While cloud computing is relatively new, it offers benefits to government agencies of all sizes. Due to reduced stress on IT departments and the ability to collaborate on documents across federal, state and local governments and additional scalability, security and flexibility, many government agencies have embraced the cloud. In 2011, the Obama administration created an initiative called the 'Cloud First Initiative', the project was an effort to streamline government's inefficient technology scene, and get rid of their duplicative systems and long delays in getting things done. Since then the US government has taken steps to convert their environment and other government agencies to the cloud and reap the benefits of a cloud based infrastructure. Government agencies across the globe are following suit.
Reasons to Move to the Cloud
There are numerous reasons government agencies have decided to move to the cloud, we've provided a few of the benefits they have obtained.
To read more about the benefits of cloud for government agencies, take a look at our selection of articles that focus on government agencies and cloud computing.
Moving to the Cloud
When migrating to the cloud, there are a few things that need to be considered. These include finding a service plan that is flexible to suit the agency's needs, finding a provider that meets the agency's regulations, involving all stakeholders in the process and learning how to educate staff about using the cloud (just to name a few).
Government agencies need to determine the scope and need of cloud computing by analyzing the department objectives as well as current workloads, existing systems, and IT usage. Involving stakeholders at this phase is key to understanding the needs of different departments within the organization and helps ensure all parties concerns are being addressed. Once this is complete, the agency should do a thorough cost benefit analysis to assess the implementation and scope of the project.
If you decide to move forward, look at multiple cloud service providers to determine which best meets the agency's needs and ask lots of questions. Once you've chosen a provider, start the process slowly, migrating elements to the cloud in phases (most basic elements first) until the agency becomes comfortable with the new technology. This phased migration helps ensure that the implementation is being done correctly and managed appropriately. Once that point is reached, the sky's the limit as the cloud can accommodate just about any technological need that may arise.
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