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As the pandemic has moved more work online and remote working has become the norm, government agencies are rapidly moving to a multi-cloud environment. However, many agencies are realizing that not all applications and workloads are suitable for the cloud. Soaring costs due to data output, poor performance due to lack of internal skills to manage workloads in public clouds, and security complications related to compliance requirements have made many cloud workloads problematic.
This year will be “the year of the multicloud strategy” when federal IT leaders take a step back and prioritize creating a comprehensive plan for deploying multicloud environments. There are three critical phases to a thoughtful deployment that will allow agencies to reap all the benefits that multicloud has to offer. These three steps include evaluating the current IT system, determining the location of workloads, developing plans, and achieving the business goals set out in those plans.
Phase 1: Assess the current IT ecosystem
Throughout this process, agencies may determine that there are applications that need to be repatriated or moved from the cloud to the premises. For better decision making, now is the time to look at the data output (when apps send data back and forth from the clouds or downloads and files are moved to external storage).
This is especially important for agencies that have experienced unanticipated cloud costs due to unanticipated exit costs and a misunderstanding of how chatty their on-premises apps would be with apps in the public cloud. The key to the success of this phase will lie less in the applications and more in the location of the workloads and the corresponding data.
Phase 2: Determine the location of the workloads and develop a plan
After carefully considering the current IT environment and application workloads, it is time to plan for the transition from an “as is” state to a “to be” state. This process will include evaluating which workloads need to be containerized and ported, which have been refactored, and which have been completely rewritten.
Phase 3: Achieve the objectives set out in the plan
This phase should also be iterative, never stopping after implementation, and aim to reduce time to value, minimize risk and manage costs more effectively. Navigating the multicloud isn’t just about technology. Successful transitions involve people, processes and technologies. Agencies will need to prepare for a cultural shift, make the changes, and be equipped with the technologies and training necessary to enable a successful multi-cloud deployment.
To effectively manage costs, agencies will need automated continuous monitoring that focuses on instances. Too often organizations have been surprised by shadow IT where employees knowingly or unknowingly use cloud services that help deplete the cloud budget. Active management of instances and services in the multi-cloud environment is vital to monitoring costs.
By incorporating a more thoughtful approach to multi-cloud, federal agencies are expected to reap more of its benefits over the coming year, including increased agility, flexibility, efficiency, performance, security, and cost management. .
As reported by OpenGov Asia, a report titled “Government Cloud Platforms 2021-2022 RadarView” assessed 15 vendors based on product maturity, business adaptability, and future readiness. The report identifies four trends shaping the market. The first is the growing compliance needs that are accelerating the move to the cloud. The cloud helps agencies manage sensitive workloads, such as those involving healthcare data, while meeting requirements.
The second trend is the emergence of cloud regions suitable for communities such as defense and intelligence. These regions can manage the level of sensitive data that these communities work with, and these users can turn to these isolated cloud resources to deploy workloads in a secure and compliant manner.
The third trend is that convergence with emerging technologies is the engine of change. Fourth, government cloud providers are expanding their influence by expanding into new regions and helping the public sector move to the cloud while maintaining governance and data sovereignty.