It’s time for agencies to get Cloud Smart. According to a recent Affigent report, slightly more than a third of agencies are discussing the Cloud Smart strategy. Seventeen percent aren’t discussing it, and 19 percent said they aren’t familiar with Cloud Smart. This means that almost 40 percent of federal agencies aren’t engaged with the government’s cloud strategy. Why?
Budget constraints, security, and regulatory compliance are concerns, but aging systems and legacy capabilities make the move to cloud imperative. By choosing the right cloud partner with expertise in security and applications, agencies can improve IT performance, security, scalability, and costs.
“The most important thing to keep in mind about this journey is that it’s not about us, not about data center closures — it’s about speed to mission,” said Chad Sheridan, IT director of the USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) on a recent GovMatters TV.
Public sector agencies are embarking on digital transformation journeys that shift from previous IT modernization efforts. Agencies are spending less on IT, focusing on automation, and consolidating systems. These changes, along with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Cloud Smart strategy that states, “is not a commitment that is sustained solely by interventions once every decade. Rather, modernization is a constant state of change and part of the day-to-day business of technology at every agency,” has agencies making the journey to the cloud.
This effort to “Move and Improve” enables agencies to deliver on the mission with cloud capabilities and is top of mind for federal, state, and local government IT leaders. Cloud and Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) can help agencies on this digital transformation journey by seamlessly taking data and apps to the cloud with no interruption of service. Cloud migration not only streamlines operations but improves security and enables the use of both cloud and on-premises systems, leveraging legacy applications that are still in use.
The National Science Foundation is utilizing cloud to better deliver on mission objectives. “We have a strategy [for] going to the cloud, for four main reasons. The first is agility, [and] the speed of providing services. Number two, consolidate all our [IT] assets and put them behind high-powered intelligent services, and we know cloud is the best place to do that,” said Chezian Sivagnanam, Chief Enterprise Architect at National Science Foundation, in a recent webcast. “Third, obviously is giving a seamless customer experience [with] our shared services strategy, to make sure that our customers that are going from one [application] to another all get the same experiences. The last one is shifting our workforce to focus more on the mission. There are better people in the world for managing data. We want to let them do their job so we can focus on the mission.”
“The use of PaaS for DevOps has increased IT’s agility and its ability to quickly experiment,” said David Knox, group vice president, Sales Consulting, for Oracle. “Agencies are using PaaS to create better and more repeatable DevOps processes, leading to faster changes across the enterprise.”
PaaS connects on-premises systems with the cloud and integrates legacy applications to provide agencies with the mobility, analytics, and security needed to deliver on the mission.
“Agencies can and are leveraging the automation of PaaS to shorten their development cycles and include larger bundles of functionality in each release of an application,” Knox says. “End users will experience this as more frequent and larger deliveries of end-user functionality.”
For many agencies, the first step to moving and improving is finding the right partner. Ready to learn more? Click here.