It’s an accepted fact that cloud is a valuable and respected technology in government, and that it’s quickly evolving and become ever more important in a variety of agencies. But what we don’t often stop to think about is how cloud computing actually enables everybody at all levels of government to achieve something traditionally difficult in the public sector – innovation.
That’s right. Even if we’re not thinking about it, cloud computing is enabling technological transformation at all levels. At Wednesday’s GovLoop event, Evolution of the Cloud, three lightning industry speakers discussed how cloud is allowing agencies to evolve and innovate to better deliver mission critical services.
Matthew Schneider, Operations Director, US Federal, Cisco, got a lot of laughs from the audience when he defined technology in an usual way.
“Technology is something created after you started using it, right?” he said. “An iPhone is not technology to my eight-year-old son because he’s always had it. And cloud computing is not technology to the average millennial.”
Schneider said that even though cloud computing may not be ‘technology’ to the average person today, it has enabled technological transformation at all levels. He used the example of the evolution of mapping services.
“We are the GPS generation,” he said. “We used to TripTik – remember those? Then cloud computing enabled us to use MapQuest on our desktops. And then it evolved and we can access maps and directions on our iPhones. All we did was use the same maps but put them in the cloud.”
“The power of group collaboration combined with the evolution of map technology creates a transformational service,” Schneider continued. “What if we can do that with the cloud services that government uses?”
Mike Fraga, Federal Sales Director of AppDynamics spoke next about how cloud computing enables the technological transformation of apps and app management. In particular, he spoke about how AppDynamics is using on-premise SaaS and hybrid to transform doctor patient relations at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“Application management is what we do for an app that the VA uses to have vets communicate with doctors to help get their prescription drugs,” Fraga explained. “Application performance management in that scenario monitors that end user experience for that vet in, say, Colorado on his iPad. We help monitor and support what he’s trying to accomplish from that device all the way through the complexity to the VA database and back.”
Fraga also noted that AppDyanmics helps ensure performance of mission critical applications before during and after cloud migration projects.
“In a couple of clicks with our services you can get to the root cause of any issue, whether it’s the app or the infrastructure,” he said.
Finally, Rebecca Crowe, Dynamics CRM Director, US Public Sector, Microsoft, spoke about how we can work to transform government in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.
“How can innovation continue to make us all more productive?” she asked the audience. “The transformation here isn’t necessarily technology, but productivity.”
Crowe highlighted how the cloud lets you drive efficiency and economies of scale for your products, applications and missions.
Government agencies are committed to being more productive and improving their engagement with constituents, Crowe explained, and so the next natural step for many to achieve this is the journey to the cloud. By bringing together their cloud platform with their productivity applications, Microsoft provides greater efficiency, ease of use and collaboration to government users.
Crowe said it is important to provide government customers with robust solutions and a solid platform to build agile and mission critical applications for a variety of important citizen services.
As Crowe noted, it’s important that government have the same functionality that the private sector does - delivered as a service from a secure, government community cloud.