Cloud computing has revolutionized the way that agencies accomplish their missions—and last year, the pandemic kicked this revolution into high gear. A recent study found that 67 percent of respondents said the pandemic pushed their hybrid cloud adoption ahead by at least a year. Brian Merrick, Director of Cloud Programs at the U.S. Department of State, said that they have “seen a trend towards looking at hybrid solutions, especially when there are large amounts of disparate data sharing activities that need to happen.”
Because of today’s remote work environment, data sharing has become increasingly important to agencies. According to Merrick, his agency has “seen a huge increase in data analytics requirements, data sharing across multiple other agency partners, and different tool sets within our enterprise.” Hybrid cloud platforms are an ideal choice to support these needs as they allow for information to move between private and public clouds with ease. This ultimately allows agencies to have great control and movability of their data.
With a hybrid cloud approach, “the ability to vertically scale may take moments as opposed to months and horizontal scaling by adding more servers doing the same workload is possible in seconds,” said David Knox, Group Vice President, Public Sector Sales Consulting, Oracle. These features of hybrid cloud allow for efficient solutions that lead to a “high return on investment in terms of minimizing the amount of labor required,” said Oracle’s Ken Ritchhart, VP, Business Development & Strategic Planning, Civilian Agencies & Department of Defense.
The investment into an agency’s cloud strategy is important, because “in the federal sector, platform stability is a key differentiator because most government agencies can’t afford to be down for any length of time without compromising mission integrity,” said Tony Cossa, former CTO for USDA. Additionally, the “advanced security and compliance features, including a comprehensive approach at a granular level, allow civilian and defense agencies to manage their cloud environments based on their internal principles of security.”
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