Cloud First, Mobile First: Take Aways from Microsoft APC 2014

Cincom once again had the pleasure of sponsoring Microsoft APC 2014 earlier this month. Cincom have been supporting this event for the last few years and 2014 did not disappoint. There was a fantastic turnout of resellers, services providers, ISVs, Microsoft staff and delegates from all facets of the Microsoft Partner Network.

Microsoft’s key message at Microsoft APC 2014 was about being a “Cloud First, Mobile First” company.  After hearing about this strategy it occurred to me that just about every organisation could learn from what the consumer is doing. The rapid adoption of the smart phone (Australian’s have one of the highest percentage ownership of Smart Phones), tablets and services like iCloud, One Drive and Google Drive have made the “Cloud First, Mobile First” an everyday strategy for many consumers. The main computing device is now in fact the tablet, smart phone or phablet and more web browsing is now done from those devices than from traditional desktop or laptop computers. Consequently there is shift away from storage and processing on the device to working in the cloud, creating an expectation of “anywhere and anytime” access.

So as an organisation what needs to be done? Laptops and desktops may still have a place as their form factor makes for more productive for high volume input but the adoption of a “Bring your Own Device” (BYOD) is now another key part of businesses’ IT strategy.

Two important considerations in adopting this two part IT strategy are security and facilitating the move to the cloud.


Putting in place appropriate security controls and providing remote access to corporate systems has been a trend for a number of years already and the ability to mandate security on these BYOD should be a matter of course.

Moving to the Cloud

The other side of this is to look at the shift of processing and storage onto the cloud. There are already cloud based providers for many corporate applications and the availability of Office 365, Dynamics CRM on line, financial systems and the like make the move to cloud based processing a lot easier.

Cincom started its shift to the cloud with the re-engineering of its products to a Services Oriented Architecture (SAO) that made possible the provision of cloud based services. We also started making the solutions available on multiple devices and so they can be deployed either on premise or on the cloud. As an example our Configure Price Quote solution is available today to support our customer’s cloud and device strategy and to enable an easy transition.  It is simply a matter of deciding what best suits your business.

What we can learn from the Microsoft APC 2014? If you are looking at changing or upgrading your IT infrastructure or systems, keep in mind that “cloud first, mobile first“ should be the first option to look at.