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GCN : March and April 2016
M ANY IN THE FEDERAL IT community, including federal CIO Tony Scott, believe they have an opportunity to “seize the moment.” They have a chance to leverage the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and reimagine government technology to realize the benefits of a digital government, but struggle with where to start. Organizations that do not leverage the cloud risk becoming irrelevant in a digitally transformed world. In some cases, federal agencies are focusing efforts on the wrong goals. For example, merely counting applications, servers, and data centers provides a simple but only marginally useful metric. Federal IT leaders should instead be measuring the impact of IT on delivering mission requirements, innovations that lead to higher citizen satisfaction, and the efficiency of their data centers. Federal CIOs need to take advantage of their new FITARA authority and leverage lessons learned from commercial counterparts to accelerate cloud implementation in 2016. While federal CIOs and CTOs agree progress means embracing the cloud, they say their greatest challenges are determining which applications to move, how much it will cost, and having enough information about their cur rent environment to select the right platform for both required legacy systems and new cloud native capabilities — private, public, or hybrid. Agility is equally important. CIOs must have the ability to move applications between cloud hosting options or back on-premises when business, mission or security requirements change. Legacy applications can run more efficiently in the cloud, but they require different cloud architecture than new mobile or cloud native applications. IT executives should look for a proven decision framework capable of mapping applications to business/mission processes, objectively determining cloud suitability, and assessing federal information assurance and security requirements for each workload. That will help lead them to the right balance of public and private cloud. The right hybrid cloud mix will move agencies down the field toward a digital government future. But what will this future digital government look like? A new study from IDG Research Services explains “digital business,” or in this case “digital government,” will improve customer experience, introduce more data-driven processes like predictive analytics, and maximize transparency into how data is being used and secured. The hybrid cloud lays the foundation for this digital transformation by automating routine tasks and offering self-service access and control of their choice of cloud. The result is improved scalability, availability, and utilization of IT resources, which translates into savings. The IDG study finds 96 percent of the more than 900 global IT leaders with hybrid cloud initiatives say these initiatives are delivering measurable results, increasing innovation (82 percent), and enabling real-time decisions (81 percent). The IDG data also shows a direct correlation between hybrid cloud computing and digital business success. Eighty-eight percent report hybrid cloud is an important digital business enabler and 73 percent agree hybrid cloud models create a path toward digital business. The majority of respondents stated applications and systems that provide differentiated capabilities were hosted in a private cloud, and all generic workloads were hosted in a public cloud. While these IT leaders are empowering new digital capabilities, they are also reducing IT costs—on average by 24 percent with hybrid cloud. The business of government is digitizing, and hybrid cloud will be a key enabler to faster, more efficient, more citizen-centric services. Bretton Stafford is a Principal in the Office of the Federation at EMC. BRETTON STAFFORD PRINCIPAL, OFFICE OF THE FEDERATION, EMC HOW TO EMPOWER DIGITAL GOVERNMENT For optimal agility, it’s imperative that government agencies adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. REDEFINE HYBRID CLOUD Embrace the cloud with EMC solutions available through Carahsoft. Learn more carahsoft.com/innovation/EMCcloud EMC_Carahsoft_FullPg_GCN 2/2/16 4:49 PM Page 1 S-24 TRANSITION 2016: NEXT-GEN CLOUD TOOLS SPONSORED CONTENT
January and February 2016