As we turn another corner of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in business have realized we will never return to the normal that we knew in 2020. Remote work is here to stay, at least in a hybrid capacity. For the public sector, this is no different. Constituents now expect to be served in a variety of capacities, mobile being one.
This move toward more mobile-focused operations has many in the public sector re-evaluating their own technology systems for improvements to meet the challenges of this new normalcy. Cloud is now in its second decade of delivering business value. In its earliest days, the cloud was nebulous to many, raising concerns around data privacy and security. Moore’s Law not only applies to the improvements in processors; the same is true of cloud technology and cybersecurity. The simple truth is that public cloud providers offer better security, improved service, and more flexible cost models than most on-premises data centers can accomplish.
On-Premises Solutions are Resource Intensive
Budgeting for hardware refreshes takes valuable expertise and resources away from other areas of technology departments that could be serving agencies and constituents in new ways, even if you are able to predict your compute, storage, and network capacity accurately and precisely in advance of your budgeting cycles. Additionally, more infrastructure means more people to manage, more power to manage, more cooling to manage, and the list goes on. Is managing a data center core to the mission of your government agency? No. This reason is why sending operations to the cloud is a good choice for the short and long term, even more so given fixed budget constraints.
Security is Better in the Cloud, Like It or Not
Security remains the biggest and most unwarranted concern regarding cloud adoption. Equating accessibility with a lack of security and compliance support is the wrong way to view security. In fact, accessibility actually increases your security risk. The cloud is usually far more secure than on-prem because of one major reason: cloud providers are singularly focused on their environments as a business, not as an arm or afterthought of the business. Reputational damage related to loss of security loses them, customers. Not having access to the latest and best tech, again, loses them, customers. For this reason, cloud providers are willing to dedicate the full force of their budgets to making security a priority—is your agency dedicated to the same?
On-Premises Solutions Don’t Emphasize the Dynamic Need of Modern Technology
Agility was the key differentiator in every organization’s ability to tackle the challenges of our post-COVID world. On-prem environments are static and fixed, even more so in government due to the aforementioned public sector budget challenges. Fixed infrastructure resources mean a fixed ability to extract use from them. Because public cloud providers offer virtually limitless computing resources, organizations are no longer hamstrung in their ability to respond to both predictable and unforeseen circumstances.
Preparing for the Cloud
The public cloud will be the source of all computing infrastructure at some point in the very near future. Like it or not, government agencies compete for the same technical talent as the private sector. Sooner rather than later, data center engineers will work almost explicitly for the public cloud providers making it nearly impossible for any organization to compete for the same talent. People, processes, and technology are critical to your roadmap. Almost all private sector organizations who require compute resources already have enacted a “cloud-first strategy.” For public sector agencies to continue to deliver value, they must follow suit and engage experienced partners to plan and execute successfully.
Dustin Milberg is a seasoned enterprise technology executive and current Field CTO Cloud Services at InterVision, a leading IT strategic service provider and Premier Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN).