The following blog post is an excerpt from a recent GovLoop resource: Your Guide to Using Everything-as-a-Service. In the guide, we explore how agencies can maximize the benefits of cloud technology by creating a holistic everything-as-a-service (XaaS) strategy.
The benefits of cloud services are innumerable. Cloud services can:
- Lower costs by saving on data storage, processing, and implementation.
- Decrease time and labor requirements for technology transitions.
- Increase efficiency by providing easier access to secure files.
- Offer greater mobility to employees and the public.
- Update automatically and lower maintenance requirements.
- Drive collaboration by creating shared tools and infrastructure.
An ad hoc deployment of disparate cloud offerings can easily diminish these benefits, however. Everything-as-a-service (XaaS) is a way of holistically transitioning to the cloud that reduces the complexity of IT on your end, while maintaining or improving the performance of your services. Creating a strategy before deploying individual cloud platforms is essential. If you execute a XaaS strategy, you can expect significant gains. An effective strategy should yield:
Agility. Cloud technology can be swiftly acquired and deployed to meet emerging needs. However, IT manager should take care to guarantee that new solutions don’t create new problems. A XaaS strategy is not meant to inhibit an IT infrastructure from creatively adapting. Instead, it ensures that when an appropriate cloud solution is available, it can be more seamlessly integrated into the existing architecture.
Cost containment. Cloud services reduce costs by allowing users to pay only for the bandwidth used. A XaaS strategy builds on these cost savings by further ensuring that services aren’t duplicative or decreasing productivity through added process complexity.
Efficiency. Because it ensures that solutions effectively interact with one another and with local technologies, a successfully deployed XaaS strategy will guarantee that all of the benefits of cloud’s speed, productivity tools and user ease are realized on an enterprise-wide level, rather than just within each solution.
Collaboration. Using everything-as-a-service goes beyond deploying individual collaboration or mobile solutions. It creates a standardized network across your organization — and across your various cloud solutions — that makes sure any collaboration tool will be operable in any setting. Therefore, the benefits of a single communication platform can be extended beyond a single department to interact with other platforms and employees across your agency.
Security. Sixty percent of respondents to our survey said that security concerns were a major consideration for transitions to cloud services. However, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cybersecurity can be drastically improved by creating a streamlined cloud environment. A homogenous infrastructure can help IT managers more easily identify and address potential threats and irregularities. Moreover, a uniform environment allows for automation of many security management activities.
Engagement. A seamless interface that incorporates multiple cloud solutions allows the public to easily access your digital resources. XaaS strategies go beyond simply purchasing platform or interface cloud bundles. Instead, XaaS consolidates and streamlines various cloud services, either bundled or separate, into a single process map. The public can then use your services with confidence, knowing that they are accessing the full spectrum of your offerings and that each solution will work with others.
To learn how to create and deploy a XaaS strategy that maximizes your cloud potential, check out the full GovLoop report: Your Guide to Using Everything-as-a-Service.