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Collaboration Is One of Cloud’s Greatest Benefits—Here’s How to Make It Work

Anna Parker, Director, Global Hybrid Cloud Pathway Development, NetApp

September 19, 2018  |  Cloud  •  Collaboration  •  IT Modernization


For years, the mantra powering federal cloud migration was cutting costs. While cloud environments do generate savings, an attractive benefit to cash-strapped IT departments, there’s much more to cloud computing. One even more important benefit to government is the ability to collaborate.

It used to be that data was relatively static. Data in the cloud is stored, but it’s also frequently transferred, analyzed and shared in ways that wouldn’t be possible with the clunky, on-prem hardware of old. From data visualization that pulls from multiple databases in the cloud to sharing information with teams located across the country, this simplified sharing of information makes it easier for federal agencies to work as one, rather than in siloes.

The private sector is already reaping these benefits. A recent report shows that businesses see collaboration through the cloud as an essential driver of growth, critical to staying competitive. Additionally, 95 percent of organizations said using cloud for collaboration is a priority over the next year.

How data moves is vitally important. The ability to send and manipulate information across teams can be the difference between mission success and failure. But taking advantage of these benefits isn’t as simple as picking any vendor and moving to the cloud. Agencies need to consider each individual workload and enable interoperability between any environment.

Every agency takes a different journey to accomplish its mission. In many cases the value cloud brings to those missions is clear, but the path differs. Some workloads are appropriate for the cloud, while others require greater security. Some applications work best in hosted environments, while in other situations on-prem is easier to manage. This decision needs to be made for each workload and just as importantly, needs the agility to change as the agency does. If one public cloud isn’t providing the desired benefits, an agency needs the ability to move to a different provider or even to a private cloud.

With this in mind, interoperability is critical. Federal agencies and even individual departments have different approaches to the cloud, but they still need to share information and applications. Data management must be seamless in connecting these disparate IT environments so users maintain control and choice over the option that works for them, without prohibiting data sharing or collaboration.

It’s important to not only deploy a multi-cloud solution, but to ensure what’s stored in the cloud is accessible to whoever and whatever application needs it. The right combination of software, including both cloud and data management applications, can dramatically improve the way data is ingested, replicated, retrieved and purged. That kind of technology puts information in the right place, at the right time.

At NetApp, we appreciate the possibilities of cloud and have invested heavily in technology that gives power over data in any environment. Cloud is certainly the future of data storage, but the future isn’t siloed. NetApp Cloud Volumes allow for quick and easy data management. Cloud Volumes can shift files, analytics and databases to the cloud and gain unprecedented performance and advanced data management.

So as you think about your agency’s next IT move, remember that it isn’t simply about the cloud, it’s also about how you use the cloud. NetApp has the tools and Iron Bow is ready to help guide you on that journey.

For more information on NetApp’s cloud solutions, be sure to visit the new Iron Bow website.


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