By Tim Scott, Vice President of Cloud Solutions, CSS International, Inc.

The idea of cloud computing (originally envisioned in 1969 as an “intergalactic computer network” or as a public utility, also brainstormed in the 1960s) started to become a reality at the cusp of the 21st century with its myriad of applications already surpassing initial expectations. Meanwhile, enterprises continue to increase their cloud usage, and computer technology companies such as Oracle continue to provide increasingly more powerful ERP solutions.

The idea of a Cloud First philosophy was first articulated in December 2010, when the United States government created a 25-point plan to reform federal IT management, in part because of the cost savings. Since then, increasing numbers of businesses are seeing the enormous benefits inherent in Cloud First decision making.

Because of the rapid acceptance, historically speaking, of cloud-based ERP solutions, and because of the confidence we have in Oracle, we are proclaiming that 2018 will be the year of Cloud First transitions for a significant percentage of enterprises. What about your company?

All-In Cloud Versus Cloud First

Some enterprises may be resistant to the philosophy of Cloud First, blurring the lines between models that require all applications to be in the cloud (the all-in approach) and the Cloud First approach. In Cloud First, whenever your company is ready to start a new IT project, or otherwise upgrade, update, or refresh as aspect of your ERP, your team first considers how to use the technology of the cloud to solve your challenges.

The advantage to this approach is that, whenever possible, your company will benefit from the incredible power of the cloud. And, if your team thoughtfully discerns that an on-premise solution is better for a particular application, perhaps because of regulations unique to your industry, you can do exactly that. You would not be committing to an all-in approach, rather to a Cloud First one.

Application Versus Infrastructure

If your enterprise has considered going all in with the cloud, you would need to look at infrastructure requirements and how the cloud itself must be built. When you commit to a Cloud First approach, though, you’re focusing on creating a leaner, supercharged system where applications are housed on the cloud. In a Cloud First approach, you focus on streamlining and integrating cloud utilization.

Piece by Piece Integration

Another highly beneficial aspect of the Cloud First approach is that, as each challenge arises with your ERP, or as each application or business segment is prioritized for analysis, you can address that specific issue using the Cloud First model. This eliminates the need for significant upfront investment and/or major all-at-once migrations that disrupt business flow.

Cloud First Resource

Here is significantly more information about Cloud First and the federal cloud computing strategy.

Cloud First with CSS

If your enterprise anticipates that the Cloud First approach will drive the evolution of your on-premise integrated solution, whether you run E-Business Suite, JD Edwards or another ERP solution, we can help. The Cloud First approach can help your enterprise save money, reducing the amount you’re paying your IT team to manage your legacy system, and it will allow you to become nimbler, innovating faster and better.

To make that happen, your enterprise will need to carefully plan the shift. Yes, all new applications will be cloud-based going forward, unless there is an extremely compelling reason otherwise but, in the meantime, you will need a flexible hybrid architecture. You will need a well-thought out plan to move some applications currently not on the cloud into the cloud in a way that doesn’t disrupt business flow. Your IT team will need support as these shifts occur, and people throughout the enterprise will need training and support as your streamlined Cloud First plan comes to fruition.

Contact us online or by calling 1-800-814-7705. Our experienced professionals are here to help!