The Central Role of Multi-Cloud Approach in Government Agencies Today
Over the last 12-plus years, agencies have made a lot of progress in taking advantage of cloud services. One example is the FedRAMP cloud security authorization program recently reached a significant milestone with over 300 approved cloud services.
Most of these are categorized as software-as-a-service, indicating governmental organizations are heading toward applications and workloads since more of their infrastructure is now in the cloud.
A Multi-Cloud Environment Developed
Agencies are using services from multiple cloud providers to meet their mission needs. While this has advantages, it also comes with challenges.
Choose From a Variety of Top-Rated Multi-Cloud Providers
When you incorporate multiple clouds into your agency’s IT strategy, you can more easily find a hosting provider that best suits a specific task. For example, you may use one cloud provider for its fast upload speed and another for its service agreement terms that fit your agency.
With plenty of options, agencies can tailor the cloud service providers to fit each aspect of your organization. You don’t need to adapt your processes to fit the cloud service provider; you can select multiple clouds to meet your agency’s needs.
Agencies can decrease the total cost of ownership (TCO0 and optimize the balance between performance and pricing using a multi-cloud strategy. This environment reduces IT costs since public cloud services have lower overhead costs. You also have the flexibility to scale the services to match your requirements. In other words, you only pay for what you need and use.
Avoid Relying on a Single Vendor
When you’re using a multi-cloud strategy, you have the flexibility to work anywhere with an internet connection. By not relying on a single cloud service provider, you can also minimize the challenges associated with interoperability. Regardless of the device’s manufacturer, you can still easily exchange information. Costs can also be lower when you’re not dependent on one cloud provider.
Have Guaranteed Security and Regulatory Compliance
With a multi-cloud strategy, you can scale and deploy workloads without losing your implementation of security and compliance practices. With your security and compliance protocols in place, you can safely manage data without violating regulatory requirements. This security is standard regardless of workload, service provider, vendors, or operating environment.
Improve Flexibility and Scalability
Using a multi-cloud environment allows you to process and store large amounts of data easily. The service provides efficient automation and synchronization in real-time, simplifying users’ tasks.
Along with offering flexible storage options, multi-cloud strategies are also scalable. Agencies can adjust their storage limits to meet changing demands. In the best-case scenario, multi-cloud providers work seamlessly together, allowing organizations to invest in the security and space necessary for each task.
Take Advantage of Innovation-Driven Technology
Automating multiple cloud management lets agencies smoothly coordinate their various workloads. They can handle mixed workloads from multiple devices more efficiently and integrate practices that encourage innovation.
You cannot understate the importance automation plays in organizing and accessing data and applications. Automation across your various cloud providers can also extend your deployment capabilities and ensure swift delivery of the necessary data.
Boost Your Agency’s Risk Mitigation Practices
Implementing a multi-cloud strategy benefits risk management by enhancing existing practices and potentially deploying new ones. You can swiftly transition to another service if a security breach occurs with one cloud provider. For example, a backup or private cloud.
Using a multi-cloud approach, you can reduce risk by using redundant and independent systems with robust authentication protocols, regular vulnerability testing, and consolidating assets.
While the advantages of multi-cloud technology are wide-ranging, there are challenges government agencies often face. These challenges don’t negate the benefits, but they can make it more difficult for agencies to implement the strategy.
A primary challenge is teaching your IT staff how to best manage the multi-cloud platform. Each service provider has technical aspects that can seem overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the concept. Adding to the challenge of learning the new platform is the potential of dealing with inefficient vendor tools.
Some tools are limited in scope and may not work across your multi-cloud platform. You may need separate tools for each cloud service provider.
Despite the widespread availability of cloud-native tools, agencies still face challenges locating all their stored data in real-time. Additional skilled staff are often necessary to operate the necessary tools. Adding more personnel can offset your initial savings by implementing a multi-cloud strategy.
However, this challenge is agency-based. Some government agencies already have the necessary personnel to manage multiple clouds. Once training is completed, these agencies often experience little to no difficulties managing and accessing data stored on multiple clouds.
Perhaps one of the more serious challenges is issues with security and compliance. Multi-cloud servers handling government-stored data must adhere to all regulatory standards. There are multiple standards, and many cloud service providers take a Shared Responsibility approach.
This means the agency is still responsible for implementing the appropriate data and application security controls. The service provider is only responsible for cloud-layer security.
Importance of an Effective Cloud Strategy
Without an effective cloud strategy, various departments may implement solutions that do not align with agency practices. Cloud users may adopt solutions to boost efficiency and productivity when the technology becomes available. Teams have little to no guidance on cloud service adoptions, leading to groups of technology without a standard implementation solution.
Costs for cloud services can exceed budget expectations. Some agencies without a cloud strategy may also be at risk of a security breach. The breach can occur due to a poorly configured cloud environment that exposes vulnerabilities.
With an effective cloud strategy, you can identify key benefits and decide which internal and external services to use. Most importantly, you can effectively determine the protections to keep your stored data safe.
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