This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, the The Future of Cloud: 5 of the Latest Cloud Computing Trends in Government. Download the full guide here.
The great cloud migration in government is well underway. How various government agencies support the cloud will differ depending on whether the agency is federal, state or local. For example, most federal agencies, like the Department of Defense (DoD), would be less likely to transfer everything to the cloud due to the department’s extensive storage of classified information.
GovLoop spoke with Steve Marsh, Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing, and Pat Park, Regional Vice President of Public Sector, from Metalogix, to discuss why government agencies should join the cloud migration and how Metalogix can help ease the transition.
For over a decade, the company has developed trusted management tools for cloudbased platforms like SharePoint and Office 365. The company helps public and private sector organizations monitor, migrate, store, synchronize, archive, secure, and backup collaboration platforms.
For any skeptics out there, it may be important to first address why should government agencies adopt cloud solutions?
Aside from keeping up with the times, the primary benefits of cloud migration and deployment are cost efficiency and improved security.
“It’s the ability to cut costs from servers, applications and storage,” Park said. “You’re paying for what you already use. As for increased security, you don’t have to worry about things not being up to date in your system, allowing for potential breaches.”
An inadvertent way of enhancing cybersecurity through the cloud is combatting Shadow IT. “If the tools and platform provided by the agency aren’t working the way people want them to work, employees will find their own way of doing it,” Marsh said. “OneDrive can stifle shadow IT because it provides a simple, easy way to upload content to the cloud and share it with multiple people.”
Additionally, it’s easy to navigate both worlds: the cloud and on-premise. “Your new and old applications can coexist,” Park said. “You can have Exchange, SharePoint, or file shares on-premise and the same solutions on the cloud side. You’ll still have the capability to communicate and operate in both worlds.”
Finally, cloud helps government keep in touch with younger citizen bases. “You’ve got to straddle both worlds,” Park said. “The concern with government agencies and the growing number of retirees is that you have younger people who grew up with all this technology. Technologies like the cloud need to be in place for them to work and operate.”
Plan. Migrate. Manage.
Metalogix helps agencies formulate a migration path and prioritize a plan for moving to the cloud. “It’s really about making sure you have the strategy first. Think about what you actually have as an organization and how you’re going to implement it,” Marsh said.
The company emphasizes helping agencies with an easy, less time-consuming migration to cloud deployment with the following steps:
- Plan: Pre-Migration. Metalogix tools help you to prepare and plan for a successful migration with its Essentials, Content Matrix and Migration Expert solutions. These can help your agency analyze, find and fix potential roadblocks.
- Migrate: In one Hop. Metalogix helps your organization directly migrate from older SharePoint versions to SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 in one go. Intermediate SharePoint versions aren’t necessary to migrate your libraries, workflows, permissions, meta-data, or version history.
- Manage. Run old and new versions in parallel and test and rearrange your platforms as often as needed. Content Matrix is licensed to allow unlimited testing, reorganization, and management of sites and content on the cloud.
Benefits of the Cloud
The advantages to cloud deployment far outweigh the disadvantages. The only real downside is work can become your whole life. “You can work anywhere in the world once you get into the cloud,” Park said.
Another important benefit includes increased storage for your agency. “One of the biggest advantages is OneDrive and the amount of storage for agencies to use that’s already paid for,” Marsh said.
The cloud is here and it’s not going away. How will your agency start planning its migration? Because, as Marsh concluded, ”Cloud is not an if, it’s a when.”