Cloud first has long since become more than a marketing buzzword: ever more companies are now first asking whether they could use the cloud for their technology projects, rather than investing in their own costly infrastructure.
American sector expert Joe McKendrick draws parallels in “Forbes” with zero-based budgeting, where every budget position is relentlessly reset to zero at the start of the budgetary year and each allocation has to be justified anew. Following cloud-first guidelines for company IT, investment should be cut down to zero and cloud alternatives considered instead, writes McKendrick. This essentially means putting each project to the test on an annual basis and considering all costs, rather than always simply having more investment on your radar for existing projects. One should actually ask oneself each year, whether the costs of on-premise technology can be justified on an ongoing basis.
Reversing the burden of proof
Stephen Orban is a former Dow Jones CIO. “Any department that felt it needed to procure hardware instead of leverage our cloud capabilities had to explain why they couldn’t accomplish what they were trying to do in the cloud before their purchase order would be approved,” Orban, now a manager at AWS, describes the approach. “Over time, our legal, procurement, and product teams started asking similar questions.” Within companies, the burden of proof is increasingly being reversed – previously the tendency was to ask why cloud services should be employed, whereas now the question is: “Why not use the cloud?”
In his article, McKendrick also gives users a handful of recommendations for the successful implementation of a cloud-first policy. At the outset, a great deal of work needs to go into changing mindsets by providing information and communicating with decision-makers. The expert also advises businesses to set up a catalog containing tried and tested cloud services, to clearly set out the roles and responsibilities on both sides of the firewall and, last but not least, to prepare business users for negotiating with and managing cloud providers (this could naturally be the same provider who has already been providing an on-premise solution, but businesses should bear in mind that this is a new and different relationship).
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