Posted by Mike Boyle, TCC Director of Business Development, 317.625.2547
Many organizations are asking what is the cloud and why would it be good for me? Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building. Cloud computing allows people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. When you post a photo on Instagram, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again.
Cloud computing is transforming businesses across industries and creating a paradigm shift by delivering hosted services through the internet with cost benefits and business innovation. The private sector is building on cloud computing’s myriad benefits, but government organizations have also aggressively begun to capitalize on them. Increasing financial constraints have deeply affected how agencies deploy their solutions. Agencies are pressed to seek optimized business models while measuring their performance and service deliveries more closely — hence their inclination towards shared services.
Cloud is fast becoming the new normal in both the private and public sector and organizations are moving to a cloud computing platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) because cloud computing increases efficiency, lowers the burden on the agency’s IT department, increases flexibility, and reduces overhead costs. But there are more benefits that you may not have considered. Here are several reasons that government agencies should move to the cloud:
- Greater Flexibility
Cloud-based services such as AWS are ideal for organizations with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it is easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers, or if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. It is not surprising that CIOs and IT Directors rank “operational agility” as one of the main drivers for cloud adoption.
- Improved Disaster Recovery
Organizations of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but this is often more an ideal than the reality. Hosting systems and storing documents on the cloud provides a smart safeguard in case of an emergency. Man-made and natural disasters can damage equipment, shut off power, and impair critical IT functions. Supporting disaster recovery efforts is one of the important advantages of cloud computing for most organizations.
- Automatic Software Updates
In cloud computing the servers are off-premise, and suppliers such as AWS take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. This leaves you free to focus on the things that matter, like taking care of your core business.
- Boosts Cost Efficiency
Cloud computing reduces or eliminates the need for organizations to purchase equipment and build out and operate data centers. This presents a significant savings on hardware, facilities, utilities and other expenses required from traditional computing. Reducing the need for on-site servers, software and staff can also reduce the IT budget.
- Increased Collaboration
Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing applications give dispersed teams of people the ability to work together easily and efficiently and improve document control. Staff can make real-time updates, see what other team members are doing and communicate effectively. This level of collaboration can speed up projects and improve customer service.
- Improved Security
Lost laptops are an expensive business problem. Potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of equipment is the loss of the sensitive data it contains. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this occurs. Your data is stored in the cloud so you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. You can even remotely wipe data from a lost laptop, so it does not fall into the wrong hands.
- Measurable Business Outcomes
According to the AWS website (https://aws.amazon.com/cloud-migration/) there are measurable business benefits from migrating to the cloud, illustrated below.
Making the Move
Moving to the cloud sounds like the right thing to do for your organization, but it also sounds pretty daunting. To satisfy the mandates for innovation and achieving a lower total cost of ownership, it is important that government agencies choose a cloud provider that fits their needs. Government, education, and nonprofit organizations face unique challenges to accomplish complex missions with limited resources. Public sector leaders engaged in true cloud computing projects overwhelmingly turn to the power and speed of Amazon Web Services (AWS) when they want to serve citizens more effectively, achieve scientific breakthroughs, reach broader constituents, and put more of their time and resources into their core missions.
Over 5,000 government agencies use AWS, because AWS understands the requirements U.S. government agencies have to balance economy and agility with security, compliance, and reliability. AWS has been among the first to solve government compliance challenges facing cloud computing and has consistently helped customers navigate procurement and policy issues related to adoption of cloud computing. AWS provides commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret making it possible to execute missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology, and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Please contact Mike Boyle via email at Mike.Boyle@e-tcc.com or by phone at 317.625.2547.