7 Best Practices for Public Sector Cloud Adoption

Cloud computing is destined to change the way government agencies accomplish their missions. The cloud is changing the dynamics of IT infrastructure and allowing staff to accomplish objectives more efficiently than ever before. With lower overhead costs and the capability to work anywhere with Internet access, public agencies across the government are re-inventing their operating models.

Cloud Computing Landscape

Agencies are using the cloud to complete tasks ranging from contract design to IT infrastructure deployment. According to the recent GovLoop Report, Agency of the Future: Cloud Computing, 38 percent of the government agencies polled said they were leveraging the cloud at a basic level, and another 31 percent said they were not using the cloud but were interested in learning more about it. Overall, the survey results showed that the cloud computing landscape is continuing to grow with more agencies looking for ways to leverage the cloud to fit their needs.

Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

The cloud makes it possible for agencies to rapidly deploy and integrate operating systems, which has a positive impact on constituents and government stakeholders. Other benefits include the obvious ease of sharing information, reduction in costs and ease of scalability. The cloud has the potential to allow simplified reallocation of resources, enhanced supply chain management, and optimization of workflows.

Transitioning to the Cloud

Taking an innovative approach to IT infrastructure and implementing a cloud solution has the power to change agencies and mission outcomes for the better. However, it takes a conscious effort and strategic planning to implement new systems and get past the certain resistance to change.

Below are some of GovLoop’s best practices for cloud adoption from the Agency of the Future Guide:

  1. Start small. Choose an application with a limited scope and conduct a pilot program. Use lessons learned from the trial program to implement the solution on a larger scale and showcase success.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment. Assess the network and IT Infrastructure of your agency as a precursor to decision-making.
  3. Set a vision. Connect with peer groups to explore how other agencies are using cloud computing. Consult the Federal CIO Council and other working groups to help set a vision for what could be possible.
  4. Work with industry. Experts in the industry can provide a better understanding of what is available and which solutions are options for your specific needs and goals.
  5. Identify the right cloud solution. Be sure that user needs are met by conducting stakeholder interviews and identifying all requirements. Decide whether to use the public cloud, private cloud or a hybrid computing solution.
  6. Be proactive about security. Learn about the security options and consider different approaches for public-facing systems as opposed to systems with sensitive and classified information.
  7. Determine costs and benefits of ownership. Develop an all-inclusive analysis of costs and benefits. Consider not only the direct costs and savings, but also the estimated increases in efficiency and in constituent satisfaction.

The cloud is making it possible to run agencies more efficiently and effectively than ever before. If your agency is not part of the 38 percent using cloud computing at even a very basic level, then take steps today to leverage the cloud to fit your needs.

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