CloudCXO Bytes

Why a cloud-first approach is a must for progressive organizations

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The cloud continues to be a platform for innovation, growth and for helping businesses scale quickly. With guaranteed levels of uptime and performance, the cloud has become truly mainstream, and a huge number of organizations are rapidly transitioning applications from on-premises to cloud-based infrastructure. With a rise in adoption of cloud-enabled infrastructure, more businesses are exploring business models using the cloud. This is corroborated by many independent firms too. Research firm, Gartner, says that end-user spending on public cloud services in India is expected to touch $7.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 29.6% from 2021. Similarly, IDC, estimates that India’s public cloud services market will reach $10.8 billion by 2025. Many firms that have seen the success of their peers or other organizations will use the power and capabilities of the cloud to create new business models or improve customer experience.

In the future, as more and more businesses adopt the cloud, a cloud-first approach will become the norm rather than the exception. By 2025, Gartner estimates that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021. Organizations must understand and recognize that a cloud-first approach is radically different from the traditional install, feed, maintain and refresh approach that has dominated and dictated IT infrastructure strategies for decades. Organizations must approach cloud-first transformation from an application down perspective.

A cloud-first strategy has many strategic benefits. Some of these benefits include:

Enables continuous modernization: A cloud-first approach allows constant innovation and modernization, which in turn improves the end-user experience and reduces cost. To achieve the best results, extensive automation should be integrated seamlessly into the enterprise environment.

Security by design: A cloud-first approach ensures security by design, instead of the typical enterprise approach today, where security has evolved as an afterthought. Cloud-first removes silos and facilitates embedded security throughout the entire stack. This approach also takes care of operational security issues such as patching and configuring.

Improves visibility: On-premise deployments offer lots of places for assets to hide within a large enterprise. But as those assets are brought into a modern cloud environment, they are more easily discovered, made visible and enforced with automated IT and business policies. For example, one of the biggest areas for malware and security risk to exist is in legacy apps, especially older homegrown apps without proper documentation. In a cloud-first environment, those apps can either be modernized and replaced in the cloud or, in those instances where modernization is not practical, those apps can still be re-platformed within a flexible and secure private cloud provision.

Better performance and availability: The cloud service provider maintains a laser-focus on continuous modernization and innovation of infrastructure and application platforms to help organizations quickly achieve business goals and stay ahead. This can translate into better performance and availability. This is corroborated by a NTT Managed Services Report, which found that 41.7% of organizations who have at least three-quarters of their IT currently managed by third parties have pivoted technology focus to take advantage of the market opportunity or ability to scale. This compares to those who have little to none of their IT managed by third parties, where only 25.7 percent have pivoted technology focus.

We are quickly moving into an era, where the cloud will be omni-present, and any application which is not on the cloud, will be considered legacy and will prevent organizations from taking the full advantage of modern technologies. A cloud-first approach and mindset will help organizations to unlock the full potential of the cloud which can go much beyond the usual factors such as cost savings, disaster recovery and security. The cloud can be a big transformative force that can fundamentally help organizations with the ability to experiment with newer business models at lower costs and greater speed. The on-demand flexibility and scalability of the cloud can help companies build new businesses at quick speed without committing large capital outlays upfront. The future clearly is the cloud, and the sooner organizations accept this reality, the better prepared they will be for the future.

(For your reference,Karan is the Cloud Head at NTT Ltd. in India, Joining Erstwhile Netmagic when the company was in its nascent stage, Karan has played two pivotal roles for nearly two decades, and has been part of the core team of the organization and has worn many hats – from business development to product management and product marketing.
Prior to this, Karan was associated with ICICI Bank as part of the online content and web application team. Karan is a graduate in Economics from Mumbai University. He is a guest lecturer at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, enlightening engineering students on cloud and other IT infrastructure technologies. Karan’s dedication to what he does and business insight makes him a visionary and thought leader in the field,  and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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