With the rise of the big three public cloud vendors, many companies began to adopt “Cloud-First” strategies. The cloud took the burden of managing infrastructure off of the hands of employees and freed them up to focus on more important tasks. It’s more elastic compared to on-prem, so there is less waste. You can easily spin up new environments to meet a global customer base, versus setting up a whole new datacenter. And with advanced services from the major public cloud vendors, it’s hard to resist putting all your applications in the cloud. However, many soon have come to realize that Cloud-First wasn’t necessarily the best strategy as some workloads are better suited for on-prem or private cloud infrastructure.

What is Cloud-Smart?

According to Gartner, 60% of organizations that have adopted a cloud-first strategy will replace it with a cloud-smart strategy by 2023. Rather than migrating all applications to the cloud, a cloud-smart approach allows organizations to take a strategic look at what infrastructure will best serve each workload. Companies can better align their cloud strategy to meet their specific business goals and values.

There are many reasons why an application might not be a good candidate for cloud migration. Perhaps it’s a legacy system that you know will be retired within the next few years. Why waste your time refactoring it for the cloud?

Maybe you have security or compliance regulations for specific types of data that you store that require you to maintain it in a specific location or meet certain requirements. In this case, it might be easier to stay compliant by keeping this data on-prem rather than attempt to move it to the cloud.

Or perhaps you have some mission-critical applications that you don’t feel comfortable putting in the cloud. In fact, we at Silk have found that companies are moving their workloads – such as batch, transactional (OLTP), and analytics (OLAP/HPC) – for dev/test, UAT, and QA case studies only. Especially since these types of workloads in production require higher levels of performance, stability, and availability that are harder to achieve in the cloud.

Enabling Your Cloud-Smart Strategy

Deciding which applications are better off in the cloud and which should stay on-prem is only half of the battle for a successful Cloud-Smart strategy. As business needs evolve, you need to have the flexibility to move data from on-prem to the cloud (or vice versa). Does your team have the agility to quickly (and successfully) migrate data to meet these changing needs? Lifting and shifting – while fast – doesn’t guarantee that your applications will work as expected once they’re in the cloud. And refactoring the apps can take far too long and is too risky.

By managing data across all infrastructure through a Cloud Data Platform, you can quickly and painlessly migrate data on the fly. Since applications live directly on the Cloud Data Platform – rather than the underlying infrastructure – users will get a consistent experience no matter where their data lives. Meaning you can run those mission-critical workloads that require high performance, stability, and availability and still get the same experience that you would on-prem!

Cloud-First was about moving all your applications to the cloud, starting with the easiest ones first. But with a Cloud-Smart strategy, you can be more strategic knowing that no matter how complex or important the application is, you can still get it into the cloud with a Cloud Data Platform.

Ready to get Cloud-Smart? Download our ebook on overcoming the challenges of cloud adoption for even more tips on making migrating applications to the cloud a breeze.