Optimizing existing cloud use and moving more workloads to cloud have been steady priorities for many government IT departments. For some, the recent move was born out of necessity to accommodate a newly distributed workforce.
Although the reasons for adopting cloud vary by agency, the reality remains the same.
“Cloud initiatives are not going away anytime soon,” said Peter Dunn, Chief Technology Officer of Defense and Intelligence Agencies at CDW-G, a technology solutions provider. “And the longer that agencies delay getting to the cloud, the more it’s going to cost, and the less return on investment they’re going to see.”
“COVID-19 opened the door for tele- everything,” he said. Couple this expanding requirement for ubiquitous online access with government mandates for secure cloud adoption, and you get the necessary capabilities for supporting a Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) workforce.
MDO is more frequently associated with the military to describe this era in which personnel are having to fight, train and plan across multiple domains: air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace. Although non-defense agencies aren’t facing the same battles, they do have to consider how they support and equip employees in various work environments.
Dunn outlined four key enterprise capabilities that a cloud-enabled approach provides agency workforces across various domains.
1. Enterprise Virtual Training Cloud
Enterprise Virtual Training Cloud is a 21st-century training solution that sits on top of a private cloud-based solution. It enables agencies to either host training solutions on their own internal private clouds or the private cloud of an external organization.
2. Enterprise Cross Domain Solution
Enterprise Cross Domain Solution, or ECDS, gives agencies the capability to access services at multiple levels of classification. “So, in other words, where you used to have to sit in a facility or build these tremendous secure facilities to protect the data, now you can access that information from your home or another location,” Dunn said.
The National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions for Classified program has been integral in supporting this work. The program is designed to enable commercial products for use in layered solutions protecting classified national security systems data.
3. Enterprise Security Management Infrastructure
“What we’ve done with IT modernization is show agencies ways to automate deployments,” Dunn said.
Using CDW-G’s Security Management Infrastructure (SMI) Mitigates Risk, for example, agencies can actively manage and monitor the security of their infrastructure in an automated way.
4. Enterprise IT Modernization
Under this model, agencies outsource some core IT services to the private sector, including network transport, device provisioning, cloud services and even help desk functions. The goal is to save money, keep pace with technology innovation and allow agency IT personnel to focus on cybersecurity and other core, mission-driven functions.
“With all of these enterprise capabilities, the key is proper planning,” Dunn said. “The goal is to ensure that agencies are well-informed on the best approach, whether that’s on premises, in the cloud or hybrid, all of which CDW-G can accommodate.”
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Delivering Government Services Through a Lens of Equity: Technology, Policies and Conversation Starters.” Download the full guide here.