Four Reasons Agencies are Adopting the Cloud

GovLoop's recent guide, How Cloud is Reinventing Government, explores the how cloud is helping agencies unlock innovation and improve service delivery. The report includes four government case studies, best practices and insights from industry leaders. Below is an excerpt from our guide. Read the full report here.

Cloud computing is providing government agencies access to on-demand computing resources, which are needed to meet the demands of public sector service delivery.

“The cloud is also making government more proactive on the services that are provided to citizens,” added Tom Ruff, ‎vice president of public sector at Akamai Technologies. “[Cloud] is helping agencies become not only more proactive, not only more responsive, but also more transparent in terms of how the government is helping the citizen.”

Ruff provided four additional insights into what he believes is

driving cloud adoption:

  1. Government Directives: With the OMB “cloud first” strategy, agencies are exploring various workloads that they can move to the cloud to gain cost savings and efficiencies. Also, the FedRAMP program has accelerated cloud adoption by having a clear set of standards in place to manage the adoption of cloud in the public sector.
  2. Desired Cost Savings: In a time when government is challenged by declining budgets, agencies are looking for ways to gain cost savings. “Some of the cloud success stories show that cloud is a less expensive way of delivering the mission for agencies, so it seems to be perfect timing in the government for considering and implementing cloud solutions,” said Ruff.
  3. Secure Cloud Deployments: Due to advancements in technology, cloud deployments can now happen safely and securely. “Government has historically looked at the cloud and seen it as a security issue. Whether it is public, private or a hybrid model, the cloud can end up being as secure, if not more secure, than many of the government implementations done on their own infrastructure, given in the cloud security soluttions that are always on and updated said Ruff.
  4. Delivering Additional Services: The private sector now conducts many customer services over the web, and citizens today expect the same from government. The cloud offers the opportunity to expand services provided to citizens. “The government is trying to keep pace with the commercial industry and delivering new services, so whether that is leveraging social media, or streaming or mobile websites in order to have a better experience for the end user,” said Ruff.

Although there are many benefits for cloud deployment, obstacles still remain for government agencies. “The number one challenge is the perception that the cloud is not secure, and that really is more of an educational gap than it is a technology gap,” said Ruff. “There is also the perception that the government loses control, where the government applications owner will feel like they will lose control or visibility, of not only the application, but also the end users and the experience.”

But with the help of Akamai, public sector agencies can have the confidence they need in a safe, secure and reliable cloud solution.

“Akamai can provide a public, private or hybrid cloud model,” said Ruff. “Akamai’s greatest example is with the World Cup. In one day, we transferred over seven petabytes of data to broadcasters – in excess of half a million users. We will see some games provide over a million users without any impact on the origin infrastructures or network of the broadcasters.” Akamai has also worked with the Department of Defense, the majority of civilian agencies, and even provided the background infrastructure to help stream events such as the State of the Union or provide cloud support with 100% availability to events such as the Census.

Akamai’s track record proves they can help government agencies meet the needs of their constituents. “What we can do for the government is what we have been doing for years,” said Ruff. “That's improving the experience, making the experience more secure and allowing the government to do its mission by allowing us to do as much work in the cloud as possible.”

Cloud computing has great promise for government agencies, and with the help of Akamai, your agency can start to be transformed or optimized by the cloud.

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Akamai® is the leading provider of cloud services for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. If you've ever shopped online, downloaded music, watched a web video or connected to work remotely, you've probably used Akamai's cloud platform.

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