What is a Cloud-First Strategy and How Does it Work?

By Boomi

Adopting a cloud-first strategy is an increasingly popular approach for businesses of all sizes—from small businesses to enterprise organizations. For example, over half of the world’s largest organizations are transitioning their core business processes from legacy, on-premises ERP systems to cloud-based solutions.

This shift away from traditional on-premises software to cloud-based SaaS applications has been gaining momentum for nearly a decade, and it’s only getting more prevalent. Because of this shift, organizations are increasingly taking a cloud-first approach to evaluating their business applications.

But what exactly does a “cloud-first strategy” mean? And how does it benefit your business? Read on to learn more about why your organization should consider a cloud-first strategy.

What Is a Cloud-First Strategy?

A cloud-first strategy is an approach to business systems infrastructure that prioritizes cloud-based solutions over legacy, on-premises solutions. Cloud-first solutions include cloud storage, SaaS applications, and other cloud-based services.

However, a cloud-first approach does not entirely exclude on-premises systems. Cloud-first simply means that, when the time comes to find a new business solution, cloud-based options are considered first.

What Are the Benefits of a Cloud-First Strategy?

Lower Cost of Ownership

A cloud-first strategy reduces or eliminates expenses associated with legacy, on-premises business systems. Because SaaS applications operate in the cloud, cloud-first organizations are able to save on hosting, maintenance, temperature control, and all other costs associated with operating servers on-site.

Scalable Storage and Applications

Cloud-based applications automatically scale to meet demand in real-time. This means that no matter how many people are using the application at the same time, there will always be enough storage and processing capacity to accommodate them. And when demand goes down, that storage and processing capacity contracts with it, so you only pay for what you need.

Increased IT Capacity

Because cloud-based SaaS applications are maintained off-site, IT professionals no longer have to spend time maintaining, upgrading, and fixing the servers that run the applications. This gives them more time to focus on higher value and more strategic tasks. And when the SaaS applications are integrated with each other, routine tasks can be automated, eliminating the need for tedious processes and freeing up time in other departments as well.

Continuous Upgrades

Cloud-based SaaS applications are developed, tested, maintained, and upgraded by experts who are dedicated to their specific SaaS applications. When a new feature is added or other improvements are made, those upgrades show up automatically, without the need to buy a new version or reinstall software locally.

Cloud-First Enables Data Integration

To unlock the full potential of a cloud-first strategy, organizations should integrate data from their suite of SaaS applications. By connecting all business applications to each other, data from all relevant systems is shared across the entire organization, automatically. This results in the democratization of data and the dismantling of silos across departments, ultimately facilitating the potential for greater collaboration, unexpected insights, and higher productivity.

A cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solution, like Boomi AtomSphere, provides all the same benefits of SaaS applications in the context of application data integration. Because the solution is offered as a service, there’s no need to dedicate internal resources to developing or implementing your own integrations—it’s all handled for you.

Cloud-First Case Study: Moderna and Boomi

To speed development of the medical innovations that could improve lives, Moderna decided it would be a cloud-first company, using only SaaS applications. The goal was to use a cloud-first approach to help accelerate learning, automate processes, and improve quality at scale.

To harness the full power of the cloud, Moderna needed to integrate its SaaS applications and data. This meant interconnecting an application portfolio that included SAP ERP, Workday, Solium (now Shareworks), and Concur.

Boomi’s cloud-native integration platform allowed Moderna to scale efficiently by integrating systems and automating complex, cross-platform business transactions that included budgeting, vendor payments, and human resources management. These integrations also helped reduce inefficient administrative overhead for Moderna’s scientists.

At every step in its progress as a biomedical pioneer, Moderna has relied on Boomi to break down data and application integration barriers that would slow the pace of innovation.

To learn more about Boomi’s role in helping cloud-first companies, read the full Moderna case study.

Whether your organization is moving to the cloud or is already there, our experts can help you find a solution for integrating your data and applications, automate processes, and make work flow faster and easier throughout your business.