Cloud technologies have definitely proven their value to the public sector over the last 18 months. Agile and powerful, the cloud offers governments the ability to innovate at scale while leveraging existing infrastructure to affordably modernize government IT. But things are just heating up for the future of cloud. As current cloud strategies become proven, they’ll need to evolve into something new – a “Future Cloud” approach.
In a recent Q&A with Government Technology, I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss future cloud strategies government leaders should begin implementing to connect, secure and automate the solutions that will power the next generation of government services.
Strategies for Government Cloud
Cloud technology is lifting engagement and community resilience to new levels while creating more inclusive environments for all residents. We’re seeing government agencies shifting to hyper-distributed environments, breaking down the walls of traditional IT. Technologies enhancing hybrid IT are now becoming commonplace as a result.
But when data leaves the data center, there’s always the chance security could be compromised. That’s why IT leaders in government must be sure their Future Cloud strategies secure the enterprise and protect the network architecture at every level.
On the positive side, the move to cloud provides governments greater flexibility, especially in creating and deploying applications. With millions of applications being developed leveraging containers and microservices to evolve to cloud-native, widely distributed applications will be the norm. You’ll need to have a specific strategy to ensure application security.
Future Cloud and SD-WAN
Future Cloud technologies like Cisco SD-WAN for Government, ensure bandwidth need is reduced at the core, latency is reduced at the edge and deployments are simplified. The hybrid workforce and IOT increases edge-devices outside the 4-walls of the enterprise, so it’s critical that your Future Cloud strategy take this into account by incorporating deeper visibility into the application and network; better stated—full stack observability (FSO). FSO is a holistic strategy that ensures an application experience government workers and residents in your community will benefit from.
Future Cloud and SASE
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is now the focus of cloud-based security, converging the functionalities of networking and security within the cloud, and rightly so. Yet on-premise applications are here to stay for most, and they need protection as well.
By next year, around 50% of mission-critical apps will live in the cloud. But that means the other half are still on-premises. So firewalls and endpoint security are still critical to your security.
Hybrid workers will now spend anywhere from 6-10 days outside the office and dedicated remote workers also need to be added to the equation. They’re now a permanent part of how government will work. Providing them with secure, reliable connectivity that they are confident in using is no longer a luxury. Especially with advanced real-time video and information sharing solutions like Webex for Government powering the massive, yet necessary, increase in network traffic needed to maintain solid communications and collaboration within government departments and across agencies at all levels.
There are also significant increases in how this technology is being used to reach beyond government workers to provide more responsive healthcare, enhance justice and deliver social services that can reduce recidivism, relapse and homelessness. The cloud is revitalizing trust in government by providing much needed transparency and new avenues for citizen engagement.
Cloud Strategy in Government
Future Cloud is here. It is application focused and opening up unimagined opportunities to better serve communities. So be sure to keep it secure by developing a Future Cloud strategy that covers all the bases. I suggest you start by watching my entire interview with Government Technology on Future Cloud: Strategies for the Next Generation of Government Services.
At Cisco we’re helping shape the next generation of government. Together with our partner Government Technology, we’re exploring Future Cloud and what it means for state and local governments. We invite you to join us.