The cloud is everywhere. Every organization is either in it, moving to it or considering how to get to it. With the ongoing push for digital transformation, many federal agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations see the cloud as their gateway to achieving complex, innovative and mission-critical projects.
Why are so many organizations, and federal agencies in particular, still in the migration process or just thinking about a future move? Because even today, a decade or more after the cloud went mainstream, they still face a host of challenges. Cloud migration is no simple task, especially when sensitive or classified information is involved. The vast number of systems and functions affected by a migration presents a formidable management challenge.
Specifically, some common hurdles facing agency CIOs and IT leaders are:
- Discrepancies in business and IT priorities: Agency IT strategy must always be foremost about fulfilling the mission and serving the public. When IT plans are not consistent with business needs, they can lead to significant wasted time and resources.
- Integrating and rationalizing legacy IT systems: Federal agencies—and most organizations of any kind—still depend on some legacy systems. Digital transformation offers an opportunity to phase out those systems in favor of new ones, but such moves have to be planned carefully to avoid disruptions. Where legacy systems prevail, integrating those with cloud-based systems is necessary, and not always easy.
- Securing data across disparate IT infrastructures: Security remains a top priority, and a cloud migration introduces its own points of vulnerability which must be addressed.
- Accessing business-aligned and relevant IT services: As cloud offerings continue to expand and evolve, agencies are looking to rapidly adopt the services that best meet their business needs while addressing the migration and IT management challenges of a continuously changing environment.
- Absence of properly defined roles: Using the cloud effectively often requires some internal restructuring and governance to ensure that the appropriate roles and compliance models are accounted for, properly defined and adequately maintained.
- Lack of standardized performance metrics or value analytics: Agencies should evaluate their performance in the cloud correctly, and access to the most accurate, real-time metrics related to utilization, consumption, service management and security requires unique processes and tools.
Where to go for answers
At the AWS Public Sector Summit on June 20 and 21 in Washington, D.C., I’ll be presenting the three fundamental steps to modernize using the cloud, including the first steps of the journey for those still unsure where to begin. If you are able to attend, also be sure to drop by the CGI booth #662 to learn how to use the cloud for complex, innovative and mission-critical projects. Register here.