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Why Every Business Must Consider Adopting a Cloud-First Strategy

The key to establishing a successful organization is adapting to the present business landscape and adopting the latest technological advancements. As technology continues to penetrate various operational areas across industries, business leaders must rethink their IT strategies to stay relevant in the long haul. No wonder why many enterprises are embracing a cloud-first strategy in their IT infrastructure. 

Today, businesses cannot rely on cumbersome and expensive on-premises systems to scale and grow. Post-pandemic, the pressing need for enterprise agility, scalability, and security is driving this rapid shift toward the cloud-first approach. Since modern organizations operate across geographies (both the workforce and clients are spread globally) and function on physical, hybrid, and remote models, the cloud-first approach provides a gateway to unmatched flexibility and accessibility. 

Last year, business giant Unilever moved over 400 of its household brands to the Azure platform, making it one of the largest cloud migrations in history!

Inspired by such large-scale success stories, mid-sized and small-sized businesses are also considering moving to the cloud to address their data storage and workload hosting challenges. 

Adopting a cloud-first strategy is about securing present growth while future-proofing your business. In this article, we’ll explore what a cloud-first strategy means in 2024 and how businesses can streamline their cloud-first approach with Salesforce.

What is a Cloud-first Strategy?

As the phrase suggests, a cloud-first strategy is an organizational mindset that puts cloud computing resources and services at the forefront of all technological and decision-making endeavors. Essentially, cloud-first entails deliberately prioritizing cloud technologies over traditional on-prem solutions, making it the default option when adopting and implementing new systems or applications.

When a business adopts the cloud-first strategy, it migrates a significant portion of the IT infrastructure to cloud computing platforms such as Salesforce Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or Amazon AWS. This shift often involves developing software directly within the cloud environment, streamlining operations, and reducing overhead costs.

However, before building a cloud-first strategy, the IT team must gain a deep understanding of cloud-native technologies. These technologies encompass a range of internet-based services, including networking, storage, and databases, to enable system integration and improve scalability. The key components include:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): With SaaS solutions, users can access software applications stored on remote servers. It eliminates the need for local installations. Usually offered on a subscription basis, SaaS solutions require no manual updates or maintenance.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Developers leverage a user-friendly platform to build software without the burden of managing physical servers. This streamlined approach accelerates development cycles and fosters agility.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Through IaaS, businesses gain access to pre-configured servers, firewalls, storage, and other essential tools, with the flexibility to adjust resources according to evolving needs. Thus, companies can build digital infrastructure without spending a ton on setup and maintenance. 

Don’t let cloud adoption challenges hold your business back. Explore our best-in-class Salesforce Cloud Solutions to achieve agility and scalability.

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Benefits of a Cloud-First Strategy

Implementing a cloud-first strategy with Salesforce has several benefits, including ensuring top-notch performance, sustained growth, and unmatched scalability. 

With on-prem applications, you need to maintain the necessary hardware capacity and upgrade it over time for scalability. Also, you need dedicated admins to manage internal servers and on-prem applications to keep them functioning optimally. Thus, managing on-prem applications in-house is expensive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. 

Contrarily, shifting a significant chunk of your IT operations to the Salesforce cloud ecosystem gives you all the benefits of a managed service – you need not incur additional costs of maintaining bulky hardware or a large pool of human resources to oversee business operations. Salesforce automates various aspects of your business operation, including CRM, sales, marketing, and more. 

Unlock Cost Efficiency

Organizations can avoid hefty capital expenditures by subscribing to cloud services (mostly a pay-as-you-go model), paying only for the resources they consume. After moving to the cloud, all teams get easy access to the business data, which saves time and money when starting new projects. Also, since the cloud service provider manages the underlying IT infrastructure, it reduces maintenance costs. 

Establish Robust Data Security

Cloud environments leverage advanced security protocols, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, and real-time monitoring, to safeguard business-critical data. So, organizations remain assured that their data is secure and protected by top-tier security protocols. According to Salesforce, nearly 94% of organizations saw an improvement in security after shifting to the cloud, whereas 91% of organizations agree that the cloud makes it easier to meet compliance standards. 

Achieve Enterprise Scalability

One of the biggest strengths of cloud-first strategies is that businesses can quickly adjust resource allocation in response to evolving demands. Unlike traditional scaling, where lead time and investment are substantial, companies can provision cloud resources instantly. Equipped with such agility, it becomes easier to adapt to fluctuating workloads without investing in costly hardware upgrades and meet evolving business demands quickly.

Enjoy Unmatched Reliability

With data and applications dispersed across multiple data centers, cloud-first organizations can maintain operational continuity and improve data recovery even during network outages, cyber threats, or natural disasters. Reliable cloud service providers like Salesforce offer redundancies, zero downtime, and fallback mechanisms to ensure uninterrupted service delivery and swift disaster recovery. So, in case unforeseen disasters occur, you can quickly retrieve data with minimal downtime and mitigate potential losses effectively.

Gain Enhanced Visibility

The Salesforce cloud ecosystem includes sophisticated management tools and integrated analytics to improve operational visibility. You can implement tracking mechanisms and build custom reports to gain insights into resource utilization, performance metrics, and application health. Equipped with advanced insights, decision-makers can make informed decisions, optimize infrastructure, and maximize efficiency.

Minimize Human Error

Salesforce cloud services eliminate the risks associated with human error in manual data management and backups. With cloud backup, organizations can avoid issues like accidental deletions, irreversible file changes, or forgetting to schedule backups, ensuring data accessibility and integrity at all times.

Foster Seamless Collaboration

Cloud-based applications transcend device limitations, enabling real-time collaboration among team members regardless of their location. With Salesforce, team members can view and share data/insights securely on the cloud. This flexibility improves productivity, data availability, and accessibility while fostering cross-functional collaboration, helping teams work toward common business goals. 

What to Consider When Setting Up a Cloud-First Strategy

To develop an actionable cloud-first strategy, you must consider certain standard factors to ensure its success and alignment with organizational goals:

Business Roadmap and Adoption Plan: Define your objectives (both short-term and long-term) and create a roadmap. Develop a comprehensive adoption plan, considering the following questions: 

  • What workloads should be moved to the cloud?
  • What are the potential risks during migration?
  • What are the tools and skills required for the migration?
  • What is the approximate cost of the migration project?

Answering these will give you a clear picture of everything required for the cloud migration.

Project Leadership: A cloud migration project must have full organizational support to be successful. Identifying the internal champions who can garner organizational buy-in and support the cloud-first initiative is crucial, even if you hire a third-party vendor for the actual implementation. 

Best Practices and Governance: All teams must be equally invested in cloud adoption and implementation. Establish governance and best practices for cloud implementation and procedures for migrating and managing systems in the cloud to ensure uniformity across the organization.

Security and Compliance: Prioritize security measures, addressing data protection, identity management, access controls, and compliance with industry regulations throughout the migration journey. 

Cost Management and ROI: Implement robust cost management practices and tools to track, allocate, and optimize cloud spending. These tools can offer valuable insights into cloud resource usage and wastage and help identify cost-saving opportunities. It’s best to embrace FinOps practices to align cloud resources with business objectives.

Legacy System Integration: When planning a cloud migration, it’s essential to develop strategies that will ensure seamless integration of existing systems within the cloud environment. Identify and address potential integration challenges of legacy systems migration to effectively leverage the benefits of cloud solutions while preserving the ROI of existing investments.

Migration Execution: Strategically assess which workloads are suitable for cloud hosting and plan migration accordingly. Not all legacy workloads work well in cloud-hosted environments. Thus, it is essential to evaluate the importance of each workload and its benefits or drawbacks to create a systematic cloud migration process.

Continual Learning and Improvement: Recognize that cloud adoption is an ongoing journey and continuously optimize processes, manage costs, and adapt to evolving cybersecurity challenges. Also, foster a culture of continuous learning within your organization. Provide adequate training and resources for internal team members involved in cloud infrastructure management. Assess the need for additional skills and consider augmenting the team with outsourced expertise when necessary.

Though a cloud-first strategy promises general business benefits, whether or not it will benefit your business depends on where it is headed in the following years. Often, organizations looking to scale lack the resources and budget to plan cloud adoption and implementation in-house. After all, planning and managing end-to-end cloud migration requires access to the right tools and years of industry expertise. 

Partnering with a reliable cloud service provider like Neev Systems can help you realize the full business benefits of cloud adoption and migration.

How Can Neev Systems Help You Implement a Cloud-first Strategy for Your Business?

At Neev Systems, we excel in delivering comprehensive Salesforce Cloud Implementation specifically tailored to your business needs. Our experienced team closely collaborates with you to understand the core challenges and accordingly crafts innovative cloud migration strategies that elevate customer relationship management, streamline operations, and catalyze digital transformation.

We offer end-to-end support, ensuring seamless planning, implementation, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of your custom Salesforce cloud solutions. By choosing us, you can leverage the benefits of

Sales Cloud: Customize sales strategies and connect with customers in their preferred channels. 360-degree view of each customer simplifies contact tracking, opportunity monitoring, and opportunity management.

Service Cloud: Centralize customer information into a single source of truth for faster response times and streamlined problem resolution. By integrating external apps with Salesforce, it promotes seamless collaboration.

Marketing Cloud: Create personalized campaigns, automate engagement across channels, and improve customer relationship management with AI-driven analytics.

Experience Cloud: Rapidly develop user-friendly digital touchpoints (websites, mobile apps, etc.) to engage customers and digitize business processes with Salesforce’s dynamic platform.

Neev SparkFire

Our comprehensive service offering revolutionizes your Salesforce experience, addressing challenges like complex interfaces, data quality issues, and integration hurdles. With advanced features, including user experience optimization, data management, automation, and proactive release management, SparkFire empowers your team for unparalleled growth and efficiency with Salesforce Cloud solutions

Are you keen to learn more about SparkFire? If so, get in touch with our experts today!