Moving is not just a universal experience – it is an activity that can guide agencies adopting cloud computing.
How are packing boxes and furniture like migrating applications and data? The answer is planning. Like strategizing can improve moving homes, plotting out cloud adoptions can make them easier for agencies.
On Wednesday, during GovLoop’s latest online training, a government thought leader explained how modernizing public-sector IT involves more than the cloud.
“Think beyond the technology,” said John O’Shaughnessy, Infrastructure Architect and Senior Consultant at Insight Enterprises, Inc., a business-to-business (B2B) and IT solutions provider. “There is so much involved on the people and process side of this.”
O’Shaughnessy explained three steps agencies can take to smooth their cloud journeys before starting them:
1. Set goals
People move for many reasons: starting families, gaining space or living where they love. With the cloud, agencies should determine similar objectives before embracing the technology.
“One of the key things about this is that it is an opportunity to start fresh,” O’Shaughnessy said. “It is key understanding what you’ve got, who the owners are and what resources they are using.”
No two governments are alike, but many agencies adopt the cloud to improve their performances, deploy products and services faster, lower costs or all three outcomes.
2. Build buy-in
Picture a family with a member who will not move. Should this person stay, the family becomes incomplete without them.
In similar fashion, cloud adoptions without enterprisewide participation may struggle to take off. For instance, O’Shaughnessy cited one organization where a cloud migration took twice as long as the office’s applications team was not immediately included.
“You need to bring people together and have those conversations,” he said. “Bring up their concerns and goals or you’re going to have separate silos and people running off and doing their own things.”
3. Bring the valuables
When moving, no one wants to lose their precious family heirlooms. During cloud migrations, agencies should apply the same mindset to their applications, data and equipment. Before migrating to the cloud, agencies should decide which components are critical to their missions.
“Go back to your organizations and start making lists of your key applications and workloads,” O’Shaughnessy said. “If you think about that, all the technical aspects will fall into place.”
Some parting wisdom
Government clouds and new homes have another thing in common – without defenses, both environments are at risk from threats.
“What are the security practices that are going to continue in this world and what is going to be different from before?” O’Shaughnessy asked. “This is a good chance to modernize and build in security that is better than what we have today.”
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