There are plenty of people out there saying all sorts of different things about what companies should be putting "first." Many believe that it is in a company's best interest to place mobility before everything else, focusing on applications and how to secure employee devices.

But by putting mobile first, organizations are actually placing the cloud ahead of other priorities, as well. The cloud and mobility are one and the same, if really considered. If people were not so frequently on the go, there would probably not be as much need for the cloud. Similarly, a world without cloud might not even have mobile devices in it.

As such, the cloud is evolving into something more than just a utility. According to Constellation Research founder and chairman R. Wang, cloud adoptions are becoming a business strategy.

"Organizations are going to treat the cloud not only as a utility but also as a strategic weapon," he said to Forbes contributor Sven Denecken. "Because the information inside the cloud is the foundation of Big Data business models. Bringing all that information to light, gaining insights from that data – that's where the power of the cloud really emerges."

Businesses that are looking for new ways to stay ahead of their competition must be more invested in obtaining enterprise cloud capabilities. The cloud is not just a way to access files from anywhere. When leveraged in a meaningful way, it has the capacity to completely change the dynamics of any company.

Cloud is for everyone
While the specific inner workings of individual businesses are not always the same, there is no doubt that all of them can benefit from cloud computing in some way. According to Continuity Central contributor Lilac Schoenbeck, cloud functionality can break down the walls that organizations have found cumbersome to progress. Additionally, streamlined transitions are easy to undertake when all necessary considerations are taken into account.

"When done right, cloud takes away barriers to entry and makes technology available to all organizations regardless of size," Schoenbeck wrote. "From day one, a business can ramp up very quickly and easily without having to make serious upfront capital investment. The move to the cloud is seamless. Costs are predicable. There are no big step changes or spikes in costs for maintenance or renewal requirements."

It should be noted that these are, however, the characteristics of a cloud deployment undertaken with the assistance of a private provider. Cloud initiatives can be easy to stumble over when attempting to handle these operations internally or through public server hosting, and complications are likely to occur unless a private architecture is sought out.

Private hosting is key
The only way to obtain enterprise-class cloud computing is to look beyond public offerings and onsite deployments. IT departments have enough to worry about without building and maintaining these kinds of systems, and the use of shared server space in public infrastructures can be detrimental to both productivity and security. In order to properly embrace the cloud, private offerings will need to be explored.