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6 Questions to Ask When Considering Migrating to the Cloud

During the pandemic, many governments accelerated their switch from on-premises software to software-as-a-service (SaaS). But others have taken a slower approach to migrating to the cloud. A recent article on GovLoop discussed cost and security as two factors weighing on leaders’ minds.

For agencies and jurisdictions still on the fence about migrating from on-premises systems to SaaS solutions, consider the following questions adapted from Why Move to the Cloud? 6 Must-Ask Questions:

1. How Does the Cloud Influence Infrastructure Spending?

Anyone hesitant to move to the cloud based on cost needs a reminder that purchasing and maintaining on-premises IT infrastructure is expensive as well. Because of that high cost, leaders sometimes strike a balance between keeping aging systems running past their ideal retirement dates and planning for expensive equipment upgrades. Throw in an unexpected technology failure and emergency expenditures can wreck the budget.

Subscription-based SaaS cloud solutions, on the other hand, make annual budgeting predictable. And the bonus? Say goodbye once and for all to surprise costs for fixing broken legacy systems.

2. How Can the Cloud Reduce the Burden on IT Staff?

Performing backups, upgrading software and maintaining data add up to a considerable time commitment for IT staff. Not to mention that IT staff face the burden and responsibility of keeping systems running 24/7 year-round.

Cloud solutions shift those routine IT tasks to the SaaS provider. Cloud-based upgrades are typically automatic, less disruptive and more dependable. For government agencies, removing those burdens means IT staff can spend more time supporting and improving agency and community services.

3. How Does the Cloud Impact Security?

Cybercriminals work around the clock to exploit system vulnerabilities. Natural disasters, such as floods and fires, strike with little warning. Staying vigilant and prepared to respond to these threats is taxing for any organization managing its own IT infrastructure.

Engaging with experienced SaaS providers can put agencies’ security concerns at ease. Behind the scenes, SaaS providers fortify cloud systems against attacks and respond quickly when they detect threats. Furthermore, the resilient nature of the cloud — with dispersed servers and redundant storage — ensures that data is available in the event of local disruptions.

4. What’s the Value of Scalability in the Cloud?

Historically, the public has pegged the government as a slow-moving, wasteful bureaucracy. The complicated and costly process for procuring on-premises IT hardware and software can contribute to that stereotype.

But the scalability of cloud solutions allows governments to easily and quickly increase or decrease digital service capacity as community needs change. The expectation for online services in every aspect of our lives is here to stay. The cloud allows governments to rapidly meet constituent needs, especially when demand surges during times of crisis.

5. How Does the Cloud Help With Access to the Latest Tech?

Top cloud service providers are continually developing and delivering innovative new features without disruptions to service. Just as the cloud gives governments the ability to easily scale services, it also gives them the ability to access the newest technology and software through remote updates.

6. How Does the Cloud Affect Connectivity?

Finally, the very nature of the cloud means that users can connect to applications anytime from anywhere there is internet access. In fact, since 2020, more than 50% of global website traffic was generated by mobile devices.

When it comes to questions of on-premises or cloud, the answers are clear. Today’s cloud solutions are ideal for connecting constituents, agency staff and decision-makers to data and services no matter where they are.

Steve Goll is the editorial content manager at Tyler Technologies, Inc. In his role, he shares stories of government leaders finding solutions to challenges across a range of disciplines. During his 15 years of government experience, he worked at the state level in economic development and higher education, at the local level in K-12 education, and at the county/regional level as a workforce development council member.

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