This blog post is an excerpt from a sponsor of our latest IT modernization guide.
As government continues to expand its reliance on cloud computing for improved, modernized service delivery and increased workforce productivity, federal agencies must ensure that they have complete visibility across their entire enterprise. That’s not an easy task when more and more devices are being connected to federal networks every day.
Compounding this challenge, most organizations still predominantly rely on legacy systems to manage the bulk of their workload. That means they will not be able to move everything to the cloud at once, thereby requiring more than one cloud environment. Managing multi-cloud environments — the use of multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous architecture— can come with its own set of challenges such as too many vendors or the lack of integration between systems.
In an interview with GovLoop, Jeremy A. Wilson, Federal Chief Technology Officer at BMC, described why organizations should focus on three critical areas for cloud: security, visibility, and automation. BMC is a global leader in digital enterprise management, helping organizations transform into modern digital workplaces, where people, process and technology converge.
“Many organizations are making the shift to cloud for flexibility, since cloud computing enables businesses to scale up or down as needed and deliver services more securely and efficiently, while requiring fewer resources to manage,” Wilson said.
“By mapping these focus areas to best of breed technology solutions, organizations will gain capabilities such as automated security and compliance remediation, enhanced visibility of assets and dependencies and a better workload automation strategy across the enterprise,” Wilson said. “This will allow for organizations to be more agile and better prepared to adapt to rapidly evolving demands.”
However, there are some business challenges that accompany each of these areas.
First, as organizations accelerate innovation in the cloud, security and compliance become increasingly complex. Decentralized IT spending makes it hard to invest in and track security efforts across their enterprises and various departments. Solutions that automate security and compliance can help agencies consistently manage multi-cloud environments and configurations.
“As cyberthreats become increasingly sophisticated, the need to deploy solutions that automate the remediation of security vulnerabilities and compliance deficiencies is imperative. This will ensure that all systems are managed consistently and securely, as well as provide the ability to maintain a resilient security posture across the enterprise,” Wilson said.
Another challenge in multi-cloud environments is the abundance of tools. Often in private and public cloud environments, many of the tools do not integrate well. Organizations must avoid integration failures and ensure visibility of services, performance and potential cyber threats when pursuing multi-cloud strategies.
In addition to security and compliance, organizations should look at solutions that automate asset discovery and dependency mapping for better visibility into digital services management in on-premises and cloud environments.
“With automated asset discovery, organizations have a clearer view into their enterprises to keep track of these critical components,” Wilson said. “Additionally, dependency mapping helps identify all of their software assets and the primary functions of each one.”
“The end result would be a dynamic, holistic view of the data center and multi-cloud assets, highlighting their relationships and giving IT crucial visibility into how the infrastructure enables the digital business,” Wilson said.
Lastly, the trend toward digitizing and automating everything from applications to services is rooted in a desire for government to become more responsive to citizen demands.
“The foundation must be built on automation across the infrastructure, data and applications, from on-premises to the cloud,” Wilson said. “Whether you are an administrator, developer or line of business manager, your ability to deliver services is directly impacted by time spent on manual tasks and processes.”
By taking a strategic approach to multi-cloud management, federal agencies can achieve success in three critical areas of cloud: security, visibility and automation. Agencies can also ensure that they keep up with rising citizen expectations, delivering faster and better services with fewer resources, and better enabling them to harness the innovation capabilities of cloud.