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How Hybrid Clouds Can Cover Your Agency’s Resilience

Most agencies realize their legacy IT is way past its expiration date. Despite this, many federal, state and local governments are hesitant to adopt cloud computing. After all, deciding whether their sensitive citizen data should reside in public or private clouds can intimidate agencies.

Thankfully, hybrid clouds can cover almost any need agencies have. Hybrid clouds mix public and private cloud environments, giving agencies benefits from both deployment models.

For example, hybrid clouds can keep agencies’ on-premise resources private while letting them access publicly available cloud services. This format boosts agencies’ resilience by choosing the cloud setup that is best for their operations and data.

“Utilizing a hybrid cloud environment can be a highly effective and cost-effective way to get things done,” said Brad Bowers, Director, Enterprise Cybersecurity at SHI, a software provider that offers hybrid cloud solutions.

Bowers detailed three ways hybrid clouds can improve agencies’ resilience – and everything else.

1. Increase resilience

Resilience revolves around shrugging off disruptions. Using hybrid clouds, agencies can adjust their IT capabilities according to their needs. For instance, agencies can increase their website bandwidth during political elections for surges in user traffic.

Even better, hybrid clouds can become multi-clouds. Multi-clouds leverage products and services from several public clouds, letting governments choose the options that fit their demands the best. Relying on multiple clouds also gives agencies a safety net if one cloud struggles.

“We’re making sure that if one part of something goes down, it doesn’t bring the entire agency or organization down,” Bowers said.

2. Increase agility

Agencies do not always have the agility they need for disruptions like severe weather, which can interrupt power and threaten safety. Without agility, government employees cannot react to fluid circumstances quickly and efficiently. Even worse, these workers may not be able to assist constituents in need.

Yet hybrid clouds can make agencies nimble enough to overcome these problems. Thanks to hybrid cloud’s flexibility, agencies can mold their products and services to whatever a situation demands.

“Agencies can focus on making applications and products that do what they want them to do,” Bowers said of hybrid clouds’ elasticity.

3. Increase security

Recently, agencies have embraced more remote work than ever. While convenient, remote work expands the perimeter agencies have typically defended, making cybersecurity increasingly difficult.

Enter zero trust cybersecurity. Zero trust cybersecurity assumes all users and devices on agencies’ networks are untrustworthy until proven otherwise. Hybrid clouds enable agencies to rapidly implement and enforce zero trust cybersecurity by making agencywide governance easier and more manageable.

“A zero-trust strategy can focus on who the users are and what access they need,” Bowers said.

When it comes to public and private cloud services, hybrid clouds offer the agencies the best of both worlds. Thanks to hybrid cloud vendors like SHI, agencies can also make their resilience more robust.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Bouncing Back: How Your Agency Can Handle Disruption and Embrace Resilience.” Download the full guide here.

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