How Treasury Found the Right Cloud for Its Enterprise App

Eighteen months ago, the Treasury Department’s shared services division decided it was time to commit its on-prem human resources (HR) application to the cloud.

The 20-year-old application called HRConnect is Treasury’s enterprise human capital system that the department offers to other federal agencies as a shared service.

The looming challenge in migrating this enterprise application was finding the right platform.

After assessing its options, the agency came up with a criteria list.

“The criteria we were looking at were affordability, security, getting out of the hardware business and scalability,” said Chak Susarla, Senior Director of Enterprise Business Solutions in the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s (OCIO) Departmental Offices (DO) at Treasury. Susarla spoke during GovLoop’s online training Thursday.

The on-premise server that the agency was using required a large amount of expenditure and effort to maintain. The agency needed a new solution that would minimize costs and make them more predictable; Treasury also wanted to reduce the amount of dedicated hardware so the agency could direct their investments more strategically elsewhere.

Of course, the solution also needed to be scalable and secure, meeting the Federal Information Security Management Act’s (FISMA’s) security standards as well as having, at least, a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate authorization.

The resulting solution the agency found was a hybrid cloud service that mixed cloud platform and infrastructure services. Susarla said he was confident in the industry provider because of its history migrating other agencies to the cloud and its high FedRAMP authorization.

“We knew this would be a heavy lift, so the team spent multiple months in testing, making sure it worked and met the criteria and all customers from different agencies were able to access the application when they turned it on,” Susarla said.

The migration went live in February 2020 after 18 months of planning, provisioning and iterating. So far, it has realized cost savings, streamlined monitoring tools and improved performance for users. “In fact, the performance is better than what we had in IRS data centers,” Susarla noted, referencing the Internal Revenue Service.

For agencies like Treasury, taking a hybrid cloud approach could be a good solution for those who “don’t want to be too siloed on-premises and don’t want to take a big-bang approach and go completely to the cloud,” said Pat Bangalore, Master Principal Enterprise Cloud Architect at Oracle. Oracle is an enterprise software provider.

Migrating an enterprise application to the cloud is a heavy lift, but agencies can successfully reach cloud if they set the right criteria for meeting their needs, and stick to them.

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