Is a “Cloud-First” Strategy Proper on your Group?

Enterprise IT must rethink the scope of the cloud-first mindset.

I am a proud advocate of cloud computing. I consider it is an effective way to dump pointless technical burden from IT workers, create flexibility, and streamline processes. However once I hear individuals speaking about utilizing a “cloud-first” approach, it provides me pause. Whereas this architectural technique is sort of definitely mentioned with the best intentions, it has the potential to ship IT initiatives and upgrades down the flawed implementation path.

Image: Geralt/Pixabay

Picture: Geralt/Pixabay

So first, we have to focus on what a “cloud-first” technique is — and the way it’s typically being misconstrued. The thought behind a “cloud-first” strategy is that when any new IT challenge, refresh or substitute crops up, our first intuition needs to be to consider how the know-how may very well be spun up and managed inside a cloud service supplier’s community. That is utterly superb. It was additionally a mindset that probably was a worthwhile mantra a couple of years in the past. However it’s not essential right now. My argument is that almost all enterprise organizations have already accepted and adopted cloud computing. Due to this fact, persevering with to make use of a “cloud-first” mindset shouldn’t be solely pointless, it may very well be thought of counter-productive.

In lots of firms, a “cloud-first” strategy has morphed right into a “cloud-only” strategy. In different phrases, by focusing solely on the cloud, many IT determination makers ignore the alternate options, resembling on-premises deployments. It could be that an on-premises deployment is the higher alternative. Up to now, I’ve written about reasons for keeping data in-house. Whereas a few of the causes I identified in 2015 could also be weaker in 2017, most nonetheless maintain water.

An important instance of an IT challenge in 2017 that needs to be given equal consideration for an on-premises deployment vs. a cloud deployment can be the Internet of Things (IoT). Whereas the cloud holds clear benefits when it comes to scalability and decrease capitol expenditures, an in-house deployment gives improved management when it comes to knowledge storage, latency, and a greater total understanding of how all the IoT course of works from the bottom up. In lots of instances, the best scenario for IoT could also be to start out on-premises with pilot initiatives — then broaden out to the cloud utilizing a hybrid architecture. That approach, you acquire the advantages of each architectures. But, with a “cloud-first” thought course of, any on-premises issues might by no means be thought of.

One other instance of a challenge the place it’s possible you’ll need to have a look at each deployment choices – or a hybrid strategy — is infrastructure safety. Whereas there may be monumental progress in cloud-based security tools, the precise advantages gained from cloud-managed options relies upon largely in your present infrastructure. If most infrastructure stays on-premises, that’s the place your safety belongs as nicely. Visitors flows needs to be reviewed to find out if cloud-based safety instruments resembling firewalls, intrusion prevention, and anti-malware shall be preferable in-house or out within the cloud.

There might very nicely come a time the place a “cloud-only” structure strategy is the precise mindset. However, it’s necessary to notice that there are nonetheless utterly legitimate professional/con conversations that must happen earlier than a choice is made on the precise implementation strategy. Due to this fact, the requires a “cloud-first” mindset are considerably untimely for many enterprise organizations. As an alternative, take a step again, stay open minded, and select the precise architectural strategy primarily based on all obtainable choices.

Andrew has nicely over a decade of enterprise networking beneath his belt via his consulting follow, which focuses on enterprise community architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior expertise at organizations resembling State Farm Insurance coverage, United Airways and the … View Full Bio

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