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GCN : March and April 2016
R EFLECTING ON the Cloud First policy unveiled six years ago, it’s clear most federal agencies are well underway in the execution of the vision to improve information technology delivery within the federal government as a whole. The continued maturation of the FedRAMP program has also facilitated the availability of more cloud offerings to help federal agencies realize the advantages of cloud computing. The business benefits of cloud computing are clear—increased agility, scalability, opportunities for collaboration, as well as sharing of common infrastructure and common services. As we accelerate into the IoT or “Internet of Things,” cloud computing will take an even more prominent role in our future IT architectures. Moving forward, what were once mere benefits will become absolutely essential. The cost, scale and collaboration opportunities of moving to the cloud are frequently cited and well understood. A less well-represented benefit is agility. As technology morphs and the demands on federal agencies increase, agility—the ability to move quickly and intelligently—is a must. How does a cloud help federal agencies become more agile? There are three aspects to consider: 1. Accelerating the pace of innovation delivery: In the cloud delivery model, DevOps enables virtualized environments where collaborative teams in different places can quickly and efficiently work together and test new applications and practice the notion of “test fast, fail fast, adjust fast” in ways that were previously impossible or cost-prohibitive. 2. Incremental transformation of business processes: Federal agencies need not transplant entire systems to tackle a critical business process. This transformation can take one step at a time while minimizing any impact to existing IT infrastructure. 3. Expanding the art of possible: Agencies can develop innovative systems more rapidly using hybrid cloud environments, as well as public/private partnerships. The magnitude and speed of innovation is exponential. Agility is an expectation, not merely a nice-to-have. The benefits of the cloud cited are all intertwined. The key point is that both agility and innovation are important to consider as a measure in the overall analysis of any cloud-based project. While advances have been profound, the maturation of cloud computing in the federal government environment still faces considerable challenges. Agencies need to find new ways to address change management, new policies, and must continually assess the risk posture of the cloud against the agency’s proposed cloud use case. The good news is these are not insurmountable issues. Commercial entities have addressed similar challenges over the past six years. With a higher level of collaboration and trust between industry and government, there will be an increased ability to move beyond what is perceived to be “impossible.” In creating the level of trust and transparency required for success, industry and government will reach new and enhanced methods of communicating and working together. The FedRAMP program creates the foundation for a “trust but verify” framework. Nevertheless, to truly move forward, industry and government must discipline themselves and learn to lean in together. Carmen Krueger is the Senior Vice President, Cloud Operations, SAP National Security Ser vices CARMEN KRUEGER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CLOUD OPERATIONS, SAP NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICES SAP (NS2®) HOW AGENCIES CAN ADAPT AND INNOVATE A mature cloud strategy provides agencies with a much greater ability to adapt to changes in technology and user demands. THE CLOUD YOUR WAY – SECURELY The NS2TM Cloud provides a seamless customer journey to the cloud, enabling the organization’s specific policy requirements while delivering the benefits of the cloud. The NS2 Cloud couples the SAP NS2 Secure Support offering with Secure Infrastructure Support, as well as Secure Professional Services. The NS2TM Cloud accelerates the mission to achieve business outcomes. Deliver innovation without sacrificing security and compliance. NS2 employees are U.S. citizens, operating on U.S. soil. Our experience, ecosystem, and solutions will deliver your mission critical edge. MISSION DELIVERY ASSURANCE, COMPLIANCE AND CERTIFICATION INNOVATION, SPEED AND EFFICIENCY NS2TM CLOUD SAP NS2 Secure Support SAP NS2 Secure Infrastructure Support SAP NS2 Secure Services Cloud to Cloud On-Premise to Cloud SAPNS2.COM | 877-9-SAPNS2 (877-972-7672) Embrace the cloud with SAP NS2 solutions available through Carahsoft. LEARN MORE AT CARAHSOFT.COM/INNOVATION/SAPNS2CLOUD. S -18 SPONSORED CONTENT TRANSITION 2016: NEXT-GEN CLOUD TOOLS
January and February 2016