Ahh Spring! This week is the opening of the regular baseball season. Back in the 1930’s Bud Abbot and Lou Costello honed a vaudeville routine called “Who’s on First”. If you have never seen it or have not viewed it in a while take a look here. You are in for a chuckle.

OK, now that you have stopped laughing and wiped the tears from your eyes, what has this got to do with cloud? A recent survey shows that over half the CIO’s covered are implementing a “cloud first” strategy. “Cloud First” simply means that when planning for any new system or application; refreshing infrastructure or making other substantive changes to an enterprise’s information technology you must consider a cloud-based alternative as the first and most preferable solution unless demonstrated otherwise.

The policy actually had its origins in 2010 with the first Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra. He was looking at the entire IT expenditures of the United States government. What he saw was an enormous mess of staggering proportions: annual expenditures of over $80 Billion; endless duplication of data centers; 94% of projects over budget and 40% of them just scrapped – never to see the light of day. Plus, constituents were being served terribly. Ordinary, business as usual, incremental tweaking was not going to address these challenges. He turned to cloud solutions – then still a relatively young concept – as a radically new way to solve the issue.

The verdict on the Federal government’s efforts has been mixed. There have been successes but government is slow moving with lots of legacy systems, budget battles, laws that must be followed but that were written in, and for, another time, etc.

However, businesses under unrelenting competitive pressure have seen the value and are moving swiftly, firm by firm, to cloud first. As you might guess, companies that are digitizing their business the fastest are also adopting cloud for all needed tasks the quickest. Cloud is the bedrock upon which digital business is built. Sooner than you know it, all businesses will be deeply digital and along with that they will be deep cloud users.

So, as you head out to the ballpark to take in a game, take a minute to consider: what is your company’s cloud policy? Do you even have one? If you do, is it widely known? A lot of cloud adoption has been driven by the business, not by IT. Unfortunately, the urgent need for agility and flexibility has encouraged a lot of siloed adoption of cloud solutions. Perhaps your management team needs to develop an explicit policy toward the cloud.

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