This blog post is an excerpt from our recent report, Maximizing State and Local Government Services With a Modern Network, published in partnership with Cisco Meraki.
Citizen demand for online services is higher than ever. Implementing a cloud-managed network is the solution for state and local government officials who believe their organizations lag behind the private sector in offering digital services to users.
The cloud is a critical component of several government initiatives, including the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud infrastructure enables agencies to store, share and analyze data across multiple devices and platforms. Cities have already begun to incorporate IoT into services used by millions of residents every day, such as streetlights, parking spaces, traffic systems, public Wi-Fi, transit and more.
Below are best practices for implementing the cloud. When executed properly, a cloud-managed network can help governments save money, increase security and improve citizen experiences.
Change your spending mindset
To adequately compare the cost of a cloud-managed networking solution with an on-premises solution, there are several things to consider. Traditionally, agencies purchase and deploy each aspect of their on-premises network individually, piecing together a number of different products and services, plus additional analytics and management tools.
By moving to the cloud, the entire network can be managed from one place, with analytics and troubleshooting tools included.
Plus, by shifting to licensing as capital, tools and spending are easier to track and manage. There are also hidden costs of traditional networking solutions that are eliminated with a cloud-managed solution, including analytics and visibility tools, security solutions, support and having to hire additional personnel.
Don’t overlook the cultural change
To successfully implement new technologies, there must be a change in mindset. Employees must be willing to shift from the old way of doing business and embrace new tools and techniques aimed at helping them do their jobs more efficiently.
Making sure that employees understand exactly what the changes will mean for them and their work will make the transition significantly easier and avoid any fear or doubt that might come with a lack of information. This requires agencies to engage with users early and often. Town halls, demos and explainer videos are helpful ways to get feedback and give employees a chance to test new solutions before they are rolled out across the department.
Collaborate with the right industry partner
As governments start deploying cloud solutions to provide better services for constituents, it’s important that agencies partner with public and private sector organizations that share the same vision.
Finding the right fit and ensuring new capabilities and services will align with the needs of the agency is a good starting point. Government agencies also need to weigh all of the options and make decisions based on what they’re looking to accomplish, what constraints they need to consider, what resources they have available and more. Without addressing these issues, it’s impossible to take the next step.
To learn more about updating ineffective networks, improving citizen services, and how New Castle County revamped its outdated system by moving to the cloud, head here.