“Moving to the cloud” seems to be the phrase that is part of every technology-related conversation nowadays. You can’t escape it—it’s everywhere. The private sector has jumped on board. What does that mean for public sector agencies?
Although convenient, storing servers and other network-related equipment on site is very taxing on an IT department. Maintaining such an infrastructure takes funding, time, and personnel. Ensuring that all hardware and software are operational at all times is a huge task. Replacing defective/failing servers becomes rather expensive, and reconfiguring spaces to accommodate additional servers is not always easy. Depending on the other pressing tasks on the IT department’s to-do list, time, money, and resources spent on server upkeep and maintenance is not feasible in the long run.
Adapting to new technology is scary and understandably so. However, the benefits on the other side are too appealing to pass up. A recent Center for Digital Government (CDG) issue brief outlines some of those advantages and suggests that government take its cue from the private sector by implementing on-demand and hybrid cloud services:
The first advantage is that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors take on and assume all the risk involved in making the move to cloud. That includes conducting assessments, ordering equipment and architecting, provisioning, training, maintenance, support systems and overseeing the supply chain that brings it all together. Relieving your IT department of these duties allows them to focus on developing applications that will benefit the agency, rather than managing the data center. Other benefits include:
- Automation: Provisioning, billing, engineering diagrams, government approvals and other important features are automated, populating financial and support systems and providing a clear contractual audit trail.
- Scalability: Cloud capacity on demand is flexible, an arrangement that lets you buy in real time without investing needlessly in storage not yet needed.
- Security: On-premises private clouds meet the security demanded and required by government while also providing government agencies with options on how to manage their systems with respect to the cloud. They can keep their most sensitive data and systems on-premises while still receiving the benefits of cloud through an on-premises private cloud.
- Affordability: The on-demand cloud model requires far less investment than when IT departments must buy everything up front to meet estimated demand for the year. Outsourcing places the burden of implementation and ongoing maintenance squarely on the shoulders of vendors that can aggregate buying power, and standardize data and deliver services for government entities without deep pockets.
For more information regarding on-demand cloud services, download the full CDG issue brief.
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