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Why Government Agencies Are Moving to the Cloud

State and municipal governments once thought the cloud wasn’t an option for them. They were unwilling to surrender control to a cloud provider and lacked confidence in cloud security. Government agencies are responsible for handling sensitive data that needs to be kept secure. This data might contain information about constituents or even matters of intelligence.

When government agencies design their data center architecture, they strive to create an environment that is reliable and has high availability. Constituents depend on these agencies for vital services, especially during emergencies. Balancing security, availability, and accessibility can be tricky.

Today’s cloud infrastructure can provide this balance, leading governments to switch to infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Gartner predicted that public cloud adoption by governments will experience 17.1% annual growth through 2021. IaaS has become a more attractive choice for government because of its flexible hybrid cloud options, cost savings, and ability to streamline processes. 

Why Hybrid Cloud Makes Sense

hybrid-cloud-for-government-agency-imgWhile some government agencies are turning to public cloud, security concerns may still be a barrier to using a multi-tenant environment for some purposes. Hybrid cloud solves this problem by providing the option of using either a public or private cloud environment.

With hybrid cloud, agencies can choose which model to use in each case based on the accessibility and security requirements of data and applications. Public cloud resources can be used for public-facing applications and services. Private cloud can be reserved for transactions that involve personally identifiable information or government intelligence.

Hybrid cloud allows agencies to create a redundant environment for instant failover during an emergency. If the primary data center suffers a breach, an equipment failure, or a natural disaster, the public cloud environment makes recovery possible.

Cutting Infrastructure Costs

cutting-costsGovernment agencies are always looking for ways to cut costs. County and state governments are particularly strapped for funds. They rely on taxpayer funding, and budgets are constantly being cut.

On-premises data centers require extensive upfront costs for hardware and software. Equipment needs to be upgraded and refreshed. Maintenance expenses can be unpredictable.

With IaaS, agencies eliminate their capital expenses. Data center resources are available in the cloud at a predictable monthly rate. Agencies only pay for what they need. There is no need to pay for real estate to house hardware or energy to cool servers. The cloud provider handles all maintenance and upgrades.

Say Goodbye to Silos

centralized-infrastructure-in-the-cloudSiloed infrastructures plague government organizations. Most agencies are made up of multiple departments. Some agencies have geographically diverse branches. Each office and department typically needs its own IT resources, escalating costs. These silos make getting a complete picture of data nearly impossible. Without a 360-degree view of information, agencies can’t solve big problems in their communities.

IaaS solves the problem of silos by enabling government agencies to create a centralized infrastructure in the cloud. Departments can gain access to the same data and resources no matter where they are located. With IaaS, agencies gain better visibility into their data and systems.

Have Confidence in Your Cloud Provider

FirstLight has ample experience providing cloud and connectivity solutions.  With our IaaS, your agency retains control over crucial data and systems while taking advantage of state-of-the-art physical and virtual security measures.

Our cloud offerings include business continuity / disaster recovery options to help keep your systems available to your constituents.  FirstLight’s cloud offerings are strengthened by our extensive and redundant fiber optic network, which transmits vital information quickly and securely.

To learn more about the cloud, unified communications, and other topics of interest to municipalities, attend our upcoming Cloud Connect Summit May 16th at the Echo Leahy Center in Burlington, Vermont. Mention code “techtalk” and waive the $150 registration fee by REGISTERING HERE!

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