This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Your Roadmap to IT Modernization.“
Most government agencies are aware of the need to modernize their IT infrastructure and re-think how they manage the explosive growth of data. Legacy systems, outdated infrastructure and aged management strategies can hinder an agency’s ability to meet its mission needs and goals. Despite the need to modernize, many agencies are very cautious because of the inherent risk involved with modernizing systems and management strategies.
To discuss challenges associated with adopting cloud-based solutions during modernization and how agencies can overcome them, GovLoop sat down with Craig McCullough, VP of Federal Sector at Commvault, a data and information management software company.
While there are numerous ways agencies can approach IT modernization, adopting a cloud strategy is one of the most prominent. Some federal agencies are focused on and have successfully moved to the cloud, but many others are facing roadblocks in doing so. McCullough explained that overall, it is slightly more complicated for the federal government to adopt a cloud based strategy because of its well justified focus on data security, access and risk mitigation. Before moving into the cloud, agencies want to make sure their updated infrastructure is secure, that they have access to applications and data anytime and anywhere, and that they still have control of their data and systems. The perceived lag in the federal government’s adoption of cloud based strategies can be attributed to ensuring that all of these needs are met. Making things even more complicated is the ever decreasing budget that agencies must contend with.
Making the move to the cloud, however, can actually be more cost efficient. The efficiency comes, in part, from the decreased management required to run and maintain a cloud based strategy. “Today, agencies can implement a development and operational cloud strategy that, in the past, would require many folks to manage. Add to that the cost of maintaining a datacenter plus the hardware costs, and you are quickly running out of budget,” McCullough explained. Now, the burdens of management, labor, and hardware costs are placed on the cloud providers, saving money and resources for federal agencies.
McCullough also emphasized that moving to a cloud-based strategy approach can help improve security.
In an effort to quickly modernize their infrastructure, some agencies have implemented ad hoc systems in hopes of gaining new features and capabilities. But with additional systems, comes increased security risk. By consolidating IT infrastructure and moving to the cloud, IT administrators can gain a better grasp of the seemingly ever-expanding, complex environments they’re charged with managing.
Commvault is an enterprise level software company offering a data platform for backup, restore, archive, replication, and search, on premise or in any cloud. Commvault specifically helps agencies reduce the risks of IT modernization and cloud mobilization through their single management platform. This platform allows agencies to change their infrastructure without losing data or having to invest in new data management tools. Additionally, the platform’s software driven capabilities allows for seamless workload and data portability from physical to virtual environments, to hyper-converged infrastructures, to the cloud.
Such platforms allow government agencies to ease the cost of modernization, capitalize on modernized infrastructure and fully utilize the power of their data. Additionally, Commvault’s solution can be quickly adapted to individual, agency, and department needs, no matter what cloud or datacenter, their data is stored in. “One of the biggest benefits is that we make it possible for our government customers to manage data across hardware platforms and cloud based providers while still giving them the protection and security they demand,” McCullough explained.
This agility was clearly seen in some of the success stories McCullough highlighted. For example, his team recently helped a federal financial agency consolidate their data protection infrastructure from three disparate systems into one comprehensive solution, reducing the number of IT engineers it took to manage the infrastructure from 60 to eight. This allowed the agency to re-direct resources and budget to other mission critical tasks.
Additionally, Commvault’s solution has helped DoD healthcare agencies consolidate data and enhance security through a unified solution. This allowed the organizations to save money and resources by decreasing maintenance and administration costs.
Ultimately, a unified IT architecture through solutions such as Commvault’s platform, mitigates risk, frees up resources, saves money and allows agencies to seamlessly move data from legacy infrastructures to the cloud.