Change the Way Your Agency Thinks About the Cloud  


Cloud migration should be at the top of every Federal CIO’s priority list. [1]Cloud technology offers agencies the tools they need to drive impact with innovation in a rapidly changing digital world. With the cloud, CIOs can bring about digital transformation to support agency missions, using technology as the foundation of new approaches to citizen services. Cloud resources free up agencies from the burden of legacy infrastructure, increasing efficiency and creating new opportunities. CIOs need to change the way government agencies think about the cloud, removing obstacles to cloud migration. 

Adopting new technologies in government agencies can be difficult. In government, as in many companies in the commercial sector, a change-resistant culture can pose a challenging barrier. CIOs can bridge the gap with a clear technology vision to encourage agency wide cloud adoption. By leading the team and encouraging the adoption of new mission applications, CIOs can empower employees and bring a more efficient method of accomplishing goals.

To smooth the cloud transition, CIOs need to take a proactive approach by outlining concrete reasons for adoption to executive leadership within their respective agencies. There are a number of reasons for agencies to migrate to the cloud, such as reductions in capital expenditure for infrastructure, increased security, greater interdepartmental communication, flexibility, scalability, and overall accessibility. By highlighting the reasons for cloud migration and laying out clear objectives for your agency, you can build a strategy that is open and transparent. This will also help guide IT leaders in your organization through the complex task of successfully rolling out a cloud implementation strategy.

In a report from the International Data Corporation, IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Cloud in Federal Civilian Agencies in the United States, 2017, the organization surveyed local, state, and federal agencies that made the transition to cloud technology, and tracked their progress across different stages in the migration process. It found that the highest benchmark agencies can achieve is the optimized stage. At this stage, agencies are using the cloud at its full capacity. CIOs should be thinking about the cloud not just in terms of first steps, but also in the context of a long-term strategy to reach the optimized benchmark.

IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Cloud — Maturity Distribution Across the Stages 

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Source: IDC's Cloud Adoption in Federal Civilian Agencies MaturityScape Benchmark Survey, May 2017

At the optimized benchmark, CIOs can achieve greater capacity for innovation and offer real solutions to workplace inefficiencies. Agencies should begin thinking about the cloud as a driver of change that will enable them to provide better services to the citizens they serve. Through greater connectivity and accessibility, government agencies can usher in a new era of advanced computing power that launches them into a new, more productive work environment. This connectivity also provides agencies with an increased ability to analyze, share, and process data. With increased data analytics comes the ability to gain greater insights on how your agency is functioning, as well as how citizens are interacting with it.

Moving to the cloud can also give agencies the ability to look at security in a different way. One of the greatest concerns for all government agencies with digital platforms is security. With cloud platforms, you gain access to a wealth of new tools and resources to address evolving security threats. This is especially true for agencies that partner with Microsoft Azure Government as their cloud provider. Azure Government has the highest federal security standards, including FedRamp High and DoD Level 5 and 6.

Changing the way your agency thinks about the cloud can allow you to bring about effective change in agency processes. Citizen expectations are growing all the time. The cloud can push your agency’s mission forward to optimize operations to provide better, more efficient services to citizens.  

Learn more about effective tools to reach optimization with the cloud in IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Cloud in Federal Civilian Agencies in the United States, 2017 

[1] IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Cloud in Federal Civilian Agencies in the United States, 2017, June 2017 | Doc #US40668816

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