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Moving to the Cloud? Remember, It’s More Than a Destination

Jim Smid, Iron Bow Technologies

July 30, 2018  |  Cloud  •  Digitization + IoT  •  IT Modernization


2018 is an amazing time to work in government IT. The possibilities enabled by machine learning, AI and IoT are poised to redefine what government can achieve. Digital transformation is becoming a reality because we finally have the infrastructure to make it work. This is in large part thanks to the cloud.

While cloud is key to digital transformation, it isn’t a destination. Rather it’s the operating model for enabling missions and emerging technologies, a strategy that allows government to accomplish more. As agency needs evolve with their goals, they need a dynamic platform.

That’s where a multi-cloud environment, one that offers a variety of on- and off- premises cloud solutions, makes the most sense. The foundation of a multi- cloud architecture is based on an effective private cloud with the ability and tools to seamlessly integrate with a variety of cloud providers. It opens up options and eliminates potential limitations of a single approach.

The private sector already understands the need for this strategy. In fact, more than 85 percent of enterprise IT organizations planned to deploy multi-cloud architecture by 2018, according to an IDC study.

A single cloud strategy makes it difficult to adjust to the shifts agencies go through on a regular basis. Specific workloads may have different requirements and missions may change to meet new challenges. Multi-cloud can accommodate this. Here are three reasons to consider the approach:

  1. More Security Options

Security is top-of-mind for agencies utilizing the cloud. From ransomware to distributed denial of service attacks, security threats are a real concern when considering infrastructure options. When you deploy a single cloud strategy, your organization takes a risk.

With public cloud, the customer is still responsible for the lion’s share of the security posture and tools. With a multi- cloud solution based on a standardized private cloud, the security solutions can be implemented unilaterally and provide better security options.

Beyond that, by using the multi-cloud model, agencies are empowered by choice. They can store their most sensitive data in a private, on-premise environment, while allowing users to utilize non-sensitive information off premise. The right option can be selected based on individual workload needs.

A multi-cloud approach offers better resources should a breach occur. IT managers can shift critical data and services to infrastructure that hasn’t been compromised, so the incident’s impact is thwarted and business can continue.

  1. Infrastructure Flexibility

If you initially choose one vendor, but further down the road need a change, transferring information and systems out of a public, hosted cloud can be costly, time consuming and sometimes nearly impossible. As a result, agencies may continue operating in an environment that no longer suits their needs.

Multi-cloud infrastructure can mitigate this challenge. Agencies can make decisions based on a given task, rather than forcing an unnatural fit. As needs evolve, hosting a system on premise may be the best option for a workload. Whether due to the sensitivity of the information or the need for higher security in general, agencies need to have every option on the table.

  1. An Approach for the Mission and the Workload

Agencies evolve as the needs of the public change and new technologies emerge. They best serve citizens and the federal community when they have the flexibility to use new technologies and change strategies when an older one is no longer the most effective. A multi-cloud approach is designed with this reality in mind, recognizing the cloud not as a stagnant destination, but rather a dynamic operating model.

With that mindset, government can deploy workloads in the most appropriate environment, keeping in mind individual needs for each specific scenario. Is information highly sensitive? Will a warfighter in a combat zone need immediate access to data, making any latency unacceptable? Agility is the cloud’s biggest asset. Multi-cloud doesn’t limit that agility and supports each unique workload.

Though multi-cloud infrastructure offers myriad benefits, it also takes coordination to deploy and run properly. That’s why organizations like Iron Bow are here to help you navigate the landscape and why Dell EMC developed its Multi-Cloud Manager, which allows you to precisely control how services are consumed to balance demand, cost, reliability, security and performance.

Dell EMC’s solution helps identify the best path, whether that means on- or off-premise. The Multi-Cloud Manager hands control to the agency, within their own data centers, and provides agility and choice for the federal government as it moves toward a digital future.

For more info on how the Dell Multi-Cloud Manager can help maximize cloud value, check out the Iron Bow website.


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