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Government Cloud Migration: Where to Start

When former US Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra implemented the “Cloud First” migration strategy in 2011, the premise was that it would streamline the federal government’s IT budget and result in cost savings. Fast forward to a few years later, state and local government agencies have followed suit. The Department of Defense, for instance, has awarded Microsoft Azure with a $10 billion contract to move the military’s computing infrastructure to the cloud.

There are plenty of good reasons for this, such as:

  • Cost efficiency. Moving to the cloud requires a significant capital investment – but over time, the benefits will be worth the expenses. This is because you will only pay for what you use, and your cloud vendor will oversee all other necessary functions that your in-house IT staff would otherwise manage, such as maintaining the operating systems, hardware, and general computing environment.
  • Operational efficiency. Cloud computing improves access, security, collaboration, and productivity across organizations, regardless of their location. On top of that, it is also sustainable, as it utilizes less energy and fewer servers, compared to traditional computing environments.
  • Scalability. If changes need to be accommodated, the cloud extends more flexibility. You can add or modify resources as you see fit, and your provider can scale these resources up or down.
  • Security. The cloud is protected by multiple layers of security and verified by governing bodies against stringent standards. These include COS, FedRAMP, DIACAP, and PCI DSS.

If your agency is interested in transitioning to the cloud, you’d be pleased to know that the process is not as difficult as you may think.

Assessing Your Requirements

The first step in moving to the cloud is assessing your current environment. You will want to define the requirements that your cloud computing vendor should meet, and determine your goals of migrating to the cloud. Consider these factors:

  • Business: The migration should minimize disruption to your core-mission functionalities.
  • People: Your team must be well informed of the process, and resources must be available to provide support at any point during the migration.
  • Governance: The process should be compliant with all existing regulations for risk management, security, and data governance.
Selecting Your Migration Approach

At this stage, the specific migration approach is decided, based on the initial assessment. This will inform the specific steps of the migration, as well as outline the necessary changes needing implementation. Some of the most common approaches are re-hosting or Lift and Shift, re-platform, re-factor/re-architect, re-purchase, retire, and retain.

Executing the Migration

Now it’s time for the actual migration. Depending on your chosen cloud partner and vendor, this process varies according to methodologies.

At Dynamic Systems, we provide comprehensive guidance to help your agency transition to the cloud. With our Cloud Services, our experts can guide you in mitigating all the risks that can crop up, as well as creating a robust Cloud adoption plan, accelerating time-to-value, scaling your Cloud investments, and managing multi-cloud environments to keep pace with the continuously changing market.

We help you:

  • Assess your existing IT platform
    • Infrastructure
    • Application suite
  • Map dependencies
    • Identify application, data, and network dependencies
    • Identify points of tight coupling
    • Create topology map
  • Propose and design future cloud architecture
  • Plan your evolution roadmap
    • Vertical and horizontal decoupling
    • API level interfaces
    • Application transportability
  • Ensure that your cloud solution
    • Meets security and regulatory compliance
    • Maintains requisite performance characteristics
  • Perform development and testing
    • This can be done at customer or at Dynamic Systems’ Innovation Hub
    • Verify updated interfaces
    • Verify data access and interoperability
    • Verify security posture will work in the targeted cloud environment
  • Migrate to the cloud
    • Stage and test applications most suited for cloud
    • Migrate beta users and conduct operation assessment
    • Complete first wave migration
    • Repeat migration waves until complete

Start your digital transformation today!