and recovery from disaster
- Other risks
The second, soft benefits and agility components, requires the business to determine and analyze the ways to measure the productivity impact, the financial impact resulting from provisioning time decrease, and the advantages of owning infrastructure that is agile and flexible.
3. Identify Your Application Estate’s Inner Workings
The public cloud suffices for most organizations, but it is possible that some of your applications work better in a private cloud. Best practices to become cloud-first requires you to ascertain if you want to go for a public cloud setup or a hybrid one, depending on the workings of your application estate. Provided the integration is set up properly and expertly, the complex combination of private and public clouds can prove to be very effective for your business.
4. Perform a Gap Assessment for Governance and Security
You can assess gaps pertaining to governance and security within your cloud program by forming a baseline through reference architecture patterns that are repeatable. The activity allows you to assess your control objectives by looking at them against a standard that is known. You can document the results in comparison with the best and most widely accepted practices of the industry. This keeps you from having to build an architecture for security reference from scratch, as embracing a baseline enables you to make minor changes and fulfill your unique needs.
5. Plan for Continuous Compliance
Legacy change controls being extremely slow, cloud models demand a new governance level that is based on consumption. A software that offers you continuous compliance through constant monitoring of your environment is what you need. It will not only keep a check on the environment but control and manage the usage and consumption of the cloud services as well. The governance should be a combination of finance controls, compliance, risk, and security. You can manage the software’s profile to ensure fewer errors in order to obtain repeatable and consistent results.
Conclusion to the 5 Best Practices to Become Cloud-First
These best practices to become cloud-first are highly effective for getting you on the path, but navigating the transition in a successful manner can prove to be highly complex. Therefore, it is important to hire an expert and specialized vendor for the purpose that can smoothly and swiftly transform your business into a cloud-first one.
Cloud technology is very beneficial for businesses of all sizes operating in any sector or industry. However, to reap them in an optimal manner, you need an experienced cloud and IT firm, like Cloud Computing Technologies, by your side.
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