In the past, agencies deployed cloud in response to mandates, with compliance as a key driver. Today, agencies are driven by the need for more speed and IT agility, which requires modernization, transformation and re-platforming. By moving to the cloud, agencies can unlock secure digital transformation with the help of comprehensive transition plans.
Cloud Enables Digital Transformation and Innovation
Digital transformation is more than a buzzword. It enables agencies to deliver value to their customers, employees and ecosystem partners through rich user experiences and smarter data-driven interactions. Consequently, many vendors are developing cloud-native applications to facilitate the data-driven user experience, allow agencies to take advantage of cloud’s elasticity and scalability, and enable fast-paced innovation delivered through cloud services.
Cloud migration can unlock innovation possibilities. Seventy percent of respondents in a survey conducted by market research firm IDC reported that cloud capabilities have produced consistent (34%) or systemic (35.6%) opportunities to innovate in new ways to address problems and concerns.
Cloud Security: The Agency’s Duty
Federal agencies still have conflicting attitudes about security. But security is among the top expected benefits of cloud and also a top concern for both public and private clouds. Ultimately, the onus for security remains with the agency.
The Cloud Smart policy states that to “ensure continuity of information security during and after the migration process, it is incumbent upon agencies to thoroughly assess their operational, policy, and business requirements and advocate for themselves when brokering new arrangements with cloud service providers.”
Agencies need to develop a comprehensive inventory of current and future workload needs, identify which workloads work best in which environments and determine the best fit of cloud services for the organization’s application portfolio.
Transition plans should include the level of effort required to move workloads to cloud, the readiness of staff, the capability and security certifications of vendors, as well as uses and deployments of third platform technologies, a term coined by IDC. These technologies include big data and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, mobility and Internet of Things (IoT).
For the full infographic, access ServiceNow’s “Government Applications Head to Cloud” snapshot.