Cloud-first means that an organisation first seeks to deliver applications and services from a cloud computing platform before considering any on-premise alternatives. It could involve hosting data and applications in a public cloud such as Azure, operating an internal private cloud, or using a hybrid of the two. Most enterprises are already using public cloud computing services at scale or are planning to adopt the cloud soon.
While the threat of a data breach or data loss dissuades some from using the cloud in sensitive industries, such as finance, the growing consensus is that a cloud-first approach has considerable advantages and in many cases is more secure for organisations than trying to protect their own infrastructure. New Zealand government agencies for example, are now required to use public cloud services in preference to traditional IT systems.
Whether organisations are hosting customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the cloud, backing up data or running Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps and email, having less physical infrastructure to manage can save money and let organisations leverage the scale and flexibility of public cloud vendors.
However, as organisations embrace the benefits the cloud offers, they must also take a cloud-first approach to security. In the Microsoft environment, for example, many of the applications and services that are core to an organisation's operations are built for the cloud with security front of mind.
As companies continue their digital transformation to cloud-based services, more devices are being used to access these resources in a growing number of locations, not just from within a secure corporate network. A key consideration needs to be the ability to give employees the flexibility to access the organisation's information from wherever they are, while keeping the data secure.
Other key considerations should include identity protection, information protection, threat protection and security management.
Intergen Limited is a subsidiary of Empired Limited. It is one of Australasia's dedicated Microsoft solutions providers and a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, with staff delivering information technology solutions across New Zealand and North America.
Intergen is an IT services provider with a broad range of capabilities targeted at delivering enterprise IT solutions that improve efficiency, productivity and competitive advantage for the company's clients. This breadth of service allows the delivery of ‘end to end' business solutions that help Intergen's customers to drive their key business outcomes.