The Capabilities That You Should Ask for in the Cloud

Recently, government IT has met its gravest challenge in years, as the novel coronavirus has disrupted business as usual and put tremendous strain on systems and networks. Although agencies have worked to do the best they can, some IT systems just can’t meet the moment.

But cloud solutions can give government workers and their agencies the scale and flexibility to rise to the challenge.

“Cloud gives you a benefit in terms of scale and acceleration, allowing agencies to focus on their mission instead of installing and operating software,” said Anurag Gupta, Principal Product Manager at Elastic, in an interview with GovLoop.

Elastic offers secure cloud solutions with three critical functions for the public sector: enterprise search, observability and security. Gupta shared his advice for how to use these capabilities.

1. Enterprise Search

With cloud-based systems, searching is no longer a siloed activity kept to individual hard drives and servers. IT personnel can instead search through entire systems for what they need, when they need it.

In times of high demand, such as when citizens are submitting more forms, agencies can scale up to meet requests in the cloud. Then, with enterprise search capabilities, they can quickly prioritize and respond.

For example, the city of Portland, Oregon, website is used to host public content, support online payments and more. By implementing Elastic Enterprise Search, the city was able to get started in hours enhancing search performance and providing a better citizen experience.

2. Observability

If on-premise servers are near capacity or an influx of users is slowing down applications, agencies should know without having to check manually.

An observability solution tracks system health, memory and behavior in one place – for on-premise environments and cloud deployments alike. With a cloud observability solution, agencies can monitor applications and feed metrics back to application and IT teams with a highly available and scalable solution, growing as agency data does.

“Elastic Observability allows users to navigate logs, metrics and application performance management seamlessly from a single interface. Cloud simplifies how agencies can deploy and how they can scale for growing datasets,” Gupta said.

3. Security

IT and security teams shouldn’t have to spend months setting up a new system and synchronizing it with applications and devices. Right out of the box, agencies should expect encryption, monitoring, authentication and detection tools.

Security is not only about configuring best practices, but it’s also about empowering agency employees with tooling used by threat hunters and security practitioners. Cloud can democratize that availability and make it easy to deploy within an organization.

“Elastic ensures that all the security best practices are taken care of and also includes a SIEM for all deployments. With Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud, you get encryption at rest, security enabled for all of your clusters and SIEM enabled. And our AWS GovCloud offering for government users is FedRAMP ‘in process,’” Gupta said.

Combining enterprise search, security and observability solutions in the cloud propels government IT departments to modernization. The cloud delivers speed, simplicity and scale, especially when agencies need these capabilities the most.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “5 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Cloud.” Download the full report here.

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