Cloud-First Mindset Driven By Innovators, Young Companies

The chances that your enterprise has fully shifted to the cloud are slim, but no doubt it’s taken a look at migration to some extent, if not moved at least a portion of its data and workloads there already.

So what’s stopping the IT team from becoming a cloud-only shop and diversifying its capabilities? Is it the upfront costs? Scared of security challenges? Is the thought of migrating all that data creating friction for personnel?

But there’s an inherent internal battle for your organization. The enterprise wants to digitally transform, but may not be willing to do what it takes to make that leap. Becoming a cloud-first, or cloud-only organization, may be the best first step toward the future.

In a recent report titled, Is Cloud-Only The Future of Digital Transformation? analyst Mark Bowker and Chief Information Officer David Chou weigh in on what the current state of cloud consumption is and why trusting the cloud is not the giant worry many IT leaders make it out to be.

“My take on thinking cloud-first or cloud-only is that it’s a lot more secure,” Chou said. “Think of the big public providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Google – they’re making investments in cloud security that just can’t be matched. I love it when I hear organizations discuss the security challenges of using cloud in a regulatory environment. Those ideas are just false.”


Data backs up an age-based focused on cloud consumption as well. The appetite for living in the cloud for companies 10 years or younger was more than double that of companies more than 50 years old.

Additionally, 81% of enterprises using public cloud have spread their storage and workload needs across two or more service providers, with 28% in four or more. According to a recent forecast from research firm Gartner, the combined cloud market – which includes Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS), Cloud Application Services (SaaS), and Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS) – cloud as a whole will see a nearly 35% increase in total market value from 2018 to 2020, jumping from $305.8 billion to $411.4 billion.

See related: Fast Facts: Companies Won't Stop Consuming Cloud

Cloud itself is a disruption to the enterprise IT process, but a necessary one. Migrating data, changing culture around how to operate within new platforms – it can all be daunting. But not taking that step can slow digital transformation – an imperative movement all companies are becoming involved in.

Just 29% of enterprises consider themselves cloud-first, according to ESG Global Research data.

“That 29% has stayed pretty flat for the last two to three years,” said Bowker. “I’d like to see it grow by double digits, but think that’s being aggressive, and I’d expect to see it grow by single digits in the coming years.”

A cloud-first or cloud-only approach isn’t just a means to changing production or workflows, it’s the future of compute for legacy and startup organizations alike. This is a technology asking to be harnessed and used for enhancement – not an add-on innovation that may or may not work for some enterprises.